American Le Mans Series, round 5 in Lime Rock, USA
© 2009 Darren Pierson/DPerceptions
Porsche is eager to continue its success streak in the American Le Mans Series in Lime Rock Park. On the race track situated in the picturesque countryside of the US State of Connecticut, the world’s fastest sports cars take off on Sunday into the fifth round of the season. At the wheel of their Flying Lizard Motorsports 911 GT3 RSR, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) have their fourth straight win in sight. The last time the pair secured four wins in a row was back in 2005 – before going on to claim the championship title.
Title defender Joerg Bergmeister has good memories of the short 2.480 kilometre race track located two and a half hours’ drive from the skyscrapers of New York City. From 2006 to 2008, he won the hotly-contested GT2 class every time in Lime Rock with the 911 GT3 RSR – in 2006 with Patrick Long with whom he pursues his third American Le Mans title this year after wins in St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Salt Lake City.
‘The track certainly has its appeal, but it’s still not one of my favourites,’ says Joerg Bergmeister. ‘The traffic is often quite chaotic and you need a little bit of luck to get through safely. With the many caution phases, which occur quite often, smooth pit stops are imperative. But we don’t have to worry about that because Flying Lizard is a team that can do pit stops with their eyes closed.’
In Lime Rock Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long compete with a new chassis. The old one got a battering in a collision at Sebring, but after the season-opening there was not enough time to immediately construct a completely new car. This was only possible, after three victories, in the Le Mans break. As far as Patrick Long is concerned, nothing will change: ‘Our car was fast during the whole season and I’m assuming this will continue to be the case.’
In Farnbacher Loles Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) – who won at Lime Rock last year with Joerg Bergmeister and went on the claim the title – hopes to finally make the breakthrough. Henzler has taken up two races from pole position so far this season with Dirk Werner (Germany), and with his works driver colleague Marc Lieb he recently pocketed second place in Salt Lake City – but he is still waiting for his first win of the season.
In Lime Rock, the Flying Lizard Motorsports customer team will again field a second 911 GT3 RSR driven by Johannes van Overbeek (USA) and Seth Neiman (USA). The 911 GT3 RSR of VICI Racing is manned by Johannes Stuck (Austria) and Richard Westbrook (Great Britain). After the successful premiere in Salt Lake City, the ALMS Challenge will feature for the second time this season in Lime Rock as part of the American Le Mans Series. Five Porsche 911 GT3 Cup vehicles take part in this new class, which is a category under GT2.
The race takes off on Saturday, 18 July, at 14.00 hours local time (20.00 hours CEST) and runs over 2:45 hours.