Munich/Sonoma. BMW Motorsport maintained its lead in American Le Mans Series chassis, engine, team and driver championship standings after finishing third and fourth in the ALMS Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway. Works drivers JJ...
Munich/Sonoma. BMW Motorsport maintained its lead in American Le Mans Series chassis, engine, team and driver championship standings after finishing third and fourth in the ALMS Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway. Works drivers JJ Lehto (FIN) and Jorg Muller (D) started fifth and finished third in the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR, and their team- mates Bill Auberlen (USA) and Jean-Marc Gounon (F) started eighth and finished fourth in the No. 43 BMW. BMW Team PTG driver Hans-J. Stuck (D) and his co-driver Boris Said (USA) won the GT class, but their victory was disallowed after the race because the car's fuel tank was found to be bigger than series regulations allow.
BMW Motorsport team manager Charly Lamm: "We're very pleased with the results. Third and fourth was not something we could dream of with the problems we encountered during the practice and qualifying days. We knew going into this race that it would be very tough for us because we had a lack of grip on both cars. Our plan was to drive a conservative race; it was a team effort and the reliability of our BMW V12 LMRs which helped to achieve these results."
JJ Lehto #42: "We don't feel like we're third today. We were so slow that it's depressing. We were not okay at all today. We have a lot of work to do and a lot to catch up."
Jorg Muller #42: "It was a really hard race for us, but we still lead in the championship. We were struggling through the whole race. I'm quite happy with the result, but we really have to work hard to get the car on the pace again."
Bill Auberlen #43: "We protected Jorg and JJ's point lead which is what we were here to do. We were just following them from behind, had no problems at all and brought fourth-place home."
Jean-Marc Gounon #43: "In the race our BMW was lacking performance, but we benefited from the exit of the two Panoz. I am happy about our good result, but I also know that we need to improve still for Mosport."
Hans-J. Stuck, #7, GT class: "There are rules we have to obey and our tank capacity did not comply with the rules. It did not affect the race, because we had still enough to win with an extra two litres [of fuel]. It's very sad for the team because they tried their utmost. But our improvements have paid off, like the engine, and Yokohama played a big role. We maintained our speed longer than Porsche did on the Michelin tires. I put pressure on the Porsche driver, so he cooked his tires and then the snake bit him."