With a new lap record Porsche secured the third consecutive pole position in the American Le Mans Series. In qualifying for the seventh round of this race series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars, Timo Bernhard (Germany) claimed the best time at the wheel of his #7 RS Spyder on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. With the second quickest time, Sascha Maassen (Germany) qualified the sister RS Spyder from Penske Motorsports with the starting number six on the front row.
“That was a tough fight and until the end I wasn’t sure if it was good enough to take pole position,” said Timo Bernhard, who knocked almost four seconds off the old lap record. “But the team gave me a perfect car so I can also go into the race feeling confident. It will certainly be suspenseful – it’s incredibly close at the front. That two RS Spyders can take off into the race from the first row for the third consecutive time now is due to the fantastic performance of the entire team.”
One year ago, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas (France) brought home the first overall victory with the RS Spyder on this circuit for Porsche.
“There is nothing more beautiful than fighting for pole position with a team mate. It’s great fun,” asserted title defender Sascha Maassen, who shares an RS Spyder with Ryan Briscoe (Australia). “The competition is fierce, particularly in the LMP2 class, so it’s even more crucial that we start at the front. In the race it will not be easy to overtake.”
Setting the fifth quickest qualifying time, Butch Leitzinger (USA) takes up the race from the third row in his #16 RS Spyder run by the Porsche-supported US privateer team, Dyson Racing. Chris Dyson (USA) qualified the sister car with starting number 20 on ninth position.
In the GT2 class for modified production sports cars, title defender Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) secured the third fastest qualifying time in a 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports. At the previous round in Lime Rock, Bergmeister celebrated class victory with his team mate Johannes van Overbeek (USA). With a 911 GT3 RSR run by Tafel Racing, Wolf Henzler (Germany) netted fifth, whilst Tom Milner (USA) claimed sixth in a Rahal Letterman Racing 911 GT3 RSR.
The race on Saturday starts at 15.15 hours local time (21.15 CET) and runs over 2:45 hours.
1. Timo Bernhard (D), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1:08.510 minutes
2. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 0.245 behind
3. Adrian Fernandez (MEX), Acura ARX (LMP2), 0.463
4. Rinaldo Capello (I), Audi R10 (LMP1), 0.925
5. Butch Leitzinger (USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1.027
6. Stefan Johansson (S), Acura ARX (LMP2), 1.167
7. Bryan Herta (USA), Acura ARX (LMP2), 1.322
8. Emanuele Pirro (I), Audi R10 (LMP1), 1.366
9. Chris Dyson (USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 1.478
10. Jamie Bach (USA), B07-46 Mazda (LMP2), 3.414