Posted by: porschebahn | May 13, 2009

Preview American Le Mans Series round 4 in Salt Lake City

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Porsche works drivers travel to Olympic city as points’ leaders

Porsche is on a roll in the American Le Mans Series. With a Flying Lizard Motorsports 911 GT3 RSR, title defender Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) has already celebrated wins in St. Petersburg and Long Beach so far this season with his team mate Patrick Long (USA). In Salt Lake City, the Porsche works pilots are eager to clinch their third straight victory and further extend their points’ lead.

Last year Joerg Bergmeister won on the 4.905 kilometre circuit in Miller Motorsports Park, a massive motorsport complex in Tooele near the 2002 Olympic city. After the season-opening round on the bumpy airfield race track of Sebring as well as the street circuits of St. Petersburg and Long Beach, he is now looking forward to, as he describes, “the first real race track this year.” Bergmeister conducted two days of testing with Patrick Long on the circuit and with his US team made, “very good progress. We are coming to understand our car better.”

To bring home as many points towards the championship as possible

The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which secured many victories in 2008, was reined in by changes to the technical regulations. The sports car from Weissach not only has five millimetres more ride-height this year, but also features a smaller restrictor, which has a considerable effect on the performance of the 450 hp engine on a high-altitude race track like in Utah. “With the smaller restrictor, the vehicle receives less air at this altitude and that costs us top speed. That’s why it’s going to be very tough competing against the American cars with their powerful V8 engines, particularly on the straights,” explains Joerg Bergmeister. For Patrick Long, victory under these conditions is not necessarily the be all and end all. “For us the main thing is to bring home as many points towards the championship as possible.”

The track conditions can change from lap to lap

Wolf Henzler (Germany) hasn’t written off securing the title either, even though the season so far hasn’t run exactly as the Porsche factory driver had planned. In the Farnbacher Loles Racing 911 GT3 RSR, he already secured pole position two times, but was hampered by bad luck in the race. For Salt Lake City, where Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) will support him, the reigning champion is still optimistic. “Somehow I hope my luck will change in the race as well,” he says. As last year’s winner with Joerg Bergmeister, he knows the track – and its quirks – intimately. “It can be a problem if sand blows across the track. If it’s really windy the conditions can change from lap to lap. You have to take care not to get an unpleasant surprise.”

First run of the ALMS Challenge with four 911 GT3 Cup

The Flying Lizard Motorsports team run a second 911 GT3 RSR in Salt Lake City with pilots Darren Law (USA) and Seth Neiman (USA). After a successful debut in Long Beach, Johannes Stuck (Austria) and Nicky Pastorelli (Netherlands) take up the race with a 911 GT3 RSR fielded by VICI Racing.

The ALMS Challenge runs for the first time as support to the American Le Mans Series. Four Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers will compete in this newly created class which is under the GT2 classification.

The race takes off on Sunday, 17 May, at 14.15 hrs local time and runs over 2:45 hours.

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