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Long Beach 2007: Penske heads Porsche 1-2-3..


Phenomenal strategy and a bit of luck handed Penske Motorsports its second overall 1-2 result in the American Le Mans Series, as Romain Dumas led team-mate Sascha Maassen across the line by 0.76secs in the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

It was the second time in two years that Dumas and co-driver Timo Bernhard had claimed an overall win in their LMP2 entry, repeating the feat from Mid-Ohio last May. To complete a good day for Porsche, Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace finished 13secs behind the winners to secure an historic 1-2-3.

"It was a tough race," Dumas said, "Timo did a great job at the start and kept us in a good position. After the safety car came out, we made a perfect driver change. After I drove, we didn't have a lot of traffic obviously but, for Porsche to finish 1-2-3, is fantastic."

Dumas and Bernhard ran the entire race on one set of tyres, a strategy the team developed had prior to the race, which was scheduled shorter than the usual 2hr 45min affairs. Their pit-stop and the race's only caution also fell at the right time as Dumas re-joined the track with 70 minutes remaining, the maximum time allowed for one driver in the race.

"We decided to take the risk and it wasn't easy on the car," the Frenchman continued, "But we took the risk and it helped us win the race. The driver change was really good, the tyres were good and I knew I could push. Ten minutes from the end, I only had a ten-second lead so just had to focus on not making mistakes."

The win also ended a nine-race winning streak for Audi's R10 TDI, although Allan McNish and Dindo Capello won the LMP1 class for the second consecutive race. However, on a day that belonged to the LMP2 runners, the silver machine could only finish seventh overall. Team-mates Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner finished second in class, a lap down, handing the points advantage to the reigning champions.

"Every run of victories has to come to an end at some point, so we have to keep it all in perspective," McNish said phlegmatically, "We saw yesterday that it was going to be trickier than at St Petersburg, so we did the strategy the best way possible and I believe it was the right strategy. We just didn't have the pace to put us into the final parts of it today."

The issues started early as the brake ducts became clogged during Capello's stint. The car also had to pit late while running in the top five because it was running low on fuel.

Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin went wire-to-wire to win for the third consecutive race in GT1. The #4 Corvette took a 0.349secs win over the sister car of Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell, who was chasing Beretta down in the closing laps. Both cars pitted at the halfway point, making the race a duel between the pit crews.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Romain Dumas celebrates Penske Porsche`s 1-2 victory at Le Mans   [pic credit: ALMS]
Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta - Corvette Racing C6,.R   [pic credit: ALMS]
Mika Salo/Jaime Melo - Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT   [pic credit: ALMS]
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#69 Werks II Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with #23 Porsche, #88 Porsche.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#6 Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder`s Sascha Maassen getting in during pit stop.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#6 Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder`s Sascha Maassen followed by #911 Porsche Hybrid.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#92 BMW Rahal Letterman Racing BMW E92 M3 followed by #62 & #61 Ferrari, #23 Porsche, #45 Porsche and #04 Ford GT.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#6 Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder`s Sascha Maassen followed by #01 Ferrari, #52 Oreca, #35 Pescarolo and #55 & #95 Oreca.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#63 The Racer`s Group Porsche 911 GT3 Cup pit stop and driver`s exchange.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#63 The Racer`s Group Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with #08 Peugeot.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#911 Porsche Motorsports North America Porsche 911 GT3R-Hybrid.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#63 The Racer`s Group Porsche 911 GT3 Cup followed by #54 Porsche and #02 Ferrari.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#63 The Racer`s Group Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with #54 Porsche followed by #99 Oreca and #77 Porsche.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#17 Team Falken Tire Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR grid girls.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#08  Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDI FAP with #69 Porsche.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#8 Drayson Racing Lola B09-60/Judd and #44 Porsche.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#1 Patron Highcroft Racing HPD ARX-01C`s Simon Pagenaud and #44 Porsche.

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