IMSA Spotlight: Joerg Bergmeister
Driver: No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
You’re coming off a podium finish at Road America. Does that give you and co-driver Patrick Lindsey added confidence heading into the rest of the season?
“As a team we have always had confidence about our approach. Success, obviously, helps give you a little more. But, the results at Road America were a little misleading.
“To get the best performance, Patrick and I were on a knife-edge the entire weekend so it was not a comfortable run to the podium. It was a great result for the team and we will take it but, in all fairness, we got lucky that our competitors made mistakes.
“What was not luck is that the Park Place team made no mistakes. We put ourselves in the best position we could and it paid off. I think it is the team’s performance, more than the success, that gives Patrick and I added confidence.”
With Porsche just a few points behind in second, how much of a focus is on the GTD Manufacturers Championship?
“Our main focus is to win a race this year. Two second-place finishes leaves you wanting to be on the top step. The competition is tough but if we can get everything right and win, that is our goal.
“Nothing helps Porsche win the GTD Manufacturers’ championship more than winning races. That is our approach.”
How has the transition been for you to GTD this year? What has been one of the biggest surprises?
“No surprises at all. I knew the competition would be very intense in the GTD class. The races are really close every weekend which is normal for GT3-style racing. Therefore, no really big surprises for me coming into the class.
“I have enjoyed the racing here; it is really good competition. As a driver, that is what you are looking for, competition. The class you are in should not matter if you are racing hard and getting the most from yourself and the car, at least that is how I feel.
“You want the tight fight and that is always there in GTD. Nothing comes easy here.
“There isn’t much more you can ask for as a driver than that challenge every race. It also gives the fans a good show.”
If you had your choice, what track would you add to the WeatherTech Championship schedule?
“Mid-Ohio. It is a classic track that always used to be on the schedule for both series, ALMS and Grand-Am. It draws a good crowd and always provided good racing.
“For a driver, it is a very technical track. It has some quick sections but also some technical sections which makes placing the car in the right spot and the setup really important so it is about both the driver and the team.
“That is the one missing on the calendar that I would put back.”
You’ve won sports car races and championships around the world. Do you have any desire to try your hand in any other types of racing?
“I am still open for anything. I have done V8 Supercars which was fun. I’d try Dakar or whatever but I am not actively approaching anything. Porsche keeps me pretty busy as it is. There is not a lot of opportunity to do much else.
“But, if it is a good opportunity with a good program, I probably would try it no matter what series… if Porsche would let me, of course.
“Some things, like formula cars, are very hard for me because of my height so that eliminates some options. But, I really enjoy what I am doing. The competition is very good, I am racing in a number of different places and series and different Porsche 911s. So, for the stuff that I fit in, I am very satisfied, very happy.”