PORSCHE 911 GT3 CUP TEAMS LOOK TO CONTINUE ROLEX GT SUCCESSES; DP ENTRIES HOPE TO TURN SEASON AROUND, SEEKING FIRST PORSCHE VICTORY SINCE WIN AT DAYTONA ATLANTA - JULY 15 -- After four wins this season, Porsche pilots Dirk Werner (Germany) and...
PORSCHE 911 GT3 CUP TEAMS LOOK TO CONTINUE ROLEX GT SUCCESSES; DP ENTRIES HOPE TO TURN SEASON AROUND, SEEKING FIRST PORSCHE VICTORY SINCE WIN AT DAYTONA
ATLANTA - JULY 15 -- After four wins this season, Porsche pilots Dirk Werner (Germany) and Leh Keen (USA) travel to the eighth round of the Rolex Grand-Am GT Series at the Barber Motorsports Park as clear leaders. With their #87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Farnbacher Loles Racing, they are determined to continue their success streak in the GT class on Sunday.
The green flag for the two-hour, 45-minute race is set to wave at 3:00 PM EDT (2:00 PM local time) at the 16-turn, Birmingham, Ala., circuit. SPEED TV will carry the race live on Sunday, July 19, at 3:00 PM EDT.
While Dirk Werner and Leh Keen could take a major step forward in their hunt for the title with a victory, Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) have more humble goals. The Porsche factory drivers, who contest the Daytona Prototype class with their #12 Verizon Wireless Penske Racing Porsche Riley, are still waiting for their first win of the season. After claiming two third positions at New Jersey Motorsports Park and Watkins Glen, they were hampered by gearbox problems recently in Daytona. In the DP championship points chase, they currently rank fourth but are still within striking distance of the leader.
"Nothing is lost yet. The season is still long and we have to try to keep in contact with the top three. We don't give up that easily," said an optimistic Timo Bernhard.
With Romain Dumas, he tested on the Barber circuit last December.
"We did well then and I think we've found a good set up for the race. The track follows the roller coaster landscape and is anything but easy. If you find the right line you can definitely make up a lot of time. On the other hand you have to have complete faith in your car - the many semi fast to fast corners are not for the faint-hearted," said Timo.
Making the situation even more difficult is the typical heat and humidity of the southern states in the summer. The Porsche pilots got a small taste of this at the wheel of their black #12 Porsche Riley at the Daytona race.
"We had a cockpit temperature of 140 degrees F," said Romain Dumas. "That was tough, but Birmingham will be even tougher. After such a race you know why you do so much fitness training during winter."
Two more DP Porsche Rileys are fielded by the Brumos Racing team. David Donohue (USA) and Darren Law (USA), winners of the Daytona 24 hour race, compete in the number 58 racer. Two weeks ago at Daytona, they started strong, but then suffered electrical ills which put them in the garage area for a good percentage of the race.
Their teammates are Joao Barbosa (Portugal) and JC France (USA), whose # 59 Daytona Prototype is also powered by a 510 hp Porsche six-cylinder engine. Barbosa and France, who finished third at the Rolex 24, were the top-finishing Porsche DP drivers at the recent Daytona event.
Traditionally, Porsche has strong representation in the GT class. Tackling the race alongside Dirk Werner and Leh Keen, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Eric Lux (USA) share driving duties at the wheel of the second Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by Farnbacher Loles Racing. The TRG customer team fields four 911 GT3 Cup sports cars, headed by Spencer Pumpelly, winning GT driver at the Rolex 24.
-credit: porsche motorsport