Road America: BAM! qualifying report

back on track BAM! (British American Motorsport) will start the American Le Mans Series race at Road America on Sunday from seventh on the GT grid. Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen qualified the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in two...

back on track

BAM! (British American Motorsport) will start the American Le Mans Series race at Road America on Sunday from seventh on the GT grid. Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen qualified the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in two minutes 9.589 seconds on the 4.048-mile road course. He and Leo Hindery, Jr. lost a full day of practice on Friday due to an engine problem, so they used Saturday to work on the car's race setup.

"We are constantly improving," Maassen said. "The good thing is we put in a lot of grip for the rear of the car. Qualifying wasn't so good because we had a little too much push in the car; it's acting strangely on the track because it has so much understeer. But I think we have a good, safe setup for the race."

Hindery noted the close lap times in the GT class: "Today was that sort of day when you see just how good this series is getting. We had some of the most remarkable GT times we've had all year from top to bottom. Seven cars were within seven-tenths [of a second]. But that's how ALMS has designed itself, which is to bunch them together and make the greatest racing for the fans possible. They're going to see it tomorrow."

brat power

Leo Hindery, Jr. believes the ALMS teams may benefit from a local fuel at Road America - the area's famed bratwurst. "The best I can tell, the winner tomorrow will be the team that's either had the most brats or the fewest brats. The fewest may give you a weight advantage, but the most will give you a turbo-charged horsepower advantage," he said.

tire talk

Road America offers a high-speed challenge to ALMS teams, especially when it rains. Jerry Rinaldo, Michelin ALMS operations manager, believes the key to speed is in car setup for the long straights. "The track is quite long and very fast - just pin your ears back and go for it. A lot of teams are trying to concentrate on cornering, but I think the gains are to be made on the straightaways. What you gain in the corner, you lose on the straightaways," he said.

"It would be interesting if it rained and then stopped raining. That would be a challenge for everybody what to put on - slicks, intermediates or full wets [tires]. Half this track is under cover of trees, so it may be dry here [at start/finish], but when you go down to the back end where it's covered by trees, it could still be wet. But according to the weather forecast, we may not have to think about that."

-bam!-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Sascha Maassen , Leo Hindery