Henzler and Imery strong in Portland Speed GT The Portland round of the Speed World Challenge GT Series promised a very competitive race and it certainly delivered. In qualifying, Wolf Henzler piloted his Applied Materials Farnbacher Loles ...
Henzler and Imery strong in Portland Speed GT
The Portland round of the Speed World Challenge GT Series promised a very competitive race and it certainly delivered.
In qualifying, Wolf Henzler piloted his Applied Materials Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3 Cup to a 1:16.496 earning him a front row starting position alongside pole sitter Leighton Reese. Henzler's rookie teammate Ricardo Imery, driving the Cavenas Elevators Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3 Cup was not much off the pace with a 1:17.560 which was good for 11th on the grid. While Portland International Raceway usually rewards high horsepower cars, the Porsches of Henzler and Imery proved to very good on the high speed road course.
At the start Henzler rocketed to the front, getting to the first turn before Reese. Henzler showed his impressive skill and was able to keep the hard-charging Corvettes of Reese and Dino Crescentini behind him for most of the race. Henzler held the lead through lap 23 when Reese was finally able to get by. But Henzler was able to retake the lead on the next lap. As the race neared the end, Henzler's tires began to fade which opened the door for both Crescentini and Reese to get by in the closing laps.
Meanwhile, Imery was putting on an impressive run not far behind. Starting from the 11th spot, Ricardo began working his way through the pack with the precision of a seasoned veteran. By lap 13, Imery was incredibly up to 5th, putting on quite a show for the Portland fans. Imery was now pressing for 4th place, taking on the reigning series champ Tommy Archer in his Dodge Viper. Ricardo didn't put a wheel wrong and was fighting for 4th place when on lap 24, his Porsche slowed on the back straight. He was forced to pit and eventually retire with a transmission problem. But his drive through the pack certainly got the attention of his fellow racers.
At the finish, Henzler easily claimed 3rd and was happy to get the podium finish. "I got a very good start. The car was handling very well through most of the race, and I was able to easily outbreak the Corvettes. Near the end, as the tires began to wear, I was getting some oversteer so I had to let them by. We are happy with 3rd place and this finish gets Porsche back in the lead for the manufacturers championship. The Farnbacher Loles team did a great job again this weekend."
The Portland Speed GT race will be televised on Speed TV on Sunday August 7th at 3pm eastern. Wolf Henzler's car was carrying the Toyo Tires in-car cameras, which generated some very exciting footage.
The next race is in Denver, August 12-14.