For the first time since the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR teams put their cars on the GT class front row for tomorrow New England Grand Prix, round five of the 2010 American Le Mans Series at Lime Rock Park in northwest Connecticut.
Patrick Long (USA) captured the GT pole with the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the car he shares with Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), while Wolf Henzler (Germany) put the Team Falken Tire Porsche in the second position, ahead of the factory Ferraris, BMWs and Corvettes. Henzler will share the Falken Porsche with Bryan Sellers (USA).
The two-hour, 45-minute New England Grand Prix field will get the green flag Saturday, July 24, at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight time, and will be telecast live in its entirety on SPEED TV. The live radio broadcast will be on Sirius Radio Channel #127 and XM Radio Channel #242, as well as on www.americanlemans.com, which also provides live timing and scoring.
“"At Lime Rock, there is a fine line between being a hero and going into the guardrail, but the Flying Lizard crew and Michelin put us in position to turn a good lap in the steady rain,"” said Long, "who had the pole here in both 2006 and 2009.
“"With our engine over the rear axle, the Porsche has an advantage in the rain over our competitors, and then our crew really nailed the setup, so it gave me all the right tools to go fast. With the competition in our class, you can turn a good lap and still end up seventh on the grid, so this is a great result for us.” Henzler, whose Team Falken Tire Porsche was completely rebuilt after a fuel fire at Salt Lake City two weeks ago, was pleased with the car’s front row position on the grid."
“"When the conditions are this wet, there is always the potential to lock up the wheels under braking, so the difference for us was the performance of our Falken rain tires. Even though we were pleased with our time, we felt we could have gone even faster – maybe not fast enough for the pole, but faster – if the traffic was better. Of course, the weight in the back of the Porsche helped us as well,"” said Henzler.
Bergmeister (left)/Long trail Ferrari drivers Melo/Bruni by two points in the drivers points chase, while Porsche is a single point behind BMW in the manufacturers championship going into tomorrow’s event.
In the overall LMP qualifying, Klaus Graf (Germany), in the Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder which he shares with team owner Greg Pickett (USA), qualified a close second to pole-sitter David Brabham (England). Graf was fastest in both practice sessions earlier in the day, and showed the field that he will be a factor in tomorrow’s event.
In the GTC class for matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) scored his third straight pole in a row as he put the Black Swan Racing Porsche on the pole for him and car owner Tim Pappas (USA). Bleekemolen and Pappas are back in the championship hunt in the class after leaders Gonzales and Leitzinger withdrew their entry.
News used with permission from American LeMans Series. Photos Copyright 2010 Dave Kennedy/Slot Car News