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American Le Mans Series, rd 1 in Sebring, USA – Green light for new World Endurance Championship

World Endurance Championship / American Le Mans Series, round 1 in Sebring, USA

Stuttgart. With the qualifying session for the tradition-steeped twelve hour race on the Sebring International Raceway in Florida/USA, both the new World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series took off into the new season. The long distance classic, at which the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR makes its race debut, marks the only time that the two series run together.

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In the GTE Pro class of the World Endurance Championship, Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) planted his Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on the fifth grid spot.

At the wheel of the second Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, Paolo Ruberti (Italy) posted fourth in the GTE Am class.

“My lap was perfect and our car feels very good,” said Richard Lietz.

“Still, the gap is too big. We’ll be analysing this and trying to close that gap as quickly as possible.”

In the American Le Mans Series, Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) also posted the fifth best time in the GT class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.

“That was a decent lap,” he said, “but it was all that was possible today.” His works driver colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) clocked the eighth quickest time in Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

“We have to get more familiar with our new car,” he said. “It handles the bumps extremely well, but we still experienced way too much oversteer.”

Sascha Maassen (Germany) posted the new 911 run by Paul Miller Racing on ninth and commented,

“We turned our fastest lap of the weekend during qualifying and that’s exactly how it should be. But we’re still in the process of familiarising ourselves with the tyres of the new car. And there’s a great deal of potential there.”

Several pilots from the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup are using the GTC class, which they contest with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, to gain experience in international long distance racing.

The seasoned Supercup and Carrera Cup pilot Sean Edwards (Great Britain) clinched pole position with Damien Faulkner (Ireland) posting second. Reigning Supercup rookie champion Kévin Estre (France) put his 911 on position five.

Nicki Thiim (Denmark), who contests the world’s fastest international one-brand series for the 2012 season, qualified on sixth.

“That was an exciting qualifying. We are all very close,” said Sean Edwards.

“My team has done a great job in preparing the 911. Last year an accident before the qualifying prevented us from competing in the race. Now we’re back with a vengeance.”

The race starts on Saturday, 17 March, at 10.30 hrs local time (15.30 hrs CET) and is broadcast live on http://www.alms.com.

Qualifying result

World Endurance Championshi
GTE Pro class
1. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:58.427 minutes
2. Jaime Melo (BRA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.286 seconds
3. Olivier Beretta (MC), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.611
4. Stefan Mücke (D), Aston Martin Vantage, + 1.697
5. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.779

GTE Am class
1. Dominik Farnbacher (D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:00.258 minutes
2. Niclas Jonsson (S), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.745 seconds
3. Pedro Lamy (P), Chevrolet Corvette, + 1.456
4. Paolo Ruberti (I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.603

American Le Mans Series
GT class
1. Jan Magnussen (DK), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:58.996 minutes
2. Oliver Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.011 seconds
3. Joey Hand (USA), BMW M3, + 1.031
4. Johannes van Overbeek (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.098
5. Jörg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.123
8. Wolf Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.636
9. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 3.154
10. Seth Neiman (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 8.358

GTC class
1. Sean Edwards (GB), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:06.674 minutes
2. Damien Faulkner (IRL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, +0.023 seconds
3. Leh Keen (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.037

This is the World Endurance Championship

Sports prototypes and GT vehicles race in the new World Endurance Championship. They are divided into four classes that start together but are classified separately:

LMGTE Pro class: This class is reserved for slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
LMGTE Am class: Like the LMGTE Pro, but the regulations stipulate that there must be no more than one professional driver per vehicle.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class:Sports prototypes with around 440 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.

This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. At the season-opener in Sebring, the field is divided into five classes that start together but are classified separately:
GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers traditionally receives the most support: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series like the 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 a 900 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 

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Porsche secures vice-championship with 2nd place at Road Atlanta Petit Le Mans-ALMS Rd 9

American Le Mans Series, round 9 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 6 in Road Atlanta, USA

Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France)

Stuttgart. A strong season finale for Porsche in the American Le Mans Series: At the thrilling 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France) snatched second place in a heart-stopping final.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France)

At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, the trio were a mere six seconds shy of a GT class victory after more than nine and a half hours packed with tough fights for positions and many changes at the lead. Their second position secured the vice-championship for Porsche in the race series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA)

”Patrick Long added:

“We stuck to our plan and kept out of any trouble so that we could attack in the last ten laps. This plan worked.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver  Patrick Pilet (France)

“It was a fantastic experience to contest the Petit Le Mans for Flying Lizard Motorsports,” said Patrick Pilet.

“Over the course of the race the balance of our car became better and better and towards the end it was virtually perfect. I’m totally happy.

On the time-honoured circuit in the US state of Georgia, Joerg Bergmeister again showed nerves of steel, waiting until the penultimate lap before making his decisive move on the BMW in front of him.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany)

“In my last stint I speculated that I would be able to snatch the BMW,” said the five-time Road Atlanta winner.

“I used the traffic after the safety car phase, took a risk and overtook him on the outside through Turn six. I’m pleased that I secured the decisive points to win the tyre manufacturers’ classification for Michelin.”

His teammates Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet had laid the foundation for this success with their faultless performances.

Another decisive factor in this good result aside from the strong performance of the drivers was the perfect work of the pit crew.

“The entire Flying Lizard squad did a tremendous job. Every single pit stop was incredible,” commented Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

“Through their excellent effort, the team compensated very well for the handicap from the Balance of Performance measures that were again in place here. In a sensational push at the end, Joerg Bergmeister secured second place and this gave our partner Michelin the tyre manufacturers’ title. Well done to all those who contributed to this success.”

Rounding off the excellent team result for Porsche at the 1,000 mile classic was Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammates Bryan Sellers (USA) and Martin Ragginger (Austria).

Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammate Martin Ragginger (Austria)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger

Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Falken Tire, they brought home fifth place.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger

“I’m very pleased with this,” said Wolf Henzler, winner of the races in Mid-Ohio and Baltimore together with Bryan Sellers.

“We drove a controlled race and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. I can look back on a good season with two victories to our credit. That was more than we had expected.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Darren Law, Seth Neiman

Factory pilot colleague Marco Holzer (Germany) and his American teammates Seth Neiman und Darren Law saw the flag in eighth place in the second Flying-Lizard Porsche.

Darren Law

Victory in the GTC class went to Porsche Supercup pilots Jeroen and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Netherlands) together with American Tim Pappas, who won the title.

Petit Le Mans, which counts as a round of the GTE Am class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, brought no luck for Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria):

Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria)

With the Proton Competition-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR he lay in the lead, but had to retire after 163 laps with a damaged drive system.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition: Richard Lietz, Christian Ried, Mark Bullitt

Statistics: 9th and final race in Road Atlanta, Georgia

Result GT class
1. Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer (I/I/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 367 laps
2. Bergmeister/Long/Pilet (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 367
3. Werner/Auberlen/Farfus (D/USA/BRA), BMW M3 GT, 367
4. Magnussen/Gavin/Westbrook (DK/GB/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 366
5. Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger (D/USA/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 365
6. Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher (USA/USA/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 365
8. Holzer/Neiman/Law (D/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 361
11. Maassen/Miller/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 357

Result GTC class
1. J./S. Bleekemolen/Pappas (NL/NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 346 laps
2. Sweedler/Keen/Wong (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 346
3. Pumpelly/Ende/Ludwig (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 345

Final standings GT class
Drivers
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 161 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 135
3. Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 129
4. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 102
5. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 97
6. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 83

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 180 points
2. Porsche, 162
3. Chevrolet, 139
4. Ferrari, 127

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 180 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 139
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 115
4. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 97

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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.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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American Le Mans Series, rd 9 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, rd 6 – Road Atlanta, USA

Fifth grid spot for fastest Porsche

Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister

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.

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (USA)

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).

Porsche factory pilot 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.

Bryan Sellers (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany)

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.

Martin Ragginger (Austria)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad

 

Darren Law (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany)

Seth Neiman (USA)

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.


Qualifying result

GT class
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

GTC class
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:24.543 minutes

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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.

SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Database
Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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American Le Mans Series, rd 6 in Elkhart Lake, USA-Porsche pilots with new optimism after season’s 1st victory

Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler

Stuttgart. After the first American Le Mans Series win of the season, the Porsche teams head to the legendary Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake with new confidence. Porsche factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his American teammate Bryan Sellers will try to repeat their brilliant Mid-Ohio win with their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Falken Tire.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

And with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by Flying Lizard Motorsports, title defenders Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) also have high hopes for the four-hour race in the US state of Wisconsin. After all, the pair have already clinched three victories in Elkhart Lake.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long

The race

This venue has been a regular fixture on the American Le Mans Series calendar since 2002. This season, the race runs over four hours.

The circuit

The 6.514 kilometre Road America circuit is one of America’s oldest race tracks and is regarded as the cradle of sports car racing in the USA. The circuit layout with its long finish straight and 14 corners has changed considerably since its foundation in 1955. Most fans watch the races from the hills surrounding the track. The first street race in Elkhart Lake, two hours’ drive north of Chicago, was run in 1950. The circuit of that time was awarded a place in the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

The Porsche drivers

Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long drive the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports as reigning GT champions of the American Le Mans Series and three-time Road America winners.

Jörg Bergmeister

Patrick Long

Their works driver colleague Wolf Henzler, who recently won in Mid-Ohio with Bryan Sellers, drives the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of the Falken Tire team.

Bryan Sellers, Wolf Henzler

At his debut in Elkhart Lake, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) shares driving duties in the second Flying Lizard Porsche with American Seth Neiman.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Seth Neiman

Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) take up the race for Paul Miller Racing in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Paul Miller Racing: Sascha Maassen, Bryce Miller

Quotes before the race

Joerg Bergmeister:

“All year I look forward to this race. Road America is my all-time favourite circuit. It’s very fast, very hilly and very challenging – and those are all the things a race driver loves. The race track doesn’t really suit our car, but still the Porsche was very successful there in the last years. So I’m also feeling optimistic this time.”

Patrick Long:

“The smallest mistake here always costs a lot of time. To be able to keep up at the front everything has to run perfectly. And of course the strategy plays a major role at a four-hour race.”

Wolf Henzler:

“The characteristic of Road America with its long straights and fast corners is totally unlike any other circuit on the ALMS calendar. We tested there with very good results and in the race I hope we can now use what we learned. The whole team is highly motivated after winning in Mid-Ohio. We all want to show that this success is not a coincidence.”

Marco Holzer:

“This marks my third race in the American Le Mans Series and the third on a totally unfamiliar circuit. I’ve watched several videos of Road America and I’m very much looking forward to racing on this extraordinary race track.”

The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

The most successful GT race car of the last years took off into the season with a raft of improvements. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine was increased to 455 hp (335 kW). Priority in the development of the car was given to the newly designed aerodynamics at the front and rear. In 2010, the 911 GT3 RSR again won the environmental “Michelin Green X Challenge” classification as the GT vehicle with the best overall efficiency in the American Le Mans Series.

Porsche successes

Of the nine races that have been contested here as part of the American Le Mans Series, Porsche as the most successful manufacturer has won seven. Five victories in the GT/GT2 class went to Joerg Bergmeister, who triumphed with Timo Bernhard in 2002 and 2004, as well as with Patrick Long in 2005, 2006 and 2009. In 2003, Craig Stanton and Johnny Mowlem won for Porsche, in 2008 Dirk Werner, Richard Westbrook and Bryan Sellers. In 2007, Timo Bernhard und Romain Dumas snatched overall honours at the wheel of the Porsche RS Spyder.

The schedule

The race in Elkhart Lake takes off on Saturday, 20 August, at 15.00 hours local time (22.00 hrs CEST) and is broadcast live in the internet on www.americanlemans.com/live. The GT qualifying on Friday is shown on www.porsche.com/alms-live from 22.25 hours CEST.

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. All classes start together but are classified separately:

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.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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Porsche Factory Driver, Wolf Henzler claims 1st season win for Porsche after superb chase

Bryan Sellers (USA), Wolf Henzler (Germany)

American Le Mans Series, round 5 in Lexington, USA

Stuttgart. On the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) celebrated a brilliant victory in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: With a sensational charge through the field in torrential rain, he clinched the first win of the season for Porsche with his teammate Bryan Sellers on the traditional circuit in America’s Midwest in the fiercely-contested GT class of the American Le Mans Series.

Bryan Sellers (USA)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

For his Falken Tire team, this marks the first ever win in the popular race series with the world’s fastest sports cars.

Wolf Henzler (Germany)

“What an unbelievable race. The rain came just at the right moment,” said Wolf Henzler after his second Mid-Ohio win against strong opposition from BMW, Ferrari and Chevrolet. “When they called me in to the pits to switch to wet tyres I didn’t really want to at first. I would have preferred to stay on slicks as I had enough grip. But the team made the right decision. Thanks to Falken for the super tyres. The boys work so hard. Now they are finally rewarded for their untiring efforts.”

When it comes to drama, the final phase of the race that started under sunny skies was unsurpassed. First a few raindrops fell causing a flurry in the pits.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

Then came a sudden heavy shower. That was the Wolf Henzler’s chance – and he used it:

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

When the race restarted after a yellow flag and most of his rivals had their hands full keeping their cars on the flooded circuit, he charged from fifth to the lead in just one lap – even passing Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) who had led the field until that point after a strong drive with the Flying Lizard Motorsports-run 911 GT3 RSR.

“In the final lap many cars driving on the inside line of the track spun. I found grip on the outside and could overtake them all,” said Wolf Henzler. “Falken has tested in rain in Mid-Ohio. We trusted these tyres and they yielded us victory.”

Bryan Sellers (USA) , Wolf Henzler (Germany)

Whilst Wolf Henzler brought home his first win of the season in heavy rain, Patrick Long struggled with the amount of water on the circuit.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long

The teammate of Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) took up the race from the second grid row, slid into the gravel trap and fell back to ninth place.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long

Shortly afterwards, with ten minutes left to the finish, the race was red-flagged and not restarted due to the persistent rain.

Patrick Long (USA)

“Our car was good, the set-up and strategy worked well – that was our race,” said Patrick Long. “But when the rain arrived, we lost grip and everyone started sliding around, even those on wets.”

Joerg Bergmeister (Germany)

In front of the title defenders Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) finished in eighth place at the wheel of their Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Bryce Miller (USA)

Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

Sascha Maassen (Germany)

Americans Seth Neiman and Darren Law planted the second Flying Lizard Porsche on tenth. Victory in the GTC class went to Americans Spencer Pumpelly and Duncan Ende in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Darren Law, Seth Neiman

Darren Law (USA)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Darren Law, Seth Neiman

Round six of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 20th August on the Road America race track in Elkhart Lake in the US state of Wisconsin.

Statistics: Race 5 in Lexington, Ohio

Result GT class
1. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 92 laps
2. Magnussen/Gavin (DK/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 92
3. Werner/Auberlen (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 92
4. Müller/Hand (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 92
5. Sharp/van Overbeek (USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 92
6. Beretta/Milner (MC/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 92
8. Maassen/Miller (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 91
9. Bergmeister/Long (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 91
10. Law/Neiman (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 89

Result GTC class
1. Pumpelly/Ende (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 87 laps
2. Bleekemolen/Pappas (NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 87
3. Potter/Stanton (USA/USA), Portsche 911 GT3 Cup, 87

Points’ standings GT class
Drivers
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 80 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 73
3. Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 59
4. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 46
5. Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner, Chevrolet, 45
6. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 41
7. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 36

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 96 points
2. Chevrolet, 77
3. Porsche, 72
4. Ferrari, 60

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 96 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 77
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 60

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.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to their respective classes. This ensures exciting and diverse racing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are only awarded for placings in each class.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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American Le Mans Series, rd 5 Mid Ohio, USA-Bergmeister & Long 2nd grid row

Stuttgart. The Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) take up the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from the second row of the grid.

Joerg Bergmeister

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Joerg Bergmeister, two-time winner at Mid-Ohio, set the fourth quickest time in the GT class qualifying on the 3.621 kilometre circuit in America’s Midwest.

Flying Lizard Motorsports #45

“To start from the second row is not so bad considering the strong competition. If we get away well we could probably make up one or two positions,” said Joerg Bergmeister.

“The 15 kilogram weight handicap that we were handed prior to Mid-Ohio costs us about two-tenths of a second per lap. But we’re still hoping that the better strategy of our Flying Lizard crew can make the difference over the race distance.”

Patrick Long

At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the Falken Tire squad, Bryan Sellers (USA) posted the ninth quickest time.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the Falken Tire

Bryan Sellers

Sellers shares driving duties for the race on Saturday with Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany).

Wolf Henzler

Sascha Maassen (Germany) claimed the 13th grid spot with Paul Miller Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Paul Miller Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

Sascha Maassen

Bryce Miller

Two places behind him is Seth Neiman from America in the second Flying Lizard Porsche.

Flying Lizard Motorsports #44

Seth Neiman

Darren Law

The race starts on Saturday at 15.30 hours local time (21.30 hrs CEST) and runs over 2:45 hours, with a live broadcast on www.americanlemans.com.

Qualifying result

GT class
1. Joey Hand (USA), BMW M3 GT, 1:20.539 minutes
2. Dirk Werner (D), BMW M3 GT, + 0.116 seconds
3. Jaime Melo (BRA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.206
4. Joerg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.378
5. Oliver Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.405
6. Guy Cosmo (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.529
9. Bryan Sellers (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.382
13. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.545
15. Seth Neiman (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 4.173

GTC class
1. Spencer Pumpelly (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:29.521 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.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to their respective classes. This ensures exciting and diverse racing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are only awarded for placings in each class.

Race: Aug. 6, 2011, 3:30 pm ET; 2 hour, 45 minutes ESPN2: Aug. 7, 10:00 pm-12:00 am ET ESPN3.com qualifying live: Aug. 5 2:20- 3:35 pm ET ESPN3.com race live: Aug. 6, 3:15-6:30 pm ET Europe: Live on MotorsTV Latin America: Live on Fox Canada: Live on Rogers SportsNet Outside of the U.S.: live at americanlemans.com/live
(broadcast times may vary by market; check your local listings)

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

 

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