Another success for the Porsche RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series: In Salt Lake City, Klaus Graf (Germany) and Greg Pickett (USA) claimed third place with the Muscle Milk Cytosport run sports prototype from Weissach. In the GT class, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) saw the flag in fifth. Recently, the pair celebrated two straight wins with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.
For the title defenders, who travelled to the Great Salt Lake as points’ leaders after winning in Long Beach and Laguna Seca, the race in Miller Motorsports Park did not run according to plan. First, Joerg Bergmeister had to pit after losing air from his left rear tyre, with the same fate happening later to Patrick Long, just as he was fighting a BMW for second place. Through this mishap, they lost so much time that they were unable to hold off their strong opponents from Ferrari, BMW, Jaguar and Chevrolet.
“We didn’t have the fastest car this weekend and on top of that we had to pit twice as many times as our strongest rivals – still we could have brought home a podium result had we not experienced these tyres problems,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “Our pit crew did everything to keep us up the front, but it just wasn’t enough. Still, there are five races left. If we can improve by one or two positions then we’ll be back in action. Nothing is lost yet.”
Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA) had to take up the race from the back of the field with their Falken Tire 911 GT3 RSR. That they even made it to the grid was quite an achievement. During qualifying on Saturday, the rear of the #17 vehicle suddenly caught fire, making their participation in the race on Sunday look unlikely. The mechanics of the American squad, which is supported by Porsche Motorsport North America, put in a strenuous nightshift to replace all the damaged parts. In the race the 911 GT3 RSR saw the flag in ninth in the GT class. “Because of missing out on the qualifying we had no chance to set-up the car for the track,” said Wolf Henzler. “But we caught up in the race. At the end we were around one and a half seconds faster per lap than at the beginning. We were happy to be able to drive at all.”
In the GTC class, double Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) celebrated his second win of the season in the American Le Mans Series with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Whilst teammate Timothy Pappas (USA) put in the first stint, Jeroen Bleekemolen watched Spain play the Netherlands in the World Cup finale – to then go one-up on his compatriots. Round 5 of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 24 July in Lime Rock, Connecticut.