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Oct 02, 2013 - 07:25 PM
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Porsche Motorsports Pre-Event Notes. Oak Tree Grand Prix Of VIR
Posted by: newsla on Oct 02, 2013 - 07:17 PM
American Le Mans Series News
Porsche Motorsports Pre-Event Notes. Oak Tree Grand Prix Of VIR


Dateline. Alton, Vir.
Circuit. Virginia International Raceway (VIR)
Track Length/Turns. 3.27-miles/17-turns
Round. 10 of 11, American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
Remaining ALMS Rounds. Petit Le Mans, October 19

 

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Porsche Events.
American Le Mans Series
Date. Saturday, October 5, 2013
Race Duration.Two-Hours- 45-minutes
Classes. GT (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR), GTC (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup)

Where to Watch.
American Le Mans Series
Television Race Broadcast:
ESPN2 - Sunday, October 6, 2013 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Live Race Streaming:
ESPN3 – Saturday, October 5, 2013 – 2:00 p.m. EDT
Live Qualifying Streaming:
ESPN3 – Friday, October 4, 2013 – 3:35 p.m. EDT

Race Weekend Schedule.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
ALMS Test Session – 3:30-5:00 p.m. EDT
Friday, October 4, 2013
ALMS Practice 1 – 10:25-11:25 a.m. EDT
ALMS Practice 2 – 2:30-3:30 p.m. EDT
ALMS GTC Qualifying – 3:45-400 p.m. EDT
ALMS GT Qualifying – 4:05-4:25 p.m. EDT
Saturday, October 5, 2013
ALMS Warm Up – 9:35-10:00 a.m. EDT
ALMS Driver Autograph Session – 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT
ALMS Pre-Race Activities – 1:15-2:15 p.m. EDT
ALMS Race – 2:15-5:00 p.m. EDT

Porsche Entries.
American Le Mans Series
GT Class (3) Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
No. 17 Team Falken Tire Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga.)
No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Marco Holzer (Germany)/Bryce Miller (Summit, N.J.)
No. 06 CORE autosport Colin Braun(Ovalo, Texas)/Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.)

GTC Class (9) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
No. 11 JDX Racing Mike Hedlund (Woodside, Calif)/Jan Heylen (Tampa)
No. 22 Alex Job Racing Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.)/Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monaco)
No. 27 Dempsey Racing Patrick Dempsey (Malibu, Calif.)/Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.)
No. 30 NGT Motorsport Henrique Cisneros (Miami)/Sean Edwards (UK)
No. 31 NGT Motorsport Eduardo Cisneros (Miami)/Jakub (Kuba) Giermaziak (Poland)
No. 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Seth Neiman (San Francisco)/Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.)
No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Nelson Canache Jr. (Venezuela)/Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta)
No. 66 TRG Ben Keating (Port Lavaca, Texas)/Damien Faulkner (Ireland)
No. 68 TRG TBA/TBA

Porsche Point of View.
Colin Braun, Driver, No. 06 CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
“Driving a Porsche is a great thing because anyone you talk to with an interest in racing or cars instantly knows what a Porsche is. It’s a great brand and a lot of prestige comes with it. When you tell people you race a Porsche, they have a lot of respect for the car and then you benefit from that respect because it’s established that Porsche always has good drivers. It’s instant credibility.

The CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was fun to finally experience myself. It definitely lived up to its expectations. It’s a fun car to drive and it showed me why so many people are such a big fan of the brand.”

Jens Walther, President/CEO, Porsche Motorsports North America
“While there are only two races left in the ALMS season, we are still very much in the middle of the year. The GTC class championship is very competitive with several teams battling for the title and our three customer programs are aggressively fighting in the GT category to capture a victory in the last two events. VIR is an important race in those championships. We are very focused on the remaining races of 2013 and supporting our customer teams in every way this weekend at VIR.”

Ramez Wahab, Team Owner, MOMO NGT Motorsports
“The GTC championship is still wide open, as of now we are ten points behind the leader. This upcoming race at VIR is very crucial for the championship so we need to finish upfront and take all the points to the final race of the season at Petit Le Mans. We have to be aggressive and yet cautious enough to stay out of trouble, especially at VIR since it is very fast and very narrow.

Last year was our first race at VIR. It was not the perfect race; we had some issues during the pit stops and yet managed to finish second. We have learned a lot since last year and, this time, are stronger than ever.

I always like the idea of a spec series for sprint and endurance racing and that's why we have competed since 2005 in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge and the last couple of years in ALMS GTC. What better car could you ask for than a Porsche Cup Car? They come race ready from the factory and you don't have to spend tons of money to reinvent the wheel. The Porsches are very reliable, safe & fun to drive.”

Porsche Profile.
Shared History Links VIR and Porsche Motorsports
Porsche has been a part of Virginia International Raceway as long as there has been a VIR. Both are rich in history and tradition and much of that intersects in Alton, Vir. In 1971, the legendary combination of Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood won the Danville 300 driving a Porsche 914-6 to a nail biting finish against Corvette. Gregg would return to lead a Porsche top-five sweep in 1972 driving a Brumos Racing 911. It was Gregg-Haywood again in 1973.

Porsche success in Virginia did not end in the ‘70s. Paul Miller Racing won the 2007 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series round at VIR with Bryce Miller aboard. The combination is looking for similar results this weekend in the Oak Tree Grand Prix Of VIR. Miller is again behind the wheel of a Paul Miller Racing Porsche, this time a 911 GT3 RSR he shares with factory driver Marco Holzer in the GT category. In 2011, Action Express won the Rolex Series race here overall in a Riley Daytona Prototype powered by a Porsche Cayenne sourced engine. Last season, Cooper MacNeil drove the WeatherTech-backed, Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to victory at VIR; a win that clinched him the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GTC championship.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car Offers the Common Ground to Great GTC Point Struggle
The American Le Mans Series’ GT Challenge Class (GTC) presents a unique situation within the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) structure for the VIR fans this weekend. Designed for GT entries that boast at least one “gentleman” driver (a driver who does not make his living as a race driver), this class features matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racecars whose engines and transmissions are monitored and sealed by Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA). A “Pro-Am” class, each of the nine cars has a professional driver to fill its roster. The combination has made this one of the hardest-fought classes of the past several seasons. In fact, all entries in this class have a chance for the top step of the podium, and three of the teams and their drivers are in the points fight for the championship.

Having clinched the 2012 GTC title last year at VIR with a come-from-behind win, the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) has a slim four-point margin on the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Nelson Canache, Jr. (Venezuela) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta). MacNeil/Bleekemolen were victorious at Sebring and Mosport, while Canache/Pumpelly took the wins at Lime Rock and Road America. Only 10 points behind the leaders is the No. 30 NGT Porsche of Hernique Cisneros (Miami), who won Long Beach and Laguna Seca. Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Seth Neiman (San Francisco) drove the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche to victory at Baltimore.

But all the cars in the class are competitive and can threaten for a win. NGT has a second entry for VIR with Cisneros’ younger brother Eduardo (Miami), who will co-drive with Polish racing star Kuba Giermaziak, a Porsche Supercup driver who also won GTC at Petit Le Mans last year in a TRG Porsche. Don’t count out Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and Ben Keating (Port Lavaca, Texas) driving for TRG this weekend. The pair won the last event two weeks ago at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The JDX Racing Porsche, entered by former racing star Jeremy Dale, with Mike Hedlund (Woodside, Calif.) and Jan Heylen (Tampa, Fla.) at the helm, has two podium finishes, but seeks its first win.

And that doesn’t include racer/actor Patrick Dempsey (Malibu, Calif.), who, with co-driver Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.), has two podium finishes and is nearing his first professional win in the Dempsey Racing Porsche.

Colin Braun is New to Porsche but No Rookie
25 year-old Colin Braun has been racing for more than 20 years – a remarkable statistic in itself – but his success across a wide variety of motorsports venues has made the Texas-born, Charlotte, NC resident even more unique. Although ALMS fans at VIR this weekend might think the CORE autosport Porsche assignment is a new venture for Braun, his first professional race – as a 16 year-old – was at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where he finished on the podium in the GT class in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS entered by TRG with fellow 16 year olds Adrian Carrio and Brad Coleman in 2005. Braun made history as the youngest Rolex GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype driver at 17 and in 2006 he became the youngest winner of a GRAND-AM event with his win at the Brumos Porsche 250 in Daytona. In 2007, he became the youngest driver to stand on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a second place finish.

In 2008, Braun moved fulltime to stock car racing as the driver of the No. 6 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford F-150, clinching the Rookie of the Year honors. He also made five Nationwide Series starts including one top-five finish and two poles. In 2009, he scored his first career Truck Series win at Michigan before moving to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 making 24 starts with 5 top 10s.

Braun returned to sportscar racing in 2011 driving for Robertson Racing in the American Le Mans Series and then joining CORE autosport in 2012. He partnered with team owner Jon Bennett, helping CORE win the ALMS Prototype Class Teams Championship that year. He was moved to the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at the most recent round, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and ran competitively in the GT class for his opening stint. This weekend marks his first time at VIR in the Porsche.

PaddockTalk Perspective



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