Porsche North America Post-Belle Isle Report

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

With the ACO-regulated GT Le Mans (GTLM) class cars not scheduled for the June 3-4 Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on the temporary Raceway at Belle Isle street course in Detroit, the GT Daytona (GTD) class were the featured road-based entries. Three new Porsche 911 GT3 Rs were competing in Saturday’s one-hour, 40-minute feature on the 2.35-mile track that winds through the island park. Since the beginning of the season, Park Place Motorsports quickly found speed in the rear-engine, direct-fuel injected 911 and again were fast from the start of the weekend in Detroit. Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) qualified the No. 73 on the outside of the front row and held in the top three until pitting from the lead near the one-hour mark.

The tall American handed the wheel of the red and black Porsche over to tall German factory driver Jörg Bergmeister. Bergmeister, now in second-place, chased down the leading Dodge Viper for the remainder of the race. In the closing minutes it looked as if the hard-charging veteran, the only Porsche “works” driver on site, would catch the local entry. However, he would come up just short to lead the trio of German products in second-place at the checkered flag.

The No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Alex Riberas (Spain) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) took fourth in class. Their team car, the No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, finished seventh with Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia).

With the podium result, Porsche extended its points lead in the class manufacturer standings. The German brand leads Ferrari by five points, 127 to 122.

Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I was flat out the entire race. We didn’t really have anything for the Viper. Those guys did an even better pit stop than we did and got by us in the pits. I didn’t have a chance to get around them. Unfortunately, not a win but solid points. Our first good result.”

Patrick Lindsey, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“We’ve had fast cars at every event and something kept us from bringing home a good finish. Not the case here. Our driver change wasn’t as clean as we wanted and that hurt us in track position. That Viper was really quick but our Park Place Porsche was fantastic, it is just really hard on a street course if you don’t have the track position. We never really had a chance to pass for the win. But, second is great points towards the championship and we helped Porsche extend its lead in the Manufacturer category. That is our first strong finish of the year. It is good to get a result for all the hard work the Park Place guys are putting in.”