MONTEREY, Calif. (October 18, 2008) – The DHL Penske Porsche American Le Mans Series (ALMS) teams entered Saturday’s Monterey Sports Car Challenge, the final round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series, with the LMP2 prototype driver’s and team championships already clinched, but the manufacturers title was still up for grabs. In a four-hour race which featured 13 caution periods and a racing surface filled with gravel due to many off-track incidents, Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) guided the No. 7 DHL Penske Porsche RS Spyder to a third-place LMP2 class finish (fifth overall) – high enough to edge Acura by a single point in the final standings.
Porsche ended the season with 214 points, and Acura, with a one-two finish at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course, finished second with 213.
Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche Motorsport, couldn’t have planned the season any better for this final result – as Porsche also clinched the manufacturer’s championship in the production-based GT2 class. “To win all six championships – team, driver, and manufacturer’s titles in both LMP2 and GT2 – is so much satisfying than any individual race that we could win,” said a proud Kristen. “This effort included all our teams, their drivers and crews, our engineers – both at the track and in Germany – and all the Porsche AG, Porsche Motorsport, and Porsche Cars North America employees that helped make this happen. A special thanks must go to Penske Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports, the teams that produced the driver’s championships and contributed heavily to the manufacturer’s titles.”
Team Penske IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Briscoe (Australia) and Helio Castroneves (Brazil) finished fourth in the LMP2 class (fifth overall) in the No. 5 DHL Penske Porsche RS Spyder, and Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) finished eighth in class (10th overall) in the No. 6 DHL Penske Porsche RS Spyder.
Earlier this month at the 2008 Petit Le Mans, Penske Racing had secured the LMP2 team title – their third straight – and the second consecutive driver’s title for Bernhard and Dumas.
The Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patrón from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will air on NBC Sports from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, October 19. XM Satellite Radio Channel 144 will broadcast the race from 4 to 8 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patrón
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.
Finishing order/starting position/drivers/car/class finishing position/laps run
1. (10) Lucas Luhr, Germany; Marco Werner, Germany; Audi AG R10/TDI (1, P1), 145.
2. (9) Christijan Albers, The Netherlands; Emanuele Pirro, Italy; Audi AG R10/TDI (2, P1), 145.
3. (5) Franck Montagny, Brignoles France; Tony Kanaan, Brazil; Acura ARX-01B (1, P2), 145.
4. (4) Gil de Ferran, Brazil; Simon Pagenaud, France; Acura ARX-01B (2, P2), 145.
5. (3) Timo Bernhard, Germany; Romain Dumas, France; Porsche RS Spyder (3, P2), 145.
6. (7) Ryan Briscoe, Australia; Helio Castroneves, Brazil; Porsche RS Spyder (4, P2), 145.
7. (8) Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Guy Smith, England; Porsche RS Spyder (5, P2), 145.
8. (11) Butch Leitzinger, State College, PA; Marino Franchitti, Scotland; Porsche RS Spyder (6, P2), 144.
9. (2) Luis Diaz, Mexico; Adrian Fernandez, Mexico; Acura ARX-01B (7, P2), 144.
10. (6) Patrick Long, Oak Park, CA; Sascha Maassen, Germany; Porsche RS Spyder (8, P2), 144.
11. (12) Stefan Johansson, Sweden; Johnny Mowlem, England; Zytek 07S (3, P1), 142.
12. (18) Oliver Gavin, England; Olivier Beretta, Monaco; Corvette C6.R (1, GT1), 139.
13. (17) Jan Magnussen, Denmark; Johnny O`Connell, Flowery Branch, GA; Corvette C6.R (2, GT1), 139.
14. (21) Dominik Farnbacher, Germany; Dirk Mueller, Germany; Ferrari F430 GT (1, GT2), 139.
15. (1) David Brabham, Australia; Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL; Acura ARX-01B (9, P2), 139.
16. (23) Mika Salo, Finland; Jaime Melo, Brazil; Ferrari F430 GT (2, GT2), 139.
17. (19) Dirk Werner, Germany; Bryce Miller, Hoboken, NJ; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (3, GT2), 138.
18. (15) Stephen Simpson, South Africa; Jamie Campbell-Walter, England; Liz Halliday, Rancho Santa Fe, CA; Creation CA 07 AIM (4, P1), 138.
19. (26) Tom Milner, Leesburg, VA; Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA; Panoz Esperante Ford (4, GT2), 137.
20. (22) Patrick Pilet, France; Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (5, GT2), 137.
21. (33) Darren Law, Phoenix, AZ; Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA; Lonnie Pechnik, Pacific Grove, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (6, GT2), 135.
22. (24) Ben Aucott, England; Pierre Kaffer, Germany; Ferrari 430 GT (7, GT2), 134.
23. (28) Paul Drayson, London, UK; Jonny Cocker, UK; Aston Martin Vantage (8, GT2), 134.
24. (29) Anthony Lazzaro, Acworth, GA; Andy Pilgrim, Del Ray Beach, FL; Tim Pappas, Boston, MA; Doran Ford GT-R (9, GT2), 133.
25. (20) Joerg Bergmeister, Germany; Wolf Henzler, Germany; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (10, GT2), 133.
26. (31) Pierre Ehret, Santa Rosa, CA; Harrison Brix, San Jose, CA; Alex Figge, Hollywood, CA; Ferrari F430 GT (11, GT2), 132.
27. (25) Tracy Krohn, Houston, TX; Nic Jonsson, Sweden; Ferrari F430 GT (12, GT2), 129.
28. (30) David Murry, Cumming, GA; Andrea Robertson, Ray, MI; David Robertson, Ray, MI; Doran Ford GT-R (13, GT2), 129.
29. (32) Joel Feinberg, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Chris Hall, Daytona, FL; Dodge Viper Comp Coupe (14, GT2), 112.
30. (13) Ben Devlin, England; Gerardo Bonilla, Orlando, FL; Raphael Matos, Brazil; Lola B07 46 Mazda (10, P2), 106.
31. (14) Jon Field, Dublin, OH; Ryan Lewis, UK; Richard Berry, Evergreen, CO; Lola B06/10 AER (5, P1), 102.
32. (16) Chris McMurry, Phoenix, AZ; Tony Burgess, Canada; Lola B06-10 AER (6, P1), 87.
33. (34) Hideki Noda, Japan; Andrew Prendeville, Chatham, NJ; Radical SR10 AER (7, P1), 46.
34. (27) Nicky Pastorelli, Netherlands; Francisco Pastorelli, Netherlands; Marc Basseng, Germany; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (15, GT2), 17, Accident.