Porsche Teams Hope for a Good Start to the Second Half of Season
American Le Mans Series, Round 5 in Lexington/USA
Stuttgart – With the race on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 6 August, the American Le Mans Series heads into the second half of the season. On the storied circuit in the Midwest of America, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) are eager to continue the success story with the Flying Lizard Motorsports-run 911 GT3 RSR that Porsche wrote over the last years.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge has been contested since 2001 – with a break in 2003 – as part of the American Le Mans Series. On this weekend, fans get two for the price of one: Aside from the world’s fastest sports cars, they are also treated to another very popular US championship – the Indycar Series.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is 3.621 kilometres long and features 13 corners. It is situated north of Cincinnati not far from Lexington in the US state of Ohio. The circuit opened in 1962 and was adapted to the latest safety standards in 1990.
The Porsche drivers
As reigning GT champions of the American Le Mans Series, Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) compete with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR entered by Flying Lizard Motorsports. In the second car of this successful squad from California, American Seth Neiman teams up with his compatriot Darren Law. Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) shares the cockpit of Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Bryan Sellers from the USA. Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) again start for Paul Miller Racing in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The changes to the Balance of Performance measures that were originally to be introduced at the last race in Mosport will now finally be enforced in Mid-Ohio. That’s why I expect some exciting race action.”
Joerg Bergmeister: “A classic race track with long straights and tight corners. It’s demanding and great fun. It’s important to get a good grid position in Mid-Ohio and above all to find the right set-up. We’ll have to work particularly hard with our engineers, because the Indycars leave a lot of rubber on the track and that constantly changes the grip level. You have to have the right touch.”
Patrick Long: “Our team has managed to find the right set-up for our car on every track to now. Hopefully, the boys will do it again in Mid-Ohio, even if it’s especially tricky there. We’ve already shown that this circuit suits us very well.”
Wolf Henzler: “Mid-Ohio is one of the venues where we tested during the Le Mans break. Thanks to this we’ve made great strides forward, and we reaped the rewards in Lime Rock. I just hope that will also be the case in Mid-Ohio. The circuit isn’t extremely demanding but it has several great corners.”
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
The most successful GT race car of the last years takes off into the season with a raft of improvements. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine has increased to 455 hp (335 kW). Priority in the further development of the car was given to the newly designed aerodynamics at the front and rear. In 2010, the 911 GT3 RSR again won the environmental “Michelin Green X Challenge” classification as the GT vehicle with the best overall efficiency in the American Le Mans Series.
In the past, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has always proven to be excellent turf for Porsche. With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Joerg Bergmeister celebrated two victories in the GT2 class – in 2009 with Patrick Long, and in 2007 with Johannes van Overbeek. Wolf Henzler won here in 2006, also with Johannes van Overbeek, who triumphed in 2004 with Darren Law. In 2005, class victory went to Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, in 2002 to Kevin Buckler and B. J. Zacharias. Mid-Ohio is an important milestone in Porsche motorsport history primarily because Timo Bernhard und Romain Dumas brought home the first overall victory in 2006 with the Weissach-developed and built Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype.
Live on internet
The race in Mid-Ohio takes off on Saturday, 6 August, at 15.30 hours local time (21.30 hours CEST) and is broadcast live in the internet on www.americanlemans.com. The GT qualifying on Saturday will be shown from 20.40 hours CEST on www.porsche.com/alms-live.
The American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. All classes start together but are classified separately:
GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers is traditionally extremely well supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and an 825 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.
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