Round 4, American Le Mans Series 25 July 1999, Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, California Munich/Sonoma. The BMW V12 LMR of JJ Lehto (FIN) and Steve Soper (GB) crossed the line as winner of the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at...
Round 4, American Le Mans Series 25 July 1999, Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, California
Munich/Sonoma. The BMW V12 LMR of JJ Lehto (FIN) and Steve Soper (GB) crossed the line as winner of the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the Sears Point Raceway. Lehto/Soper completed 97 laps around the 4.055-kilometer track in California and saw the flag 2.324 seconds before Brabham/Bernard (Panoz Ford).
The second open-top BMW sports car, shared by Bill Auberlen (USA) and Joachim Winkelhock (Ger.), finished fifth.
Lehto and Auberlen were the start drivers. After 40 and 39 laps they handed over to their respective partners, and then retook the wheel again after 76 and 73 laps respectively.
The BMW M3 coupe of BMW works driver Hans-Joachim Stuck and Boris Said (USA) won the GT Class. The updated 1998 BMW V12 LMR of the Price and Bscher team, with Pedro Lamy and Thomas Bscher at the wheel, came seventh.
BMW Team Manager Charly Lamm: "Achieving a second victory in the ALMS with our BMW V12 LMR has required impressive all-round talent. The BMW engineers have developed a car which is able to be the best in Le Mans as well as at the Sears Point circuit with all its tight corners. The technical preparation by the team and an outstanding performance by the drivers was our recipe of success. For sure, it is not easy to worm through this enormous traffic."
JJ Lehto #42: "Pole-position, track record and victory - it just could not be better. It was a great race and a hard one at the same time. The traffic was enormous but I really have to say the drivers of the slower GT and GTS cars took a lot of care. I want to thank them for that."
Steve Soper #42: "I am really happy with my own performance. This is only my third race this year, so I was not really sure how good I would be. The car and the Michelin tires felt extremely good to me, although I stayed on the tires JJ had already used."
Bill Auberlen #43: "I lost one position at the start but after that everything went very well. the car ran just like a clock. It is a reasonable result, especially because we suffered a 20-second penalty due to a misunderstanding."
Joachim Winkelhock #43: "Of course, it's a pity that we missed the podium - I will never forget the feeling how it was standing on the top in Le Mans."
Hans-Joachim Stuck #9 (BMW M, BMW Team PTG): "Wow we have caught our first win in the ALMS! The battle was decided in the very last lap. It was a real achievement from the team. The guys of Tom Milner´" team gave Boris Said and me a great new toy."