No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Tim Bergmeister leads the Audis and McLarens around Road America en route to Porsche's first podium finish of the year.
Tim Bergmeister Breaks Through for a Podium and Two Top-Five Finishes
Elkhart Lake, Wisc. Tim Bergmeister (Germany), driving the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, recorded the first two top-five finishes for the car in North America by securing a third-place result in Round #7 and a fifth place in Round #8 of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge this weekend at Road America.
Bergmeister, who made his racing comeback at Road America last year at the Rolex Grand-Am event after recovering from a bad accident in Japan, was one of the fastest cars in practice, but had to start eighth in yesterday's Round #7 as qualifying was rained out. The grid was determined by the current point standings, so he was placed behind seven cars with V8 engines, which could out-muscle the Porsche on Road America's long straight-aways.
Still, Bergmeister was able to pick off his competition by out-cornering and out-breaking them in the corners, and found himself third with only two laps to go. He got a beat on the second-place Cadillac, but, as he went by it, the McLaren behind him got the best of both cars, put Tim back in third, where he finished.
In today's race, a very long yellow flag - lasting more than 40 percent of the timed 50-minute event, gave everyone limited race laps, and although the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche was again competitive, Bergmeister found himself a victim of traffic and incidents in front of him, and could not progress beyond his fifth finishing position.
The #41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, with which Michael Mills, of Angelton, Tex. was leading the GT Amateur points coming into the race, had a disappointing weekend, suffering a radiator puncture on Friday and an electrical problem in today's event.
GTS - Baldwin Fights for Points in the Porsche Cayman S
Jack Baldwin, from Marietta, Georgia, has said that every preparation detail has to be correct, and then everything on the track has to go his way for the his GTSport Porsche Cayman S to be up front in the GTS class against the bigger-engined Mustangs and Camaros, and the lighter, turbo-charged Kias. And the one-point lead he took into yesterday's Round #7 - even with a DNF at Long Beach - shows that he and his team have fulfilled that mission so far this year.
This was not Jack's weekend, however, as he was running in the top three when the car suffered an electrical glitch that stole power on an intermittent basis. He clawed and scratched his way to a fifth-place finish, but lost his points lead. In today's race, an unrelated engine problems sidelined the Cayman after only three laps.
Michael Mills, No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, GT-A class: "The team gave me a great car Friday, and I looked forward to expanding my points lead in GT-A, but some questionable driving by two competitors - one hitting me in the back and the other in the front - caused us to finish out of the running. Today, we were again one of the strongest cars in GT-A, but had to pull off with an electrical problem. I am still in contention for the GT-A championship, and we have to pace to beat the competition going forward, so I am still optimistic about the season championship."
Tim Bergmeister, No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, GT Class: "We finally put this Porsche 911 GT3 R on the podium Friday as we knew we would be better on a traditional sports car course. When qualifying was rained out and we had to start by point standings, that was a bad break as I am eighth in the points, but I was able to move up by passing people in the corners. We just don't have enough horsepower to get by the big V8s on the long Road America straights, so I had to pick my spots. When I passed the Cadillac to go from third to second, I had to brake so late that I left the door open for the McLaren to get by me late in the race, but third is a good finish for us."
"In Saturday's race, with the long yellow flag in the middle, we didn't have as many race laps as we would have wanted, and I had to lift several times when guys spun in front of me, allowing others to get past. But the Porsche ran well again, and was especially good in the corners. Fifth place was good, and we really made progress this weekend."
Jack Baldwin, No. 73 GTSport Porsche Cayman S, GTS class: "It was a heck of a race on Friday. We raced harder than ever in our RESET-MD Porsche Cayman S. Once again my hat is off to my team for giving me a very well set up race car. The StopTech brakes on my Cayman gave me the opportunity to make some key passes and make a run for a podium finish. Unfortunately a late race electrical issue took us out of the running for a better finish, but the Porsche Cayman S proved once again that it a highly competitive and awesome race car. Saturday's DNF was disappointing, but we will have to diagnose what went wrong and get ready for Toronto in two weeks - we are still in this championship fight."
Complete results from the Road America weekend can be found at www.world-challenge.com.