ALMS » 02 July 2006
Lime Rock: Audi R8 goes out with a win.
"Our goal is the class win not the overall so we held back," Bernhard said. "The first two races were a little bit of bad luck, and we lost some ground. Now were fighting back. We've got some victories and we want to show we are competitive. We are a good team and it's really fun to drive with them."
Aston Martin Racing captured its first GT1 win of the season as Pedro Lamy in the #009 Aston Martin DBR9 beat Corvette Racing's Johnny O'Connell across the line by 0.033 seconds in one of the closest finishes in series history. Sarrazin and Lamy gave Aston Martin its first win the in series since Sebring last year and snapped Corvette Racing's 12-race win streak dating back to last year's Grand Prix of Atlanta.
"I tried to control the distance I had left," Lamy said. "We had big problems with the engine having a little less power than normal. The tyres were going a bit off, as well because we were pushing hard. It was on the limit. But I think I could have managed (another lap)."
Unlike Mid-Ohio and other races, the winning DBR9 benefited from a caution period with an hour to go. Sarrazin, running second at the time, pitted just as the yellow flag came out and handed the car over to Lamy. A fierce battle ensued between the two Aston Martins and the #3 Corvette with Lamy passing Darren Turner in the sister DBR9, which finished third, for the lead with 15 minutes left. O'Connell followed closely and ran just out of time and track.
"We had luck go our way," Sarrazin said. "The pit stop was the key, so now things are perfect. It was good for us. The car was quicker than the Corvettes, and in the end Pedro was ahead. It is a great win."
Missing was the #4 entry of Oliver Beretta and Oliver Gavin, winners of the previous eight series races. The car was damaged in an early-race incident with the #20 Dyson Racing Lola that left the Corvette stuck in the mud near the rear of the track.
In GT2, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing completed a sensational week by winning its first race of the season. Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long drove the new #31 to victory over Johannes van Overbeek and Wolf Henzler in the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche.
The Petersen/White Lightning crew turned a Porsche Cup car it acquired on Monday into a class-winning entry after the team's first car was destroyed at Le Mans.
"They had to strip it down, make sure it was race ready and add a lot of new bits and pieces," Long said. "If they had told me that was a new car, I wouldn't have known it. I can't say enough about them. There were chances we weren't going to come to this race, much less win it. It's amazing how good it feels to be winners again."
As has been the case in GT2 all season, it wasn't easy. Bergmeister inherited the lead when the #61 Risi Competizione Ferrari crashed in Turn 9 at the 36-minute mark. Shortly thereafter Bergmeister handed off the car to Long, who drove much of his stint with a malfunctioning cooling suit. Fortunately for him, the caution flag came out at just the right time and the team benefited the same way as the Aston Martin.
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