Round 5, American Le Mans Series 19 August 2001, Bowmanville, Ont. BMW Motorsport first and second at Mosport Munich/Bowmanville. BMW Motorsport scored a one-two GT-class victory in the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series, staged on the...
Round 5, American Le Mans Series
19 August 2001, Bowmanville, Ont.
BMW Motorsport first and second at Mosport
Munich/Bowmanville. BMW Motorsport scored a one-two GT-class victory in the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series, staged on the 2.459-mile Mosport International Raceway road course. It was the team's third victory of the season, including wins at Jarama, Spain, and Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
JJ Lehto (FIN) started last on the 28-car grid in the No. 42 BMW M3 GTR, after his pole qualifying time was disallowed for a technical infraction. He moved up through the field and took the class lead after changing from rain tires to slicks 30 minutes into the two-hour 45-minute race. He pitted at the one-hour mark and handed off to Jörg Muller (D), who held the lead through his 80-minute stint. Lehto drove the final 25 minutes to the victory.
Dirk Müller (D) started the No. 43 BMW M3 GTR from the pole position. He led early in the race and he and his co-driver Fredrik Ekblom (S) swapped second and third place with the No. 6 BMW Team PTG M3 until the final round of pit stops at the two-hour mark. Müller took the final stint and held second place to the checkered flag.
BMW Motorsport team manager Charly Lamm: "After coming so close to victory last year, it is special to finally conquer Mosport with a one-two victory for BMW Motorsport. Also, it's good compensation for JJ and Jörg, who were disallowed the pole position and now won from last on the grid to first on the podium. Dirk and Fredrik drove strongly to finish second, and I am very pleased how the team performed today with good strategy and perfect pitstops under difficult weather conditions."
JJ Lehto #42: "It was a difficult day: After the tough qualifying yesterday, we had to start from all the way at the back. It's not easy, especially in rainy weather like this because we couldn't see a lot and it was very difficult to overtake. But I just built up speed slowly and surely and gave the car to Jörg in a good position so he was able to go very fast and consistent. That was the key, that he really opened up the gap. It was his day."
Jörg Müller #42: "It was teamwork again. It's difficult to set a strategy if it's raining, but as we saw last year, Charly Lamm and Team Schnitzer are really good on strategies. Today we did the right thing again, coming in at the right time and putting on the right tires, so it just went perfect. We were struggling all week with the setup, but somehow we always get it sorted for the race."
Fredrik Ekblom #43: "It's great for the team and great for BMW to finish 1-2-3 again. I'm happy for my teammates, they did a good job, started last and won the race. I had a bad time in traffic and I didn't get a good rhythm, but in the end we got a lot of points for the championship and that's good for Dirk and me."
Dirk Müller #43: "I'm really happy to be 1-2. It was an exciting race, with a lot of overtaking and strategy. We changed to the slick tires at the right time and our Michelin tires worked really well. The team gave us a really brilliant and fantastic car, so thanks to the team!"
leading GT results:
1. JJ Lehto (FIN), Jörg Müller (D), BMW M3 GTR, 107 laps
2. Dirk Müller (D), Fredrik Ekblom (S), BMW M3 GTR, - 6.677s
3. Boris Said (USA), Hans Stuck (D), BMW M3 GTR, -43.198s
4. Lucas Luhr (D), Sascha Massen (D), Porsche GT3 RS, 106 laps
5. Tony Burgess (CDN), Magnus Wallinder (S), 102 laps
6. Kye Wankum (CDN) / Jeff Pabst (CDN), 96 laps