Fans and crew alike stared at the TV screens and race track in avid attention as Henzler lead the GT cars to the green flag. Henzler maintained his lead for a short time, but ultimately was passed by a Corvette. "In the beginning it was okay but then I started to lose grip," Henzler remarked. "One Corvette passed me and I couldn't follow him." Television coverage couldn't pull away from the teal and green Porsche raging in second. Henzler then battled hard and outraced a BMW, Corvette and another BMW as his older tires slowly started to lose their grip. Although he felt the cars behind him would eventually gain ground on him with their fresh tires, Henzler held position with 40 minutes remaining on the clock.
The BMW behind Henzler drove late into Turn 11, making contact with the Porsche Works driver, on the left rear of the Porsche. "I came sideways and lost grip, then had a bad exit," said Henzler. "He passed me, then the Corvette and the other BMW passed me." By this time, the Falken Azenis RT slick tires had an extra stint than the competition, and slowly started to lose grip against the competition's fresher tires. On the final lap, Henzler raced through the white flag as a Ferrari and another Porsche charged from behind. "I was hit again on the left in the last turn and again came sideways, and they both passed on the front straight." After a race full of extreme highs and frustrating lows, Henzler crossed the finish line in seventh, wrapping up Round 3 of the 2012 American Le Mans Series.
The team has two months off before heading to Lime Rock Park July 6-7 for Round 4, and will use the break to the full advantage by testing later this month at Road Atlanta. "The car may look very similar to last year, but it's quite a different car in terms of handling," said Derrick Walker. Although pleased with the performance of the new, taller tire, the team seeks to continue the progress and create a full set of tires to match the needs of the new Porsche. "We got a lot of new parts this weekend to go with the car. As always it's a combination, so it's getting the tires to match what this car is now."
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