With the Petit Le Mans on the legendary Road Atlanta race track, the American Le Mans season draws to an end on 20 October. Six Porsche works drivers tackle the 1,000 mile race in the US State of Georgia. Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) join forces with Patrick Pilet (France) and hope to score their second GT class win of the season in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.
The Petit Le Mans is a highlight of the race series featuring the fastest sports cars in the world. The race on the 4.087 kilometer Road Atlanta circuit near Braselton, one of the most storied and challenging race tracks in the United States, has been contested since 1999.
The Porsche drivers
In the cockpit of Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long team up with their factory pilot colleague Patrick Pilet (France). In the Falken Tire entry, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) shares driving duties with Bryan Sellers (USA) and Martin Ragginger (Austria). Driving the sister Flying Lizard-Porsche is Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) with teammates Seth Neiman (USA) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). The sixth Porsche works driver in Petit Le Mans is Richard Lietz (Austria) who helms the 911 GT3 RSR of Paul Miller Racing with Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA).
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is the top model of Porsche Motorsport’s range of customer race cars. For the 2012 racing season, the vehicle received extensive modifications and has featured a new front splitter and an adapted rear wing since the race in Laguna Seca.
With nine GT victories since 1999, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at Road Atlanta. Joerg Bergmeister set the benchmark with five wins in a row from 2003 to 2007. With the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype, Porsche celebrated three straight victories in the LMP2 class from 2006 to 2008.
The race takes off on Saturday, 20 October, at 11.30 hrs local time (17.30 hrs CEST) and runs for maximum ten hours. The event is shown on www.americanlemans.com/live. The GT qualifying can be seen live on Friday from 20.20 hours on www.porsche.com/alms-live.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “The traditional Petit Le Mans marks the end of an extremely exciting season where we witnessed particularly tough fights in the GT class. With 40 sports cars lining up for the final round on Road Atlanta the final will certainly be another highlight.”
Joerg Bergmeister: “Petit Le Mans is a memorable finish to the season. We want to win the vice championship but to do this we have to finish in front of our competitors – and that is no easy task.”
Patrick Long: “Road Atlanta is a fantastic track. It’s a real challenge for all drivers. Of course we are hoping to be just as competitive as we were at the last races. If we manage this then anything is possible.”
Patrick Pilet: “A 1,000 mile race is always something very special. It’s a huge challenge but a heap of fun.”
Wolf Henzler: “Petit Le Mans is a very special race. At the start shortly before midday it’s usually very warm and then at dusk it turns noticeably cooler. The temperature difference makes the tyre choice more difficult.”
Marco Holzer: “Road Atlanta is a fascinating race track. I hope we can maintain our top form from the last race in Virginia. That would be a great end to the racing year.”
Richard Lietz: “I’m looking forward to contesting such a classic event. I will do everything I can to help my teammates finish the season successfully.”