American Le Mans Series, round 11 in Braselton (Road Atlanta), USA : Porsche-pilots head for title w

After a five week break the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) enters the finish straight. On Saturday the eleventh of twelve rounds takes place with the world’s fastest sportscars on the legendary Road Atlanta circuit near Braselton in the US state of Georgia. At the tenth running of the 1000 mile race, dubbed Petit Le Mans, on the flowing track near Atlanta, the main focus for the Porsche pilots Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) as well as Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Ryan Briscoe (Australia) is to secure the drivers title. Porsche has already won the chassis and engine classification with the Weissach-developed and built RS Spyder before the end of the season.

A total of four 478 hp RS Spyders will tackle Petit Le Mans. Two cars are fielded by Penske Racing, which secured the ALMS team title at the ninth round on the Mosport International Raceway. Due to the long racing distance Porsche factory pilots Sascha Maassen and Ryan Briscoe will be supported by their colleague Emmanuel Collard (France) like at the Sebring 12 hour race. The trio competes in the RS Spyder with starting number six. Patrick Long (USA) joins Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the #7 car. The Porsche-supported US privateer team Dyson Racing runs two RS Spyders with Andy Wallace (Great Britain), Butch Leitzinger (USA) and Andy Lally (USA) manning the #16 vehicle, and Chris Dyson (USA) with Guy Smith (Great Britain) in the #20 car.

“The 1000 mile race of Road Atlanta has many challenges. The new track surface has made the circuit even faster,” says ALMS points leader Timo Bernhard. Together with his team mate Romain Dumas he leads with 190 points ahead of the Porsche duo Maassen/Briscoe (153 points). “There are a few additional top teams at the start. That makes it even more difficult to shine in the overall classification against the 200hp stronger LMP1 cars.” With their considerable power-to-weight ratio handicap, not one LMP2 car has ever crossed the finish line first overall at Petit Le Mans. “But for us it’s much more important to collect as many points as possible in our class and secure the drivers title,” adds Bernhard.

In the GT2 class for modified production sportscars, title defender Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Johannes van Overbeek (USA) will be supported by Porsche works driver Marc Lieb from Germany in the GT3 RSR run by Flying Lizard Motorsports. Bergmeister and van Overbeek rank second in their class with two races left on the calendar.

The Petit Le Mans takes off on Saturday, 6th October 2007, at 11.15 hours local time (17.15 CET) and runs over 1000 miles or a maximum duration of ten hours.