Final Qualifying Saturday Round 8, American Le Mans Series 6th November 1999, Las Vegas, Nevada BMW V12 LMR prototypes to start from third row Munich/Las Vegas. Lady luck deserted the two BMW V12 LMRs in qualifying for the final round of...
Final Qualifying Saturday Round 8, American Le Mans Series 6th November 1999, Las Vegas, Nevada
BMW V12 LMR prototypes to start from third row
Munich/Las Vegas. Lady luck deserted the two BMW V12 LMRs in qualifying for the final round of the American Le Mans Series in America's gambling city of Las Vegas this weekend. The two prototypes will start the race from fifth and sixth positions. Finn JJ Lehto lapped the Nevada circuit in a time of 1 minute 08.619 seconds, good enough for fifth position, behind the wheel of the No. 42 BMW prototype that he shares with Briton Steve Soper. This year's Le Mans winner Joachim Winkelhock qualified the BMW V12 LMR he shares with American Bill Auberlen in sixth after lapping the 2.25 mile (3,6 kilometre) circuit in 1 minute 08.698 seconds in the No. 43 car.
In the GT class Hans-Joachim Stuck was fourth fastest, recording a lap of 1 minute 19.742 seconds in the BMW Team PTG-prepared BMW M3 coupe. Stuck drives with Johannes van Overbeek (USA), who can still win the GT drivers title.
BMW Team Manager Charly Lamm: "It seems we have not yet unlocked the secret of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After three pole positions and twice being on front row of the grid, today's qualifying result is not what we expected. Since we arrived here we have not been able to close the gap to the front runners. We lose time all over the circuit, in the infield as well as on the straight. We already knew that pole position would be difficult, and so preferred to concentrate on our race set up. Therefore we made big change in set up and used a harder tire compound than we usually would for a qualifying lap."
JJ Lehto #42: "We did what we could and fortunately we now have a little less understeer. But we did not solve our set up problem, especially regarding grip. We are missing one second, which is a new experience for us."
Steve Soper #42: "We have been working hard to set up the car properly. We have now used some of the data from car number 43. Of course it is not ideal to make such a change before qualifying, but it suits us better."
Joachim Winkelhock #43: "It went okay so far, although I did not have a really clear lap. I believe our race depends on how consistent the tires will be. The circuit has four tight bends out of which one has to accelerate hard, which of course costs rubber."
Bill Auberlen #43: "The team has made real progress on the car and I was very pleased with it in the morning's session. Different springs, shocks and some further adjustments made a change for the better. The balance and especially the high-speed handling improved a lot. Overall it makes me happy that Joachim is in such good form. Together we will be a strong team in the race."
Hans-Joachim Stuck #6 (BMW M3, BMW Team PTG): "I think we are prepared for the race. My goal is to reach the podium and I think there is a chance for third place."