Park Place Motorsports, the racing arm of Park Place Porsche in Dallas, Texas made its debut at this season’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. Long and Lindsey raced in the top-five of the class throughout the day here in Georgia. However, in the final 15-minutes of the two-hour, 45-minute race, Long closed on and passed the Brumos car to enter the top-three. The two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner then began his hunt for second-place passing the No. 63 Ferrari 458 on the final lap of the race moving the No. 73 into second-place just before the checkered flag and setting up a second place finish. This was the new team’s first GRAND-AM Rolex Series podium.
“The race was not as simple as it may have seemed,” reflected Long, Porsche’s only American factory driver. “With it running green after the first yellow all the way to the end it was difficult to know what was going to happen. When the dust settled it was just a knock-down brawl to the finish. Everyone was running to the end of their tire life. The DPs were super aggressive. It came down to traffic and tire conservation. Every time we came into the pits we gained on our rivals. We were one step from the top but this is a young group and the goal is to just to do better every weekend. If we improve on a linear rate, we are going to be there for the championship in the end. It’s an honor to be a part of this Park Place group.”
Having recently announced that this race would be their last for the 2013 season, Brumos hoped to finish on the podium and nearly did so as Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) led the race after taking over the wheel from local Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.). However, after a late-race pit stop for fuel, a strategic effort by the team that had gained the legendary team a lead of over 30 seconds, Keen was unable to challenge for the lead again and has to settle for fourth as Long made his move towards the front.
Davis commented: “It was a great weekend here at Road Atlanta for me personally as I was able to drive the famous Brumos 911 on the track where I grew up. It was an emotional week with our short season coming to an early end. We’re obviously all disappointed in that. I’m very proud of the Brumos crew and how they fought through the week. We had a great car from out of the box and we never stopped improving. Credit to the Wright Motorsports guys who came in to help us this event. Thanks as always to Porsche, Brumos Racing and all the Brumos companies for all their support. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m looking forward to the future.”
The grid for the fourth race of the 2013 season was set by team points due to rain washing out the scheduled 15-minute qualifying session on Friday. As a result, Magnus Racing started from the pole position with owner/driver John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) taking the green flag at the front of the 12-car field. After teammate Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.) took-over the No. 44 Magnus Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year was able to move the car into the lead. The team would eventually fall to fifth at the conclusion of the day.
The remaining Porsches in the GT class, the No. 18 Muelhner Motorsports America entry of Aaron Povoledo (Toronto) and Josh Hurley (Gainesville, Fla.) and the No. 71 Park Place Motorsports entry driven by Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas) and John McCutchen (Dallas, Texas), finished ninth and tenth respectively.
Porsche in the GX Class
The video below shows Dr. Jim Norton in his BGB Motorsports Cayman as he prepares to enter Turn 1 at Road Atlanta. Watch what happens as he hits the run off area. Fortunately, neither Norman or the Cayman were seriously hurt. In fact, he and David Donohue went on to start from P1 and narrowly missed their 4th consecutive victory in the GX Class, having to settle for the 2nd spot on the podium instead.
The next round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series will be June 1 at Detroit’s Belle Isle temporary circuit.
Road Atlanta Race Results GT Class
1. Edwards (USA)/Liddell (Ire), Stevenson Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro
2. Lindsey (USA)/Long (USA), Park Place Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
3. Balzan (Rovigo)/Westphal (USA), Scuderia Corsa, Ferrari 458
4. Davis (USA)/Keen (USA), Brumos Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
5. Lally (USA)/Potter (USA), Magnus Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
9. Hurley (USA)/Povoledo (CAN), Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
10. Hart (USA)/McCutchen (USA), Park Place Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
GRAND-AM Point Standings – GT class
1. Alessandro Balzan 110
2. John Potter 109
Andy Lally 109
3. Robin Liddell 102
John Edwards 102
4. Paul Dalla Lana 101
5. Emil Assentato 101
Anthony Lazzaro 101
6. Patrick Lindsey 99
Patrick Long 99
7. Andrew Davis 97
Leh Keen 97
8. Jeff Segal 90
Max Papis 90
9. Boris Said 84
10. Dion von Moltke 81
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Porsche’s Results and Pictures from the Grand-Am’s Porsche 250
Porsche’s Results and Pictures from the ALMS in Long Beach