Munich/Sebring. BMW M3s qualified third, fourth and sixth on the provisional GT grid for Saturday's 12 Hours at Sebring, second race in the 2001 American Le Mans Series. BMW Team PTG driver Bill Auberlen (USA) qualified third and his teammate...
Munich/Sebring. BMW M3s qualified third, fourth and sixth on the provisional GT grid for Saturday's 12 Hours at Sebring, second race in the 2001 American Le Mans Series. BMW Team PTG driver Bill Auberlen (USA) qualified third and his teammate Boris Said (USA) was fourth. Defending ALMS GT champion Dirk Muller (D), driving for BMW Motorsport for the first time, qualified the No. 43 BMW M3 sixth in two minutes 8.612 seconds on the 3.7-mile course. He will share driving duties with Fredrik Ekblom (S) in the historic 12-hour race. JJ Lehto (FIN) was limited to only one warmup lap in the new No. 42 BMW M3 GTR, which he shares with Jorg Muller (D), because of a throttle cable problem, so he did not set a qualifying time.
BMW Motorsport team manager Charly Lamm: "We are pleased that Dirk and Fredrik are settling in very well in their first race weekend with us. And it's great that the new BMW M3 GTR arrived in Sebring yesterday and we passed scrutineering this morning. Unfortunately, we haven't had a proper running on the track yet as we were delayed by minor problems. But that is how it is with new cars: When we get through all these little things, I know we will have a very good BMW race car." JJ Lehto #42: "We went out and we came in. We had a problem with the throttle, so we couldn't qualify. That's the first lap ever with that car for me, so I can't really say anything much about it yet."
Jorg Muller #42: "Now we've done one timed lap. The sad thing is that it's just little things that are slowing us. The car came quite late and wasn't in the team's hands for very long. But I'm not scared because nothing major happened, so I still look forward to the race."
Dirk Muller #43: "This was my first qualifying in the BMW and it was quite fun. I did a little mistake when I shifted from second into fifth instead of third, so there are still a couple of tenths [of a second] there. But we have a really good car for the race, so I'm looking forward to it."
Fredrik Ekblom #43: "Dirk did a very good job, and I know we can continue to work on the car. We will improve in some places, I think, although we are quite happy with the car."