Munich/Jarama. Dirk Muller(D)/Fredrik Ekblom (S) secured the first victory for the new GT car in Jarama after the two BMW M3 GTRs started from the front row of the GT grid. JJ Lehto(FIN)/Jorg Muller (D) came second in the GT class with the sister...
Munich/Jarama. Dirk Muller(D)/Fredrik Ekblom (S) secured the first victory for the new GT car in Jarama after the two BMW M3 GTRs started from the front row of the GT grid. JJ Lehto(FIN)/Jorg Muller (D) came second in the GT class with the sister car. The second round of the European Le Mans Series, a two-hour, 45 minute event, took place on the former Grand Prix track of Jarama, Spain.
At the start JJ Lehto took the lead from pole sitter Dirk Muller, but let him pass by again in lap 7 of 102. Due toimproved fuel consumption of the V8 both cars completed the event with just one pit stop. JJ Lehto handed his car to Jorg after 50 laps and one lap later Dirk handed over to Fredrik.
Next to BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen, Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya kept his fingers crossed for his engine supplier in Formula One.
BMW Motorsport Director Dr MarioTheissen sums up: "We are very pleased that we could show the full potential of the BMW M3 GTR here for the first time. We had no technical problems during the entire race or during qualifying, which proves that the team has solved all the teething problems of this new car. Now we can start to concentrate on fine tuning."
BMW Motorsport Team Manager CharlyLamm: "Jarama seems to like us. We last raced here 14 years ago and finished with a double victory then too. It is fantastic repeating that result and it is the right award for the BMW engineersand the team who worked so hard. Both pit stops lasted exactly 51 seconds.Considering that one has to refuel first before changing a tyre and the number of mechanics on duty is limited by the rules, this was an extremely good effort from the pit crew."
Dirk Muller: "I'm very, very happy for the team. The car was just fantastic. I got stuck for awhile behind a GTS car and also lost one and half seconds when I realized that the earplugs with the radio speakers had come out when I fastened the seatbelt and I managed to get the earplugs in place again. The track got more and more slipperyand I tried not to push too hard in order to save the tyres."
Fredrik Ekblom: "Dirk did excellent preparatory work. I took over a leading car and just had to find the right driving rhythm, which worked. It was a clean stint -- no missed gears, not a single problem with another car. I would like to thank the whole team for giving me such a well balanced car."
Jorg Muller: "To be honest I would have liked to be first, but JJ and I missed two hours of practice on Friday due to some technical difficulties and did not get the setup of the car completely right."
JJ Lehto:"It was good racing. But unfortunately we could not get our car to handle as well as we would have liked. I also had massive understeer."