Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder Regains Sebring Glory; Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup Cars Sweep GT Challenge Class; Lizard Porsches Salvage Important Fourth and Fifth Points #44 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR captures Michelin Green X Challenge for the GT2 Class by utilizing E-85 fuel, efficient Porsche six-cylinder engine, and smooth crew operation
SEBRING, Fla. – March 20 – The Porsche RS Spyder, which scored Porsche’s most recent overall win at Sebring International Raceway (2008) and an LMP2 class win in 2007, returned to the top step of the podium for the 58th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring as Greg Pickett (USA), Klaus Graf and Sascha Maassen (both Germany) drove the Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder to class win and fourth overall finish.
Pickett, who has been sports car racing for more than 30 years, including a Sebring IMSA GT0 win (Camaro with Tommy Riggins in 1987) and several SCCA Trans-Am championships, was thrilled with the effort of his drivers in their fifth-straight podium finish.
“We have been running the Porsche RS Spyder since last July, and the car has performed flawlessly, always predictable and always reliable. Today, we were behind early, but we pushed ahead, with Klaus and Sascha pushing the Muscle Milk car to the top when the opportunity presented itself,” said Pickett, whose car outdistanced the Honda Performance Development ARX-01c.
Sascha Maassen, who had four GT2 wins in the early part of the decade in Alex Job Racing Porsches, pointed out the significance of the win for this remarkable race car.
“This is the first customer team win for the Porsche RS Spyder in North America, and the car was absolutely perfect all week. I really look forward to running with the Muscle Milk team again in May at Laguna Seca Raceway.
In GT2, the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finished fourth in the GT2 class after leading early, only to be booted back to fifth place by an accident and a subsequent pace car snafu which caused the defending champions to lose three laps half-way through the event. While lapping the #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the Lizards’ Joerg Bergmeister was in the wrong place when the Falken car lost a wheel and it bounced off to the Lizard Porsche and caused it to bend a wheel and lose a tire. Making matters worse, the team lost three laps with their subsequent pit stop as the series pace car was slow to pick up the leaders during the yellow flag, and the pits remained close, so the team could not get to work changing the wheel.
The Melo/Bruni/Kaffer Ferrari won the GT2 class, and the factory BMWs were second and third.
“I should have played the lottery today
, because the chance of winning the big money is greater than the chance I would be hit by a wheel from (fellow Porsche factory driver) Wolf Henzler,” said Bergmeister.
“Perhaps fourth place is a good omen as last year, we finished fourth as well, and Patrick Long and I went on to win five races in a row and the GT2 championship for Porsche and Flying Lizard,” said Bergmeister.
The #44 team Porsche, driven by team owner Seth Neiman, Darren Law, and Porsche factory driver Richard Lietz, who finished fifth in GT2, and also won the Michelin Green X Challenge GT contest, the best Green Achievement score from a formula which measures performance efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and petroleum displacement. The #45 Lizard Porsche was second in the Michelin Green X Challenge.
“The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR continues to show our sports car customers around the world that Porsche makes the most efficient GT2 race car,” said Lietz.
The #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which was running sixth in the GT2 class for the first seven hours of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, lost a right rear wheel on the course, came in for a replacement and fender repair, and then lost the same wheel again, bringing out the full course yellow flag that involved the Flying Lizards car. The car started on the front row, and Wolf Henzler led the first ten laps in GT2 before several competitors got by him. Henzler, along with Bryan Sellers and Patrick Pilet, ended up 12th after their multiple wheel problems.
In the GT Challenge class, the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, led by the #81 Mission Foods Porsche piloted by Leh Keen/Butch Leitzinger/Juan Gonzales, finished first, second and third.
Second place went to the Bill Sweedler/Romeo Kapudija/Jan-Dirk Lueders Battery Tender Porsche, while the Car Amigo Porsche of Ricardo Gonzales, Luiz Diaz, and Patrick Kelly was third.
Alex Job, who now has his seventh Sebring win, told the emotional crowd in victory circle that this is special for him because of the location of his shop (Tavaras, near Orlando), and the hard-working crew which prepared the cars.
“The sponsors of these cars, my skilled and loyal crew, and this great group of drivers made our day just perfect. I am happy to be back in the American Le Mans Series, and hope for a championship season,” said Job.
Complete results are available on www.americanlemans.com