Patrick Long and Flying Lizard Motorsports triumphed at Lime Rock Park to take pole in the American Le Mans Series GT class as the rain that had fallen during the two practice sessions continued.
The start of the 20-minute session saw light rain around the 1.5 mile track as nearly every GT runner scrambled onto the track, not gambling on the conditions. Porsche works driver Long was quickly up to speed in his 911 machinery, with the wet Michelin tyres up to temperature Long lapped the track in 1:03.904 on his fifth flying lap.
The marker was to remain the fastest lap of the session until the checkered flag.
At approximately the halfway point of the session the field was brought back into the pits under a red flag. While the cars were stationary the weather worsened, some teams even opting not to return to the track. The wetter weather preserved Long's time at the head of the timesheets.
“Lime Rock is a great equalizer,” Long said. “The track is tight and technical, with a lot of elevation changes. For drivers, it’s all about what you do with the throttle and brake versus relying on steering and aero. The Porsche 911 gives us great acceleration and traction potential here.”
Long, who shares the car with Jorg Bergmeister, however, is wary of the change in conditions expected for the race on Saturday, with some forecasters suggesting hot and humid conditions to replace the rain.
“We haven’t had any dry running so if tomorrow is a dry race all of the teams will face the same setup challenge,” he said. “However, I was very happy with the way that the car handled today and I’m confident we’ll have a solid car for the race. It’s going to be a tough one – the depth of GT competition this year is intense.”