August 2012

Well, it’s surely been a radical few weeks since I last checked in. There has been triumph, confusion, disappointment, but ultimately we’re elated to be back fighting for wins in the American Le Mans Series. We knew after Laguna Seca that we had a racy chance but the long break for Le Mans had us chomping at the bit to get back to American Le Mans action.

Lime Rock and Mosport were separated by a weekend off and it’s awesome to reflect on the fact that we came across the line first in the last two ALMS races respectively. Lime Rock is a place where we’ve been strong over the past few seasons and we knew we had to strike where the iron was hot. The best way to get through the long and tough month of July was to come out swinging. We really just executed a perfect race and we were able to hold off the Corvettes and the Ferraris to win.

Mosport was a track where we were unsure how we would factor in because of the long straights and the high speed corners. Although our pace wasn’t as quick as some, we were able to execute another flawless race as a team and ultimately hold off the Corvette fighting at the end. Jörg put in one of the drives of his career and it was all celebration post race until a message came that we had an issue in post race inspection. The unfortunate part was that the win was stripped from our hands and the accompanying points were taken away, but in the end it was just a racing deal where a little bit of a mistake on an air filter installment meant that there was added stress to the air filter boot and therefore a split occurred in the air system.

The way that technical inspection works is that there is a stall test where all cars are required at any point to demonstrate that if the air intake is covered, the car will be starved for air and will not run. We failed this test. Rules are rules and we respect that the axe came down but there were a lot of question marks in people’s minds about when the damage occurred—if it was in the race or after the race or before the race.

So, a tough one to swallow, but I come out of the month just really thankful that we’ve been able to run with these guys and fight for wins. It’s great motivation for the next few months as we get into the core of our calendar: Mid-Ohio this weekend, Road America two weekends after that. There’s plenty of racing ahead to try and recapture Mosport’s victory. And certainly a highlight will be getting to Baltimore in September because we always run well on the street courses and for me personally it’s just a really exciting new event on the calendar.

We’re positive going into Mid-Ohio. It’s a track that places equal demands on mechanical and aerodynamic requirements. The straights are long; Mid-Ohio really has a little bit of everything and is probably one of the most complete traditional road courses in the world with elevation changes and trail braking sections, overtaking opportunities. We like our chances. Right now it seems that everybody has some strengths and some weaknesses. The BMWs and Corvettes have ultimate pace, especially in qualifying, but when tire wear, strategy and traffic come into play, those provide enough of an equalizer for us to flex our muscles and take the fight to those guys. The energy is very good right now at Flying Lizard and our sister teams, Falken and Miller, have really been stepping up their games so I like Porsche’s chances heading through the season.

Send your comments and questions to Patrick at askpatrick@pca.org. Although he can’t respond individually, he’ll get to as many as possible in his blog.