Title defender takes up six hour race from third grid row
Stuttgart. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) start from the third grid row of the GTE Pro class to tackle the six hour race in Imola on Sunday. In qualifying for the third race of the Le Mans Series season at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Richard Lietz posted the sixth fastest time. “The car handled perfectly for that one fast lap,” he said. “I´m happy with the time, nothing else was possible today. Now let´s hope for a good race. We´re facing six hours of tough work so our motto can only be get a good start and then charge to the front.”
His works driver colleague Patrick Pilet (France) set the ninth fastest time in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of IMSA Performance Matmut, which he shares with Wolf Henzler (Germany). “It wasn´t easy today. You can only turn two really fast laps in qualifying here,” he said. “My first lap was great, but in the second I encountered a lot of traffic and couldn´t improve. The car oversteered a lot, we´ll have to sort this out before the race.” Directly behind him, Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) starts from tenth on the grid. His teammate in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by ProSpeed Competition is Marc Goossens from Belgium. “The qualifying began quite well,” said Marco Holzer. “But of all places in the very quick Turn 5 I encountered a slower car which held me up. Our car felt very good, the lap times were much quicker than during the free practice and that makes me feel more confident for the race.”
In the GTE Am class, in which only one professional driver is permitted to compete per car, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) secured the third pole position for Porsche at the third race. Proton Competition´s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which he shares with Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda (Italy), is at last year´s technical specification as per the regulations.
GTE Pro class
1. Jörg Müller (D), BMW M3, 1:44.468 minutes
2. Dirk Werner (D), BMW M3, + 0.215 seconds behind
3. Jaime Melo (BR), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.223
4. Frédéric Makowiecki (F), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.257
5. Robert Bell (GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.262
6. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.427
9. Patrick Pilet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.999
10. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.299
GTE Am class
1. Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:45.650 minutes
2. Marco Cioci (I), Ferrari F430, + 0.256 seconds behind
3. Michele Rugolo (I), Ferrari F 430, + 0.569
4. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.633
The six hour race takes off at midday on Sunday, 3 July. TV station Eurosport 2 broadcasts the opening phase from 12.00 to 13.00 hours and then the last two hours of the race from 16.00 to 18.00 hours live.
The Le Mans Series
Contested for the first time in 2004, the Le Mans Series (LMS) is open for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations are based on those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Five six-hour races are contested this season throughout Europe.
GTE-Pro class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers (previously known as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.
GTE-Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with the 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle must have one professional driver at the most.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 750 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 825 kg minimum weight.
FLM class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.
All race cars start together but are classified separately according to the class. Points are only allocated for placings in each class. Championship titles are awarded for drivers, manufacturers and teams in all five classes. Claiming the title in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.