VIR: Porsche race report

PORSCHES LEAD POINTS AFTER 3RD IN DP, 4TH IN GT AT VIR GRAND-AM Brumos Porsche Riley Grabs DP Podium Spot in Rolex Grand-Am Race at Virginia; Farnbacher Loles Takes Fourth in GT; Porsche Drivers and Team on Top of near Top of All Points after ...


Brumos Porsche Riley Grabs DP Podium Spot in Rolex Grand-Am Race at Virginia; Farnbacher Loles Takes Fourth in GT; Porsche Drivers and Team on Top of near Top of All Points after Round Two

ALTON, VA - April 25 -- Brumos Racing grabbed a controversial podium finish in Saturday's Rolex Grand- Am Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 race at Virginia International Raceway, and the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 finished fourth in GT.

David Donohue (Malvern, PA) and Darren Law (Phoenix AZ) finished third in the #58 Porsche Riley, taking advantage of a late caution that allowed Donohue to make up a seven-second deficit to the third-place car.

When the green flag fell with less than five minutes remaining, Donohue was still fourth, now right behind the third-place car. As they came through Turn 1B, Donohue bumped into the rear of Scott Pruett's third- place Lexus Riley That made Pruett's car twitch back and forth and the Ford Dallara of Max Angelelli hit Pruett's right front corner and went spinning off left. Pruett spun sideways, and Donohue went around him to capture third.

"Pruett just slowed more than I did," Donohue said. "I just got into the back of him, pretty hard I guess.. I don't know if I locked up (the brakes), but I couldn't go sideways to avoid him because Max (Angelelli) was there. Then they tangled right in front of me and I avoided Pruett when he spun, and Max went off to the left. I don't know why they are upset."

The podium finished enabled Donohue and Law to remain co-leaders in the driver's standings with 60 points each, and moved Porsche into a tie for the manufacturer's standings with Ford with 60 points each.

"I'm very, very happy with the outcome of this race" said Law. "The win at Daytona and the podium here puts us in the points lead, which is what we're aiming to do for the season. It was rough out there; it was very hot (93 degrees F) and there was a lot of traffic. But I think we were competitive with everybody except maybe 01. The pit stops were correct and the car was quick enough I felt like I could run with anybody. I brought it in second place, the team did a great job and David fought his way to the front."

A day that started on the bright side for the Penske Porsche Riley turned into disappointment for the Porsche works drivers, but even after falling back to 23rd, still managed a seventh place finish for drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France).

"After we did our pit stop and Romain got in the car, he got a penalty I do not know about," Bernhard said. "They (officials) said he got along (side) another car on a restart, and the drive-thru (penalty) under green put him back.

"We were quick enough today to be on the podium, possibly a victory but we had a problem with the clutch. Sometimes when I downshift, it did not engage and lost time. Once I lost three positions because of that. We are OK with the points, but we had a car that could have won the race. We will analyze everything before the race next week (in New Jersey) and we definitely do better there."

The other Brumos Porsche entry, driven by JC France (Daytona Beach, FL) and Joao Barbosa (Portugal) finished eighth.

The race was not so good for the Porsche GT teams. The Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry of Dirk Werner (Germany) and Leh Keen (Charleston, SC) finished fourth by more than three seconds Fifth in GT went to the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche of Eric Lux (Williamsville, NY) and Wolf Henzler (Germany).

The hardest-working team award went to the #67 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup team of Justin Marks (Chico, CA) and Andy Lally (Newport, NY). Marks got caught in another car's accident very early in the race and the crew worked on the car for 90 minutes before Marks was able to rejoin the race.

But Marks barely made it around turn 1 when a mechanical problem started overheating his engine, but quick thinking got Marks through a back gate and he parked behind the race control tower. The crew came running over, repaired the car in less than 10 minutes and he was able to rejoin the race again. Fortunately, there was enough time for both drivers to complete the minimum 30 minutes to earn points. They finished 15th in GT.

"These crew guys are the greatest," Lally said. "We could have given up, but that's not the Porsche way. We will do anything it takes to race."

Round three of the Rolex Grand-Am Series takes place next week, May 3, at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in Millville, New Jersey.

-credit: porsche motorsport

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Andy Lally , Darren Law , David Donohue , JC France , Timo Bernhard , Max Angelelli , Joao Barbosa , Justin Marks , Romain Dumas , Lehman Keen , Eric Lux , Dirk Werner
Teams Williams