Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) combined a perfect drive with precise Penske Motorsports pit stops, a race car with a good set-up, good fuel strategy, and Porsche RS Spyder speed and reliability to repeat their 2006 overall win on Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, round seven of the American Le Mans Series.
Teammates Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Ryan Briscoe (Australia) took their Penske Porsche RS Spyder to a second-place finish, giving Penske and Porsche their fifth overall win in a row, and sixth win in at row in the LMP2 class. Bernhard and Dumas, with three overall and LMP2 wins, have earned 127 points, while Maassen and Briscoe have 114 points. The Acura drivers David Brabham and Stefan Johansson are third with 74 points. Porsche leads Acura in the LMP2 engine manufacturers points, 139-99.
For Bernhard, this win was especially rewarding as he and Romain had the pole last year, but had to start at the back of the field because of a technical violation – the pair had never won a race after starting on the pole.
The Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyders were right behind the leading LMP2 Acura, finishing fourth and fifth in class and sixth and seventh overall. The Butch Leitzinger/Andy Wallace entry, after running as high as second overall early in the event, was fifth in class, and the Chris Dyson/Guy Smith car was sixth in LMP2.
In GT2, the leading Ferraris again took themselves out while leading the class, with the Enge/Mueller Ferrari crashing into the Melo/Salo Ferrari while the pair were first and second. Both cars incurred penalties, and the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took advantage as it did two weeks ago at Lime Rock by scoring its second straight win. Jorg Bergmeister and Johannes van Overbeek stretched their GT2 class drivers points lead to eight points over Melo/Salo, and Flying Lizard Motorsports took over the points lead in the team championship.
The team Flying Lizard Porsche of Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik was fourth in GT2, duplicating their best finish of the year (fourth at Lime Rock, while the Tim Pappas/Terry Borcheller Team Trans Sport Racing Porsche was fifth, also duplicating their fifth place at Lime Rock.