GT – Flying Lizard Porsche, Risi Ferrari Secure Michelin 1-2 at Mosport

August 29, 2010

GT – Flying Lizard Porsche, Risi Ferrari Secure Michelin 1-2 at Mosport

August 29, 2010

The No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche scored the GT win at Mosport. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Michelin didn’t only go 1-2 overall and in prototypes at Mosport, but they also accomplished the feat in the highly competitive GT class for the third time this season. Flying Lizard Porsche led home Risi Ferrari on the day.

Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long secured their class-leading fourth win in eight races this season. They trailed the No. 92 Rahal Letterman BMW during the middle portion of the race, but took the lead just before the eventual final pit stop and race-ending accident.

The team exited the pit lane after the final round of stops ahead of the No. 62 Risi Ferrari. It became the winning position as soon as the race was red-flagged, then checkered, after a severe accident on the backstraight.

“Even if we went green again I knew we might be able to hold them off,” Bergmeister said. “We had a bit of a strategy and we only took two tires, so great job by the team for coming up with great strategy.”

Impressive for the Lizards, considering they expected Road America and Mosport to be tougher tracks with a rear-engine Porsche 911 GT3 RSR compared to the front-engined Corvettes and BMWs and mid-engine Ferrari. The team noted the hills and lack of comparative grunt would make things challenging.

But the back-to-back second place and win are vital and great results for the current championship leaders. In their quest to repeat, Bergmeister and Long enter Petit Le Mans in October with a 22-point lead over Bruni, up from 18 last round.

“It’s better to have the four-point advantage from today,” Bergmeister said. “The outlook doesn’t change. We still have to finish the last race. We don’t want to take too many risks but we still have to stay focused.”

Each team needs to finish 70 percent of the race at Petit Le Mans before scoring points.

Second still marked a great result from a challenging weekend at Mosport for Risi Competizione. Toni Vilander went from not racing following the withdrawal of the sister No. 61 entry after Pierre Kaffer’s practice accident on Saturday to then filling in for Jaime Melo, as the Brazilian ace was sidelined with a stomach virus, in the No. 62.

Well Vilander was the man on a charge on Sunday. He started 27th overall in the 29-car field and 12th in class, but by the end of his stint (less than an hour), was up to third in class, doing everything he could to keep his new co-driver Bruni in the title hunt. Vilander certainly was the flying Finn on this occasion.

“The car was running really strong in my stint,” Vilander said. “There were some corners where I could really eat up the gap to get to the drivers in front, and some other corners where we were really equal. I just didn’t want to take too many risks but once I decided to overtake a car I just went for it.”

Rahal Letterman BMW kept its streak alive of getting at least one car on the podium in each ALMS race this season, with the No. 92 car of Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner rebounding from a heavy accident at Road America that wrote off their primary M3.

From fourth to sixth, the two Corvettes and the No. 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari ensured Michelin technical partner teams finished in five of the top six positions in class. Corvette also took home the GT win in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge.

In GTC, Luke Hines was the driver involved in the severe accident that ended the race. The Englishman did give an interview to SPEED’s TV broadcast after the race and though he said he was “dizzy,” he otherwise was unhurt. Shane Lewis and Lawson Aschenbach took the class win for Velox Motorsports.

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