If Porsche wins at Elkhart Lake, Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long will drive into ALMS all time greatness
If the Porsche racing drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long can take home the checkered flag this Sunday at the upcoming round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, the pair will have won their sixth straight GT2 win in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The German Joerg Bergmeister said that: “Of course it would be great to continue our winning streak, … but it’s even more important for us to bring home as many points towards the championship as possible.”
Thanks to his American teammate Patrick Long, Bergmeister has already won as many races after just six rounds of competition than he did in the entire 2005 season when he won the championship behind the wheel of a Porsche. Jorg has already racked up 26 wins in the ALMS GT2 class, easily making him the most successful driver in the category. The fact that four of those wins came at Road America, more than any other driver, doesn’t hurt their chances at success. The German Porsche pilot Bergmeister has a very special relationship with the 14 turn 6.5 kilometer racing circuit. “This is my favorite track – it’s very fast, very hilly and very demanding,” and facing stiff competition from the likes of BMW, Chevrolet and Ferrari; he also said that: “If we want to do well here we have to give everything we’ve got.”
The ALMS race at Elkhart Lake will start on Sunday, August 16 at 3PM Eastern, but check your local listings for times, and will run for over 2:45 hours.
Press release after the jump.
Porsche pilots on the hunt for records
Stuttgart. With a win at the American Le Mans Series round on the legendary Road America in Elkhart Lake, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) could write history: Should the Porsche works drivers claim their sixth straight win in the GT2 class on Sunday with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the two will top the ranks of the all-time best list – and take another huge step towards claiming the title.
“Of course it would be great to continue our winning streak,” says Joerg Bergmeister heading into the seventh round of the season on the demanding race track in the US State of Wisconsin, regarded as the cradle of American sports car racing. “But it’s even more important for us to bring home as many points towards the championship as possible.”
In the history books of this race series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars, title defender Bergmeister is extremely well represented. With a total of 26 wins, he is by far the most successful driver in the GT2 class, and with four wins at Road America no other driver has won more often than Bergmeister. With Patrick Long, he has secured as many victories after six races as he did in the entire 2005 season – where the Porsche pilots took home the championship title.
Joerg Bergmeister has a very special relationship with the 6.510 kilometre circuit with its 14 corners. “This is my favourite track – it’s very fast, very hilly and very demanding,” he says. Still, the points’ leader faces a difficult task, not least due to the strong competition from BMW, Chevrolet and Ferrari: “If we want to do well here we have to give everything we’ve got.”
In the cockpit of the second Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, fielded by the successful US customer team and current leaders of the GT2 class team classification, Flying Lizard Motorsports, are Darren Law (USA) and Seth Neiman (USA). Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) shares driving duties with last year’s race winner Bryce Miller (USA) at the wheel of a Farnbacher Loles Racing 911 GT3 RSR.
After a successful start with position two in Mid-Ohio, Cytosport contests its second race of the season with the Porsche RS Spyder in the LMP2 class. Manning the sports prototype from Weissach, which set new standards between 2006 and 2008 in the American Le Mans Series by winning all championship titles, are Klaus Graf (Germany) and team owner Greg Pickett (USA).
Six Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sports cars compete in the ALMS Challenge, a new category below the GT2 class. Leading the points’ standings are Martin and Melanie Snow (USA), who notched up their second win of the season in Mid-Ohio.
The race in Elkhart Lake starts on Sunday, 16 August, at 14.00 hrs local time (21.00 hrs CEST) and runs over 2:45 hours.
Facts and Figures
This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Ten races in the USA and Canada make up this year’s calendar. Traditional highlights are the Sebring 12 hour race and the 1,000 mile “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta. Most races run over 2:45 hours.
The starter field is made up of two different race car categories: Sports prototypes and standard sports cars. These are divided into four classes:
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 750 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms. Power to weight ratio: ca. 1.2 kg/hp.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with around 440 hp (normally aspirated engine) and an 825 kilogram minimum weight. Power to weight ratio: ca. 1.8 kg/hp.
GT1 class: Heavily modified standard sports cars with up to 650 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 to 1,325 kilograms.
GT2 class: Slightly modified standard sports cars with approx. 450 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
All race cars start together but are classified separately. Points are awarded only for placings in each class. After 2006 and 2007, Porsche again won the championship titles in the LMP2 class last year for Drivers (Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas) as well as for Chassis and Engine Manufacturer and for Teams (Penske Racing) with the RS Spyder. In the GT2 class, Porsche secured the championship titles for Drivers (Joerg Bergmeister/Wolf Henzler) as well as for Manufacturers and Teams (Flying Lizard Motorsports) in 2008 with the 911 GT3 RSR.