Porsche looks to clinch at Mosport
Riding a seven-race class winning streak – including six straight overall wins – the Porsche RS Spyder prototypes will head north of the border to Mosport International Raceway this Sunday in hopes of wrapping up the LMP2 class engine and chassis manufacturers title for 2007.
The Grand Prix of Mosport will get the green flag on Sunday, August 26, at 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight time, and will be telecast live on the SPEED Channel. Race fans can also keep track of the activity from Mosport all weekend on their computers, with American Le Mans Series live time and scoring as well as audio commentary starting Friday, August 24 at www.americanlemans.com. The same site will have the full live broadcast of the race over the American Le Mans Radio Web on Sunday.
Uwe Brettel, president of Porsche Cars North America, pointed out that all four Porsche RS Spyders on the track this season have contributed to these impending championships, not just the Penske Porsche responsible for the victories.
“While the Penske Motorsports team Porsche have scored all the manufacturers point so far this season, the high finishes for the Dyson Racing team have put out competitors farther back in the field, leaving them with less points for any given race. Points that Acura and Mazda don’t score are as important as points Porsche earns,” said Brettel.
The 2.54-mile circuit with its ten corners is regarded amongst drivers as the fastest and most challenging on the American Le Mans Series calendar.
“The track is hugely demanding,” observed Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas (France), who won the LMP2 class here last year with the RS Spyder and, together with Timo Bernhard (Germany), is well on the way to claiming this year's title along with four overall wins to their credit.
“There is hardly any other race track with so many fast corners back-to-back. But this is good for our RS Spyder. We can really show our strength here.”
A total of four Weissach-developed and built sports prototypes will contest Mosport, round nine of the American Le Mans Series. Two RS Spyders are entered by Penske Motorsport, which can also wrap up the team title this weekend. Defending LMP2 champion Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Ryan Briscoe (Australia) share the #6 Penske RS Spyder, with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas competing in the #7 car. The Porsche-supported customer team of Dyson Racing fields two RS Spyders, with Andy Wallace (Great Britain) and Butch Leitzinger (USA) in the #16 vehicle, and Chris Dyson (USA) and Guy Smith (Great Britain) at the wheel of the #20 RS Spyder.
Coming off his dramatic 1.7-second overall victory at Road America two weeks ago with Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard approaches the Canadian race with high hopes.
“We've performed well on this track over the last years,” he said, “and the aerodynamics of the RS Spyder have improved even more since then. The front straight is relatively short, so we shouldn't lose too much time against our more powerful opponents. Even though we concentrate of winning our class as the first priority, winning overall has been a big bonus for us this year,” said Bernhard, who pointed out that Dumas posted a new lap record during last year’s event here.
Sascha Maassen is anticipating an exciting race, particularly as the weather in Mosport is unpredictable. Last year the qualifying session had to be cancelled due to torrential downpours which flooded many parts of the circuit.
“The track shows wear and tear from recent years of competition and the surface has been fixed many times,” he said.
“In some of the corners we drive partly on concrete and of course have little grip. You have to have your wits about you so you don't suddenly land in the gravel,” said Maassen.
Competing in the GT2 class for modified production sports cars, the Ferrari versus Porsche battle will continue, with the Ferrari 430 team of Salo/Melo holding a four-point advantage over the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of defending class champion Jorg Bergmeister (Germany) and Johannes van Overbeek (USA). These two teams have battled to close finishes all season, with the Porsche winning two of the last three encounters.
Ralf Kelleners (Germany) and Tom Milner (USA) are eager to continue their momentum from the Road America race, where their Rahal Letterman Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took a strong second place and climbed the podium for the second time this season. Wolf Henzler (Germany)and Robin Liddell (Great Britain) in a Tafel Racing 911 GT3 RSR are in third in the point behind the Ferrari and the Lizards, and would like to see a class win put them back in the championship chase. The Team Trans Sport Racing Porsche of Tim Pappas (USA) and Terry Borcheller (USA) has finished in the top six three of the last five races, moving them up to 11th in the standings.
Both the Flying Lizards and Tafel Racing have entered two Porsches in ALMS this season, and Mosport is no exception. The second Tafel Racing Porsche will be driven by team owner Jim Tafel (USA) and Dominik Farnbacher (Germany), while the second Lizard Porsche will be piloted by team owner Seth Neiman (USA) and Lonnie Pechnik (USA). Porsche PR