American Le Mans Series Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Scores Second Consecutive Baltimore ALMS GT Win

Discussion in 'National Series' started by Administrator, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Captures ALMS GTC Victory with Patrick Pilet/Al Carter at the Helm

    Bryan Sellers (USA) and Wolf Henzler (Germany), driving the Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, scored their third ALMS GT win including their second in a row at the 2.04-mile Grand Prix of Baltimore street circuit. The victory, Porsche’s second of the season, pulled the company* within three points of second place in the manufacturers championship with two races to go. Corvette leads with 145 points, while BMW has 126 and Porsche 123. Ferrari is in fourth place with 110 points.

    Bryan Sellers, who drove the last two-thirds of the event after the team’s only driver change, wasn’t sure the team could win from the seventh starting position.

    “After we qualified seventh, I wasn’t sure if we had a chance to repeat our 2011 victory, but Wolf Henzler, our ”˜magic man,’ again avoided the carnage at the first turn of the first lap to bring the car all the way into first place in the first 20 laps before turning it over to me, and I was the beneficiary of a great car which was totally rebuilt in a week following our accident at Road America.* We had the performance to stay ahead of the Corvette and BMW, and our Falken tires helped make the Porsche consistent from beginning to end.* I might have been in the car for most of the race, but this one goes to Derrick Walker, our team manager, Wolf Henzler, and our Indy-based crew who worked so hard to fix our damaged car from the last race."

    Wolf agreed with Bryan on the kudos to the crew, but gave Bryan more credit than Sellers took for the win.

    “Part of our strategy was to come in for an early pit stop where I would get out and Bryan would drive the rest of the race, so this was no surprise, but the decision to pit was made only two turns from pit-in, so it looked like we were a little disorganized, but it was all planned.* Yes, I passed* some cars in the beginning, but Bryan drove like a champion, pulling away from some of the best GT drivers in the world, consistently doing well on the restarts, and keeping the car off the walls of this tight street course. After the last yellow, I knew we could win as long as we didn’t get hit on the restart, and Bryan pulled away from Corvette at the final green flag,” said Henzler.

    The race was attended by Matthias Mueller, president of the executive board and CEO of Porsche AG, and Mr. Mueller was impressed with the Porsche teams’ performances.

    “I never had two more exciting hours at a race, including a couple of laps inside the Porsche Panamera Turbo Safety Car as a result of the first lap yellow.* I had my fingers crossed at the pit wall for the Porsche customer teams ”“ the level of GT competition is very high.* I congratulate Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler on the win in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.* Our iconic Porsche 911 proved once more to be both quick and reliable,” said Mr. Mueller.

    The second-best finish for a Porsche GT team was the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Patrick Long (USA) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), finishing fifth in class. The car had a rough start, getting slammed from behind on the first turn after a prototype pileup blocked the corner. Long, who started the car, actually had a better experience in his “second ride of the race,” filling in for Seth Neiman in the #44 Lizard Porsche co-driven by Marco Holzer (Germany).

    “This was not our day, starting with a very hard hit Patrick took right at the start.* It was such a hard hit that our radio was knocked out of its mounting, a repair he had to perform while driving during the yellows.* With the rear suspension damage from that hit, I think we got as much as we could out of the #45 Lizard Porsche,” said Bergmeister.

    After the problems in the #45 car, getting into the #44 a few laps after the driver change with Joerg was a breath of fresh air.

    “Jumping out of the #45 car into the #44 car was like having a second life ”“ an undamaged car and fresh tires.* I was able to get by several car and finish seventh, a good result for the #44, which started the race from pit lane because of our roster change and an early-lap puncture,” said Long, who actually finished both fifth and seventh, but will receive only fifth place points.

    Marco Holzer fought to keep the #44 Lizard Porsche on the lead lap so Patrick Lon would have the chance for a good finish.

    “We had a flat tire during the early laps, so we had to catch up.* The traffic was very heavy, but the #44 Lizard Porsche was balanced and quick.* When I handed the car to Patrick, we were on the same lap with the GT leaders, and Patrick passed some cars at the end for a good finish,” said Holzer, who grabbed his first ALMS pole at Road America two weeks ago.

    The #48 Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finished ninth, but they ran in the lead until air conditioning and cool suit problems plagued the New Jersey-based team.

    “We rolled the dice with a good two-stop pit strategy, and it put us in first place during the first third of the race, but we had problems with our air conditioning and Sascha’s cool suit failed.* Sascha was so hot he had to get out of the car at an unplanned pit stop, and we fell a lap behind,” said Miller.

    Maassen, who recently started his 100th ALMS race, said he could not overcome the high temperatures in the car.

    “About 15 minutes after the driver change, we had cooling problems inside the cockpit, and I was cooked to medium rare and had to come out of the car,” he added.

    In ALMS GTC for matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, the car that started dead last ended up winning the race. The #68 TRG Porsche, with Al Carter (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France) aboard, started from the back of the pack after failing to appear for qualifying due to an accident in the Saturday afternoon practice session. Pilet drove a whole season with Flying Lizard Motorsports in 2008 after winning the French Carrera Cup series in 2007.

    “After starting last in the field with no qualifying time from a practice accident, our car was great all day. Al Carter kept us on the lead lap, and I knew I could compete for the win.* I am very excited for my first ALMS win,” said Pilet.

    For Al Carter, a local racer from Delaware, it was even more exciting.

    “Not only is this my first ALMS win, it’s my first professional race win.* I was here last year as a spectator ”“ there is no way I could have anticipated this victory, especially after our bad luck yesterday, but the TRG crew worked hard to get us on the grid for the race, and the car was great.* I just wanted to stay off the wall and stay competitive because I know Patrick Pilet, as a Posche factory driver, would take us home,” he said.

    Second in GTC was Cooper MacNeil/Leh Keen in the WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche, a finishes which gives MacNeil a healthy lead in the season points with only two races to go. A win in two weeks at Virginia International Raceway will sew up the season championship for Cooper.


    Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT


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