Porsche back in the lead with double win
Stuttgart. The American Le Mans Series race on Canada’s Mosport circuit ended with an emphatic double victory for Porsche. On the demanding circuit close to Toronto, Porsche works driver Romain Dumas (France) and Klaus Graf (Germany) clinched the second overall victory this season at the wheel of the Porsche RS Spyder. In the strongly represented GT class, victory also went to the sports car manufacturer from Zuffenhausen: Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) celebrated their fourth win this year with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to extend their points’ lead heading to the Road Atlanta final on 2 October. At the same time, Porsche once again reclaimed the top spot of the manufacturers’ classification.
One week ago in Elkhart Lake, Klaus Graf had missed out on overall victory by just one second. In Mosport, he planted the RS Spyder on pole position and, with his teammate Romain Dumas, secured the second overall win this season after Lime Rock for the Muscle Milk Team Cytosport squad. The winning racer from Weissach maintained the lead from start to finish, and never even relinquished it during pit stops and driver changes. After a good two hours of racing, the RS Spyder was leading by almost one-lap, when a safety car was deployed due to a barrier being ripped from its bolts in an accident. Only then could the pursuers catch up. Shortly afterwards, the race was red-flagged. Workmen had tried in vain to repair the guard railing for an hour, before the race organiser decided to cancel the event.
“What a great day. Our pace was good over the whole weekend, but we still tried to find the best set-up. Once we found it, the RS Spyder ran with incredible perfection,” said Klaus Graf. “The entire crew were extremely well prepared for this race. This became very clear when we almost lapped the second-placed Honda. Having Romain Dumas, as one of the world’s best race drivers, as a teammate was a huge pleasure.” The Frenchman also enjoyed his comeback to the American Le Mans Series. “In the first five laps I pulled clear by ten seconds, then I got word from the pits to conserve fuel and tyres,” he said. “Driving the Porsche RS Spyder at the head of the field in Mosport – for a race driver it doesn’t get better than that.”
In the fiercely-contested GT class, Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long are shortly before successfully defending their title. After claiming their fourth win of the season with Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, they travel to the final round of the season holding a comfortable points’ margin. Right from the green flag in Mosport, Patrick Long was the dominating force over strong opposition from Ferrari, BMW and Chevrolet. He handed the successful racer to Joerg Bergmeister after an hour, who then rejoined the race action in second. It didn’t take long for Bergmeister to regain the lead which he proceeded to defend against heavy attacks to the flag.
“Having a 22-point advantage is a great buffer and it makes us feel very confident for the final at Road Atlanta. After this victory we feel we could even win the championship,” said Joerg Bergmeister, who now has four Mosport victories to his credit. Patrick Long is also confident heading to the last race of the year: “By now we’ve had an amazing season. We simply have the speed and strategy. This win is the best motivation heading to Road Atlanta. But until then, we have plenty to do. After all, we don’t just want to win the title again for us, but also to contribute to Porsche winning the manufacturers’ classification.”
In the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Team Falken Tire, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA) secured seventh place. Americans Darren Law and Seth Neiman saw the flag with the second 911 GT3 RSR of Flying Lizard Motorsports in ninth.
The 9th and final round of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 2 October on the Road Atlanta race track in Braselton, Georgia.
Statistics: 8th of 9 rounds of the American Le Mans Series in Mosport, Canada
1. Dumas/Graf (F/D), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP), 98 laps
2. Brabham/Pagenaud (AUS/ F/), Honda ARX-01c (LMP), 98
3. Mowlem/Burgess/Willman (GB/CAN/USA), Lola B06 10 Judd (LMP) 97
Result GT class
1. Bergmeister/Long (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 91 laps
2. Vilander/Bruni (SF/I), Ferrari 430 GT, 91
3. Auberlen/Millner (USA/USA), BMW E92 M3, 91
4. Magnussen/O’Connell (DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 91
5. Beretta/Gavin (MC/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 91
6. van Overbeek/Sharp (USA/USA), Ferrari 430 GT, 90
7. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 90
9. Law/Neiman (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 89
Points’ standings GT class
1. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 139 points
2. Gianmaria Bruni, Ferrari, 117
3. Bill Auberlen, Tommy Millner, BMW, 105
4. Jaime Melo, Ferrari, 101
Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 101
5. Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Chevrolet, 78
6. Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell, Chevrolet, 73
1. Porsche, 139 points
2. BMW, 138
3. Ferrari, 129
4. Chevrolet, 107
1. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 139 points
2. Rahal Letterman Racing, BMW, 138
3. Risi Competizione, Ferrari, 127
Points’ standings LMP class
1. David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 152 points
2. Klaus Graf, Porsche, 136
3. Chris Dyson, Lola, 98
4. Guy Smith, Lola, 92
5. Jonny Cocker, Lola, 84
6. Greg Pickett, Porsche, 79
1. Honda, 152 points
2. Porsche, 136
3. Mazda, 98
1. Highcroft Racing, Honda, 152 points
2. Muscle Milk Team Cytosport, Porsche, 136
3. Dyson Racing Team, Lola, 98
Facts and Figures
This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Nine races in the USA and Canada make up this year’s calendar. Traditional highlights are the Sebring 12 hour race and the 1,000 mile “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta.
Sports prototypes and standard sports cars make up the starter field: These are divided into four classes:
LMP class: In this category, sports prototypes from the former LMP1 and LMP2 classes are classified together. The difference in performance is intended to be offset as far as possible (e.g. via restriction adjustments). The Porsche RS Spyder competes in this class.
GT class: Contesting this class (formerly GT2) are slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 460 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
LMPC class: This newly-created class is a prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.
GTC class: Replacing the ALMS Challenge, this class is open for various model years of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
All race cars start together but are classified separately. This ensures racing that is exciting and constantly changing. Points are awarded only for placings in each class.