A successful premiere for Porsche on the Virginia International Raceway. At the first American Le Mans Series race on the challenging natural race track close to Alton in the US State of Virginia, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) scored second place in the GT class at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports. With this, the winners from Lime Rock moved up the championship table to now rank third. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche has overtaken BMW to now lie second.
“This race was a real challenge right from the start. If we’d had a little more luck with our first pit stop, it would have definitely been tight at the end,”said Joerg Bergmeister. “But I came in shortly before a safety car phase. That was the worst possible timing. This threw me way back in the field.” Still, just after the start, the German experienced good luck when he emerged unscathed from a mass collision in the first corner. “That was close. I’d made up two positions but then the track was blocked and I had to drive over the gravel at the side of the track to get past.” Patrick Long said, “We can be happy with second place. After the safety car phase which came at a very inopportune moment for us, we were able to fight our way up from twelfth place. After all the problems we’ve experienced this year it would be simply fantastic to conclude the season on the Road Atlanta circuit in second.”
In the second Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Marco Holzer (Germany) enjoyed one of his best races in the American Le Mans Series. At his first event on the Virginia International Raceway with team owner Seth Neiman (USA), the Porsche factory pilot spent more than three of the hour hours of racing in the cockpit and managed to beat the strong opposition from BMW and Corvette. For this first-class performance, he was rewarded with fifth place. “I started from sixth on the grid and had to drive onto the gravel to avoid the collision in the first corner, but luckily I got through without problems,” he said. “Afterwards I worked my way into second place, and in doing so I turned the fastest race lap. Our car handled beautifully and the first stint was great fun. When I took the cockpit again from Seth we still had a little over an hour to go. We were running behind, but I managed to overtake several opponents and bring the Porsche over the line in fifth. The Lizard boys again gave us incredible support today with great pit stops.”
With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of the Falken Tire squad, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his American teammate Bryan Sellers, the winners of the last race in Baltimore, were flagged off as seventh. “That was not a perfect day for us,” said Wolf Henzler. “We had to pit more often than our competitors and it put us a couple laps down. But it turned out to be a handicap that we didn’t test here like most of the other teams.” Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) concluded the race in tenth with the 911 of Paul Miller Racing. Victory in the GTC class went to Americans Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. With their success, Cooper MacNeil has secured an early class win.
Round ten of the American Le Mans Series, “Petit Le Mans”, is contested on 20 October on the Road Atlanta race track in Braselton in the US State of Georgia.