After a strong performance at the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Penske Porsche RS Spyder will race on a street circuit for the first time in Houston’s Reliant Park on the Friday evening , May 12, in the American Le Mans Series’ Lone Star Grand Prix.
“A city circuit race is always a challenge, especially if it runs into the night,” said head of Porsche Motorsport Hartmut Kristen. “But we are well-prepared and we are optimistic to be among the front-runners again.”
The brand-new Porsche RS Spyder had shown its potential by claiming the LMP 2 class victory at its inaugural outing in Laguna Seca in October of 2005. At the long distance classic in Sebring in March, the No. 6 car not only led its class but ran second overall, only to be sidelined with only 49 minutes to go by a broken gearbox input shaft. A material defect cost the team the success for which they had all worked so hard over the winter. One small consolation was that Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr, and Emmanuel Collard were classified second in the class due to the distance they had covered. The No. 7 Porsche RS Spyder, with Timo Bernhard/RomainDumas/Patrick Long aboard, did not finish the Sebring event with an identical material failure.
“Our car performs very well. You can see this from the fact we passed the class leader after earlier losing seven laps in the pits making repairs,” said Kristen, looking back at the Sebring race.
While still in the Sebring paddock, the disappointment about the unfortunate retirement after a tough fight turned into new motivation, initiated by Roger Penske, whose team prepares the Porsche RS Spyder.
“We will win races soon,” said the icon of US motorsport reaffirming their mutual goal. “This will be achieved through even better reliability, an even better strategy, and a little more luck.”