Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long notched up the first American Le Mans Series (ALMS) victory of the year for Porsche, holding off the Corvettes at the end of the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Bergmeister – making his 100th start in the ALMS had to withstand pressure from Corvette driver Jan Magnussen during the final half hour of the race after a caution period bunched up the leaders in the GT class. However, the German was able to keep the lead and a final caution of the race – when a GT class competitor went off into the tyre wall – spared Bergmeister and his Flying Lizard Motorsports team a nervous end to the race.
“This victory was a long time coming – since Petit Le Mans last year,” said Bergmeister, who collected his 35th ALMS class win, and his sixth in his last seven Lime Rock races. “We have had some mistakes this year, like our pit problems at Laguna, but mostly learning the car and bad luck, like being rear-ended before the green flag at Sebring, have kept us off the podium. Today we were flawless, from driving well to pit strategy, and the Porsche was great. We are still perfecting the set-up for this new RSR, but we felt we made good strides today.”
Elsewhere in the GT class the Porsche teams fared less well. Team boss Seth Neiman and Marco Holzer finished ninth in the second Flying Lizard Porsche. Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen were eighth in the Paul Miller 911 GT3 RSR and Team Falken Tire finished seventh after difficult race managing increased tyre wear on the left-rear corner forcing the team and drivers Bryan Sellers an Wolf Henzler to complete four pitstops over the course of the race, experimenting with different compounds throughout the two hour, 45 minute race.