The title defenders are back: With the first victory of the season under their belts, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) travel with optimism to the final round of the American Le Mans Series on 1 October on the time-honored Road Atlanta circuit. At the 1,000 mile classic in the US State of Georgia, the Laguna Seca winners aim to conclude the season with another success with their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. One of their strongest rivals comes from their own camp: Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) has already notched up two victories so far this season from Mid-Ohio and Baltimore.
Petit Le Mans, which takes off during the day and finishes at night, is traditionally one of the season’s highlights. It has been a permanent fixture on the American Le Mans Series calendar since the championship’s foundation in 1999. This year, it also counts towards the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
It was on this challenging 4.087 kilometer race track near Braselton that the success story of the American Le Mans Series began back in 1999. With its twelve corners, Road Atlanta is one of the most venerable and challenging circuits in the United States.
The Porsche drivers
Tackling the GT class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports are Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Marc Lieb (Germany). Wolf Henzler, their factory pilot colleague from Falken Tire, shares driving duties with Bryan Sellers (USA) and Martin Ragginger (Austria). In the second Flying Lizard Porsche, works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) teams up with Americans Seth Neiman and Darren Law. Sascha Maassen (Germany) joins forces with Bryce Miller (USA) in Paul Miller Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Richard Lietz (Austria), as the sixth factory driver for Porsche, contests the GTE Am class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup for the Proton Competition squad, with Germany’s Christian Ried and Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda from Italy.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport
“With three wins from four races, our drivers have impressively demonstrated the potential of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR against strong competition. The way Wolf Henzler won in the rain at Mid-Ohio and then Joerg Bergmeister in the dramatic closing laps at Laguna Seca – now that was some of the best action fans have witnessed in the American Le Mans Series this year. This makes them hungry for more. However, the character of the Road Atlanta course and the additional race cars contesting the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup make it difficult to judge how things will go.”
“Our luck finally changed in Laguna Seca. Our first victory this season is just the right boost we need for Road Atlanta. We will do everything in our power to try and win this classic on one of America’s most beautiful race tracks. In the past it has always worked in our favor.”
“Road Atlanta is a very picturesque, but extremely difficult race track. It demands a lot from drivers, and that’s what makes it one of the greatest challenges in the American Le Mans Series.”
“I can’t wait to drive in the USA again and hope that we can wind up the season with another good result at Road Atlanta. A 1,000 mile race is somewhat of a very special format – and it’s great fun.”
“I hope we can finish well after our retirement in Laguna Seca. One of the many characteristics in Road Atlanta is the temperature differences: When we take off at midday the temperatures are predominantly warm, but when the sun goes down it becomes markedly cooler. That requires a great deal of skill and also a little bit of luck in the choice of tyres.”
“I was given the chance to gain crucial experience on many tracks that were new for me this year. Now I’m looking forward to racing on a track I’m familiar with. Road Atlanta is a fascinating venue.”
“I’m looking forward to my first race in Road Atlanta. We started the season with second place in Sebring and now we’re pinning our hopes on a good result at the second US race of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. It won’t be easy because there are many good teams competing, but we’ll do our best.”
- Porsche Motorsport