Munich/Nurburgring. Everything is possible from these grid positions for the drivers of the two BMW V12 LMR in the 1000 kilometres race on Sunday, held at the Nurburgring. JJ Lehto (FIN)/Jorg Muller (D) will start the fourth round of the American...
Munich/Nurburgring. Everything is possible from these grid positions for the drivers of the two BMW V12 LMR in the 1000 kilometres race on Sunday, held at the Nurburgring. JJ Lehto (FIN)/Jorg Muller (D) will start the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) from the second row of the grid, while Bill Auberlen (USA) and Jean-Marc Gounon (F) will start fifth in the second BMW. Behind the two new Audi R8s and one Panoz, Lehto qualified in 1 minute 29.222 seconds, while Gounon lapped the 4.556 kilometre Grand Prix Circuit in 1 minute 29.907 seconds.
After two victories by Lehto/Muller in Charlotte (USA) and Silverstone (GB), Müller leads with 78 points, followed by Lehto who has 76 points. Auberlen (48 points) and Gounon (39 points) follow in places nine and eleven. BMW also leads the rankings for chassis and engine manufacturers, and in the team championship, with 74 points in each, followed by Audi on 63 points.
JJ Lehto #42: "The qualifying was very difficult. Several cars spun off and brought a lot of dirt on the track. Due to the long break the one and only set of tyres we are allowed by the regulations to use cooled down totally. I just could not get the most out of it. Talking in general, our developing work results in improvements of fractions of a second, but not in a whole one."
Jorg Muller #42: "I believe, without the break JJ would have come third. But anyway I am optimistic, as we are traditionally better in the race than in qualifying. At Silverstone we won from fifth position on the grid."
Jean-Marc Gounon #43: "When the tyres were exactly at their best grip level and I wanted to attack for a quick lap, the circuit was suddenly blocked because of an accident. Later on, the tyres were no longer good enough."
Bill Auberlen #43: "Jean-Marc did a very good job, he got the most out of it under this circumstances."
BMW Motorsport Team manager Charly Lamm: "I am pleased that the drivers are much happier now with the handling of the cars than they were at the last round in Silverstone. It shows me that the detailed work on the BMW V12 LMR was worth doing."
In the GT-Class Hans-Joachim Stuck qualified one of the two BMW M3 of BMW Team PTG for seventh grid position. He partners Boris Said and Johannes van Overbeek, both coming from America, in the race. "We have found a good set-up", Stuck says. "With six hours race duration, making no mistakes and having the right strategy is what counts. I think we could achieve a podium in our class."
The race will start on Sunday, 9 July at 12:15 pm. Eurosport will report on the race from 7.30 pm to 8.45 pm.