31 July 2005
Portland 2005: Biela, Pirro deny unlucky Dyson.
"I was plugging away two seconds a lap faster so, if the #10 car had held up, I was thinking it was going to be a great finish. We had a bit of the same trouble last year - a couple of wins but a couple of DNFs - so we know how it can be."
The ACEMCO Saleen's misfortune opened the door for another 1-2 finish for Corvette Racing in GT2. Beretta and Gavin won for the second time this year, posting a 0.714secs victory over the #3 sister car of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell.
The critical moment, ACEMCO exit aside, came during a pit-stop at just about the two-hour mark. Both cars pitted under caution, but Gavin beat O'Connell out of the pits, and that's the way it stayed.
"At Sebring, we lost the race like this and, today, we nearly lost it again," Beretta said, "The car was very difficult to drive, but I'm very happy for the #4 crew."
Gavin added that the Corvette's steering wheel was bent, and the car wasn't nearly as smooth in the corners as it had been before the incident. However, he praised the team's quick and timely pit work that ensured that the car never relinquished its lead from that point.
"The team did an amazing job today," the Briton said, "The car was quite badly damaged in the accident with the #1 car. It looked like we were going to have to make an unscheduled pit-stop, but Olivier kept going and the pit crew worked their magic."
Third place fell to the #5 Pacific Coast Motorsports Corvette C5-R of Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel, which took its first ever podium. It also marked the first time three Corvettes had climbed the podium in the ALMS.
In GT2, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas maintained their march towards the points lead by winning their fourth straight race in the #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche. Not only did they finish comfortably ahead of the second placed #43 BAM! Porsche of Martin Jensen and Wolf Henzler, but also unofficially took the class points lead over Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister, after the #31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche could finish not better than eighth in class.
"I knew our strongest competitor was not on the same lap as us," Bernhard said later, "That was a little better for us. I walked away from the BAM! car, and that allowed me to save my tyres. It was a good thing because we had a yellow and everyone else pitted for tyres."
Over the past two races, Bernhard and Dumas have led every lap, a span of 226 consecutive tours.
"It might have looked easy in the last two races, but it wasn't," the German insisted, "It would have been a good battle with the #31 car, but everything is good at every track we go to. We have the experience."
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