Crazy weather in California all week hurt the Porsche 911s racing at this weekend’s Long Beach ALMS event: sixth place was as good as it got.
With a wet track during free practice and qualifying cancelled due to heavy rain, Falken Tyres team mates Wolf Henzler (below) and Bryan Sellers were the highest-placed Porsche finishers in P6: not what the doctor ordered. Now last in the Contructors’ Championship with just over half the points of leaders BMW, Porsche will contest regulations forcing its RSRs to race with a considerable handicap.
“During free practice, the track was wet and the qualifying was stopped due to heavy rainfall”, said Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “Our teams didn’t get the chance to find a suitable set-up for the new 911 GT3 RSR’s first race in Long Beach. Apart from that, we need to work with the American Le Mans Series to find a solution that gives us a comparable classification to our competitors. Three of our opponents are competing with a much larger air restrictor, so significantly more power.”
With qualifying defunct, Sebring results determined the grid. Works drivers Long and Bergmeister started ninth. Long charged to fourth, but debris slashed a tyre and forced him into the pits where the time ticked away. Overtaking is almost impossible here, so it was game over. The Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finished in seventh place, followed by Maassen and Bryce Miller in the Paul Miller car. In Lizard number 2, works man Marco Holzer nabbed ninth place with teammate Seth Neiman.
ALMS Round 3 is on 12 May in Laguna Seca. That’s a busy day at IB Towers (Ciara’s confirmation, wife’s birthday and Barcelona GP – not in that order), but we’ll try to follow the event. Laguna is worth keeping tabs on!