Fifth grid spot for fastest Porsche
Stuttgart. With his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Joerg Bergmeister takes up the 1,000 mile race in Road Atlanta on Saturday from position five on the grid. In qualifying for Petit Le Mans, the final round of the American Le Mans Series, the Porsche works driver from Germany was only eight-tenths of a second shy of the top GT-class time on the storied circuit in the US state of Georgia. In the race, the five-time Road Atlanta winner shares driving duties in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche with his factory pilot colleagues Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France).
“We are actually in a better position ahead of the Corvettes than we expected,” said Joerg Bergmeister, who is the reigning GT champion of the American Le Mans Series with Patrick Long. “That was the fastest lap that we’ve ever driven in Road Atlanta. I’m not surprised that the BMWs are faster than us here because at this race, which also counts towards the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the Balance of Performance rules from Europe apply and this means an even greater power handicap for us. But I hope that we’re more up with the play during the race than we were in qualifying. Then anything is possible.”
Bryan Sellers (USA) posted the twelfth quickest time at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad, which he shares with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), the winner of Mid-Ohio and Baltimore. For the race they receive support from Martin Ragginger (Austria). American Darren Law, teammate of Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) and Seth Neiman (USA) in the second Flying-Lizard Porsche, secured the 14th grid spot.
In the GTE Am class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Porsche works pilot Richard Lietz clinched the third quickest time with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Proton Competition. “That was a decent lap. Aside from a little understeer it was actually perfect,” said the Austrian who joins forces with Christian Ried (Germany) and Mark Bullitt (USA). “This track reminds me more of the Petit Nordschleife than the Petit Le Mans. It’s my first time here but my teammates and I have almost ten hours to familiarise ourselves with the circuit.”
The 1,000 mile race starts on Saturday at 11.30 hrs local time (17.30 hrs CEST) and is broadcast live in the internet on www.americanlemans.com.
1. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:18.669 minutes
2. Dirk Werner (D), BMW M3 GT, + 0.087 seconds
3. Jörg Müller (D), BMW M3 GT, + 0.520
4. Jaime Melo (BRA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.548
5. Jörg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.812
6. Johannes van Overbeek (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.820
12. Bryan Sellers (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.078
14. Darren Law (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.391
16. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.878
GTE Am class
1. Rui Aguas (P), Ferrari F430, 1:20.619 minutes
2. Niclas Jönsson (S), Ferrari F430, + 0.261 seconds
3. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.278
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:24.543 minutes
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 550 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.
As part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the GTE Am class is also contested in Road Atlanta. The difference to the GT class: Vehicles in the 2010 technical specification may be entered and the rules stipulate that only one professional race driver per vehicle is permitted.
All classes 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.
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