It Takes Two

To make a thing go right at Lime Rock Park.

Park Place Motorsports took home its first win of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season in the Northeast Grand Prix. Porsche Factory Driver Jörg Bergmeister took the checkered flag in the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R after leading nearly an hour of the two hour and 40-minute race. This is Bergmeister’s seventh win at Lime Rock Park; he’s competed in nine events total at the Connecticut track.

“I’m very happy with this win,” Bergmeister said. “It just feels like it’s about time. After going a year and a half without a win, you start to doubt yourself. I think this was good for Porsche and good for Park Place Motorsports. Porsche took home wins in both possible categories. It was a tough race. Brian was right behind me the entire time, and Patrick Long was right behind him. I tried to save my tires for the end of the race, so I could really push. I think it paid off.”

Today's win is Team Principal Patrick Lindsey’s best finish at Lime Rock Park. Previously, Lindsey’s best result was a sixth-place finish in 2015. This is also Lindsey’s first win with Bergmeister under the Park Place Motorsports tent. The duo earned two GT Daytona podium finishes in 2016 at Detroit Belle Isle and Road America. Park Place Motorsports last win was at the 2015 Petit Le Mans.

It was a long road to the winner’s circle. After starting fifth, Lindsey drove up to the third position and held his ground. Lindsey fought hard to keep a pair of Lexus’ behind him. As Lindsey approached lap traffic, the No. 15 and No. 14 passed him. As the No. 14 made his pass contact was made with the front right of the No. 73. The fender liner and bumper caved in causing a large amount of smoke as Lindsey drove down the front straight.

“That was an exciting start,” Lindsey said. “I was happy to gain a few positions at the start. We were fighting to keep the two Lexus’ behind us. I got caught in lap traffic and wasn’t able to hold them off. When one of the cars went around me, we made contact. With all the smoke I was worried, we were going to have to pit early. We were so close to our pit window, all I wanted was to make it to the end of my stint. Luckily, those Continental Tires held their pressure, and I made it back. Thrilled to have won. Jörg and the team all did an amazing job this weekend. Start to finish.”

Tire pressures remained intact, and Lindsey finished out his stint. The team repaired the car during the driver change, but the damage did add five seconds to the pit stop time. Bergmeister entered the race in 15th and began climbing the field. He reached third before Lead Engineer John Horton made the call for the final pit stop. Horton hoped the early pit would put Bergmeister out-front as other teams continued to cycle through final pit stops.

“The incident at the start did alter the strategy a little, but we had enough pace in the car to still fight in the end,” Horton said. “We let Jörg know what would happen at the end, so he had to manage his tires, still be quick, but manage his tires. Strategy is a constant evolvement through every race. Our initial intent was to be the first to pit, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Park Place Motorsports’ next race is Road America for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Sunday, August 6. All four classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be at the 4-mile track. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1. Check imsa.com for details.