Eventful Day At The Races As Maassen Retains Top Spot Atop GT Points Standings After The GT3 Grand Prix At Mosport -Weather and treacherous conditions take their toll on Porsche teams as BMW's Muller pulls even in the GT Driver's points ...
Eventful Day At The Races As Maassen Retains Top Spot Atop GT Points Standings After The GT3 Grand Prix At Mosport
-Weather and treacherous conditions take their toll on Porsche teams as BMW's Muller pulls even in the GT Driver's points race-
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada. - Aug. 19, 2001 - Heavy rains and attrition conspired against the Porsche teams today as BMW driver Jorg Muller pulled even with Sascha Maassen atop the GT driver's point standings.
The race started under treacherous conditions with the first lap seeing several cars spin, slide and swerve their way around the historic 2.4 mile Mosport Park track.
"At the start there was a lot of water," said Lucas Luhr, who qualified and started the number 23 Alex Job Racing, McKenna Porsche entry. "The BMWs have better straight-line speed, but in the wet I was able to stay closer than I could when it dried out."
The track conditions began to take their toll as accidents, pit stops and lapping traffic continued to juggle the race positions. After starting on wet weather tires and a soft suspension setting, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS driven by Timo Bernhard climbed as high as third before pitting for fuel and slick tires. But once back on the track, the young German driver wound up in the tire wall.
"Things were going well," Said Walter Gerber, team manager for the number 30 White Lightning Racing car. "Then Timo moved over to let an LMP car by and he got into the wet, the mud and the marbles. He went off."
It was not a smooth day for the second Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel. The car began to run hot from the beginning of the race and continued to loose water all day long. The car was finally parked after 92 laps with a suspected engine problem.
"The car was difficult in the wet," said Randy Pobst, who drove the number 22 Porsche 911 GT3 RS the first stint of the race. "But when it was dry the car was absolutely right. It's a shame. I was very happy with my car today."
As the race drew to a close, the Porsches were unable to make any headway against the V8 powered BMW specials. With his fourth- place finish, Porsche pilot Sascha Maassen still remains tied atop the GT driver's point standings with three races left to go.
The next race on the schedule is the August 25th American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Mid Ohio. Practice starts on Friday, August 24, with qualifying for the race taking place on Friday night at 4:10 PM EDT for Saturday's event. It will be telecast live on the NBC television network starting at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (check local listings for the exact time and channel in your area). The race, along with qualifying sessions, will be broadcast live starting August 24 on the American Le Mans Radio Network, which can be accessed on the Web at www.americanlemans.com. That same American Le Mans Series Web site will also have live timing and scoring during qualifying and the race event.