Sunday 17 April 2011

Porsche works driver narrowly misses podium result

American Le Mans Series, round 2 in Long Beach, USA

Porsche works driver narrowly misses podium result

Stuttgart. At round two of the American Le Mans Series in Long Beach, California, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) narrowly missed out on claiming his first podium result of the season. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, he secured fourth place in GT class on the famous street circuit with his American teammate Bryan Sellers. “The race went well for us,” he said at the finish. “We’re on the right path with the team.”

Patrick Long (USA) also put in a strong performance in Flying Lizard Motorsports’ 911 GT3 RSR. However, the winner from last year did not reach the flag: One lap after he overtook the front-running BMW to slip into the lead at this eventful race he ended up in the wall. The front suspension of his car was so badly damaged that he was forced to retire.

“That was a really tough street race. We were giving the BMWs and Corvettes a good run for their money,” said Patrick Long, reigning GT champion with his works driver teammate Jörg Bergmeister (Germany). “I’d just taken the lead when a Ferrari came out of the pits with cold tyres in front of me. I thought he’d let me and Joey Hand pass because after all we were fighting for class victory. But he blocked us. When I tried to overtake him I came onto the dirt beside the ideal line, lost grip and crashed into the wall.”

For a time, Sascha Maassen also held the lead. The former Porsche works driver used the first caution phase of the race to make a quick refuelling stop and after 48 laps, whilst most of his opponents were pitting, he snatched the lead position. Five laps later he handed the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Paul Miller Racing over to his teammate Bryce Miller, who brought it over the finish line in twelfth.

Double Porsche Supercup champion, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) slipped into the lead of the GTC class just after the half-way mark of the race and went on to claim the second victory of the season for the Black Swan Racing squad with Tim Pappas.

Round 3 of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 9 July in Lime Rock, Connecticut.

Statistics: 2nd race in Long Beach, CA

Result GT class
1. Müller/Hand (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 81 laps
2. Gavin/Magnussen (GB/DK), Chevrolet Corvette, 81
3. Melo/Vilander (BRA/SF), Ferrari F458, 81
4. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 80
5. Beretta/Milner (MC/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 80
6. da Matta/Junqueira (BRA/BRA), Jaguar XKR, 79
8. Law/Neiman (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 78

Result GTC class
1. Pappas/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 77 laps
2. Sweedler/Keen (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 77
3. Potter/Stanton (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 76

Points’ standings GT class
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 50 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 36
3. Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner, Chevrolet, 31
4. Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, Andy Priaulx, BMW, 30
5. Augusto Farfus, BMW, 26
6. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, 25
9. Darren Law, Seth Neiman, Porsche, 19

1. BMW, 50 points
2. Chevrolet, 39
3. Ferrari, 26
4. Porsche, 21

1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 50 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 39
3. Risi Competizione, Ferrari, 25
4. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 21

Points’ standings GTC class
1. Tim Pappas, Porsche, 50 points

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:

GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers is traditionally extremely well supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 750 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and an 825 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

All race cars start together but are classified separately. This ensures racing that is exciting and constantly changing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are awarded only for placings in each class.

Public Relations and Media Motor and Sports Press Oliver Hilger

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