BMW Motorsport Texas preview

media note: the O in Jorg and U in both Muller names should be spelled with an umlaut ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------ 23 February 2001 Start of the American Le Mans Series in Texas on 4...

media note: the O in Jorg and U in both Muller names should be spelled with an umlaut ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------

23 February 2001

Start of the American Le Mans Series in Texas on 4 March 2001 JJ Lehto/Jörg Müller start the new season with last year's GT car Development of the new BMW M3 GTR moving fast

Munich. BMW will start the new American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season on 4 March at Fort Worth in the US State of Texas with a BMW M3 GT from last year for the drivers JJ Lehto (FIN) and Jorg Muller (D). The new BMW M3 GTR, which will be driven by the works team comprising Fredrik Ekblom (S) and Dirk Muller (D) and the drivers in the American BMW Team PTG, has not yet been completed.

BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen explains, "It is not five months ago that we actually started the development work. Although the BMW M3 GT, which PTG drove last year, was used as a basis, we nevertheless decided to make a number of modifications, all of which take time. We intend to conduct the first trials of the M3 GTR on 17 March at Sebring."

BMW Team Manager Charly Lamm continues, "The race in Texas is nevertheless important. It is our first in the GT class of ALMS and will therefore be a new sporting experience for all of us. What is more we will have an opportunity to test individual components of the new M3 GTR in race conditions." Another aim of the race, which lasts two hours and 45 minutes, is to gather some initial experience with the Michelin tires for the BMW M3.

The BMW Team PTG will continue to use Yokohama tires and will start in Texas with two of last year's cars. Hans-Joachim Stuck, who previously fought against the elements for a week as an instructor at a sponsor's event in North Canada, will alternate with the American Boris Said. The second BMW M3 entered by the PTG Team will be driven by Bill Auberlen and Nic Jonsson (both from the USA).

The Texas Motor Speedway is an oval circuit with two 24-degree banked curves. The track was extended in 2000 by a twisting section in its interior. This means that the circuit now measures 3.737 kilometres in length (2.323 miles) and its variety places heavy demands on tuning work.

The race will be held on Sunday, 4 March, from 1 pm to 3.45 pm local time (8 pm - 10.45 pm Central European Time).

-BMW-

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Series ALMS