Two Men on a Mission: Six Hours, Sixth Place
WATKINS GLEN. NY (July 1, 2018) – After a three-month hiatus Park Place Motorsports returned to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to finish sixth at Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen after starting the race from the back of the field and missing qualifying.
A hit from the No. 77 of Mazda Motorsports in Practice Three took Park Place Motorsports out of qualifying and saddled the team with a 17th place starting position of an 18-car field. The sixth-place finish at Watkins Glen International was a testament to the strong performance of the crew before and after the race.
The team had the No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R back in working order by 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30. The finished product came after nearly 11 hours of meticulous work rebuilding the front left and rear of the No. 73. When the green flag dropped at 9:45 a.m. the damage was untraceable, but the problems were far from over.
At the start of the endurance race, Patrick Lindsey dropped back to 18 from unconfirmed electrical issues. After the first caution, 10 minutes past the beginning, the team had Lindsey reset the car while on the front stretch. The simple fix cured the issue for the duration of the race. On top of the phantom electrical problem, a strong vibration ensued through the first three hours. Tire pressures were adapted to alleviate the vibration.
Park Place Motorsports’ setup had the Porsche increasingly more comfortable on track toward the end of the Sahlen’s Six Hour. Lindsey climbed as high as second, Jorg Bergmeister took over sixth within the last minutes of the race. Sixth is the highest finishing place of a Porsche in the GTD class and Park Place Motorsports highest finish in the Tequila Patròn North America Endurance Championship this season.
“It went as well as possible considering,” Bergmeister said. “I don’t know that we had the car to win today, but we made the best of our situation after Renè (Rast) hit Patrick and we did not qualify. We struggled a bit with different issues during the race and overcame them for the sixth-place finish. I’m not entirely happy of course, but I think we accomplished what was possible with the car.”
Lindsey’s sentiments mirrored his teammates.
“I can’t complain about sixth,” Lindsey said. “I’m not sure Porsche was the car to beat this weekend, but I did feel like we had a great car in practice. The setup wasn’t perfect for the race, but the guys figured things out after the start. The crew did a great job this weekend.
“Without everyone working as hard as they did we could have been done Saturday. They got us back out there and kept us competitive. Which is all I ever want to be, if we’re competitive we have a shot. Not a bad weekend at Watkins Glen- highest finishing Porsche, no real race drama and our best finish of the season.”
Watkins Glen International is unofficially the last IMSA sanctioned event for Lindsey and Bergmeister. Schedule conflict of Petit Le Mans in October with the World Endurance Championship Fuji International Raceway will keep the duo out of the fight at Road Atlanta. A lineup for Park Place Motorsports has yet to be confirmed.
Park Place Motorsports next race is at Road America with Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama for Round 9 and Round 10. The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes place Aug. 3-5 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Race One is set to take place Saturday, Aug. 4, with Race Two ending the weekend Sunday, Aug. 5. For a detailed schedule visit http:/imsa.com.