PORTLAND, Ore. -- Aug. 1, 2001 -- After a rough weekend in Northern California two weeks ago, Porsche 911 GT3 RS competitors have focused their attention on besting the BMW competition on the 1.944-mile track at Portland International Raceway...
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Aug. 1, 2001 -- After a rough weekend in Northern California two weeks ago, Porsche 911 GT3 RS competitors have focused their attention on besting the BMW competition on the 1.944-mile track at Portland International Raceway on Sunday, August 5, at 1:00 PM PDT.
In the last event, the four BMWs swept the first four places -- not a situation that Alex Job, who owns the two leading GT entries, wants repeated in Oregon. "We have worked hard to make the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers more competitive for Portland, and we are determined to keep both our drivers and our car manufacturer points championship standings in first place," said Job.
After sweeping first and second places in the first two ALMS events this season -- with drivers Lucas Luhr, from Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Sascha Maassen, from Aachen, Germany -- taking both victories, the best Alex Job Racing Porsche could manage was a fifth place at Sears Point. Luhr and Maassen had teamed for wins at the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas and the Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring.
The #22 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS will be driven by Randy Pobst, from Melbourne, Fla., and Christian Menzel, from Kelberg, Germany. Pobst and Menzel have second place finishes at Texas and Sebring.
In the two rounds of the European Le Mans Series held so far this year, the Alex Job Racing Porsches took the same one-two positions at Donington Park in England this past April, but then gave way to the BMWs at Jarama in Spain in May for a one^×two finish of their own.
The Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a bright spot for Porsche at Sears point, finishing sixth and running a perfect race for team owner Mike Petersen. Englishman Johnny Mowlem will again be joined on the driving roster by 20 year-old German GT driver Timo Bernhard. Bernhard, who spent the past two years driving in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany, drove with Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel in the second-place Alex Job Racing entry at Sebring. Most recently, he won the Porsche SuperCup race at the Nurburgring last weekend in Germany. The #30 Petersen Motorsports Porsche with Luhr/Fitzgerald/Pobst/Menzel at the helm, won the GT class at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona earlier this year, finishing second overall.
Other Porsche 911 GT3 RS entries include the 2001 Le Mans-winning team -- Seikel Motorsports -- with drivers Philip Collin and Tony Burgess (the Italian drivers Rosa/Babini/Drudi won Le Mans); the Racer's Group, with owner Kevin Buckler entered with a second driver to be named; a Dick Barbour Racing entry with drivers Randy Wars and Mark Neuhaus; and the Kyser Racing entry of Kye Wankum and Jeff Pabst.
Practice starts on Friday, August 3, with final qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland taking place on Saturday at 5:40 PM PDT for Sunday's event.
The Grand Prix of Portland will be telecast on the Speedvision network starting at 8:30 PM Eastern Time on Monday, August 6 (check local listings for the exact time in different time zones). The race, along with qualifying sessions starting August 4, will be broadcast live on the 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.
The official Porsche Web site -- www.porsche.com -- will have qualifying information on the Grand Prix of Portland for all the Porsches entered, and will file stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche Web site users should choose "North America" on the home page when prompted to choose a country, then choose "motorsports," then "motorsport news" to find the ALMS updates.
Other Web sites that will follow the overall event include the American Le Mans site mentioned above, the ON TRACK ONLINE site, (www.ontrackonline.com), TotalMotorsport (www.totalmotorsport.com); The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), the Speedvision site (w ww.speedvision.com), Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com) and the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com).