BMW V12 LMR Laguna Seca Friday qualifying

Munich/Monterey. BMW Motorsport qualified fourth and seventh on the provisional grid for Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway. JJ Lehto (FIN) qualified the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR fourth on the 2.238-mile course in one minute...

Munich/Monterey. BMW Motorsport qualified fourth and seventh on the provisional grid for Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway. JJ Lehto (FIN) qualified the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR fourth on the 2.238-mile course in one minute 16.037 seconds. He will drive with Jorg Muller (D). Jean-Marc Gounon (F), who shares the No. 43 BMW with Bill Auberlen (USA), qualified seventh in 1:16.596. Gounon used the qualifying session to work on race setup because the car was rebuilt after the last race, at Road Atlanta on Sept. 30. BMW Team PTG driver Hans-J. Stuck (D) is seventh on the provisional GT grid after qualifying the No. 7 BMW M3 in 1:28.812.

BMW Motorsport team manager Charly Lamm: "Today was a promising start for the 42 BMW V12 LMR in that JJ's lap time was quite close to the provisional pole position time, so that is encouraging. With the 43 car, we had to change the chassis after Road Atlanta, so we are glad that the car is workng well. We have catch-up work to do with this car, so we could not go for a flat-out qualifying time today. All in all, today was a good start to the Laguna Seca race weekend."

JJ Lehto #42: "One of the tires felt really strange after the first couple of laps. I was losing it in all the right-hand corners. I was sliding all over the place. Otherwise, it was okay but we only got one fast lap out of it. But we're quicker than last year here, so that's something."

Jorg Muller #42: "I've had to do some Formula One testing in Estoril [Portugal], so I just arrived late last night. I need to get into the time schedule of North America. It's a tough week for me, so today I just did half an hour in the car. We're quite happy about the car and JJ did a fantastic job in qualifying. We're fourth and less than a second behind the pole, which is good for us. I look forward to the race."

Bill Auberlen #43: "Laguna is beautiful, the best place you could ever come to. I've won a lot of championships here and I've won a lot of races here. I'm just happy the team was able to work so hard that they have a car here for us to drive. Everything they do is always perfect, the car is sold as a rock, the motors are running great. Now we just have to keep working at it."

Jean-Marc Gounon #43: "We used this qualifying not as a qualifying. It was a work session to try to set something for the race. We had to test some tires, which we couldn't do this morning because it was too cold. Now is the only time when we're in the same hour as the race."

Hans-J. Stuck #7 GT: "We tried a different tire, but it didn't give us the advantage we hoped for, so we have to try tomorrow. Not every day is Sunday!"

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Series ALMS
Drivers Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Jean-Marc Gounon , Charly Lamm , JJ Lehto