Munich/Concord. BMW works drivers JJ Lehto (FIN) and JÃ¢â‚¬Ârg MÃ‚Âller (D) took the provisional pole position Thursday for the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Charlotte. Lehto qualified the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR on the 2.25-mile Lowe's...
Munich/Concord. BMW works drivers JJ Lehto (FIN) and Jâ€rg MÂller (D) took the provisional pole position Thursday for the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Charlotte. Lehto qualified the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR on the 2.25-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway road course in one minute, 4.769 seconds at an average speed of 125.060 miles an hour. Teammates Bill Auberlen (USA) and Jean-Marc Gounon (F) are third on the provisional grid in the No. 43 BMW after Gounon qualified in 1:05.028 (124.562 mph).
BMW Motorsport team manager Charly Lamm: "The competition with the Audi and the Panoz is quite tight and quite tough. It's nice to be able to be up front with both the cars. I'm very happy for J.J.'s performance and also I'm very glad for Jean-Marc to put in this performance in only his second race for BMW. But qualifying is just one discipline, what matters most is to find a good race setup."
JJ Lehto #42: "We've been happy with the car here all weekend. We did some changes after Sebring. We found some little things and we were able to correct quite a lot. The car is much better here. Unfortunately, we lost some valuable time today when they cut short the free practice. For qualifying I just had to go for it, get a little bit crazy. I almost got too crazy in turn one and turned it sideways, but I got it back. Otherwise, it was just a good run, trouble-free, no mistakes and the fastest lap."
Jâ€rg MÂller #42: "I haven't had a lot of practice at Charlotte. For me it's a bit new, but I've driven something like this already at Daytona. At the moment, I'm quite happy with pole position, but we'll see what happens tomorrow. I hope there's a little bit more to come tomorrow, as well."
Jean-Marc Gounon #43: "My experience with the BMW is, at the moment, too short, compared to J.J. who knows the car well. In a racing configuration, my car was quite okay. But for qualifying, I didn't move enough from the original settings to keep the performance in the tires. Because of that, I had too much understeer. But I am quite happy because the competitiveness of the car to Panoz and to Audi is a lot better. That is the most important thing."
Bill Auberlen #43: "This is a classic example of a moving chicane! Every session, they've moved it 50 feet forward, back, wider, narrower. So it's always an experience when you come flying up to it, peeking around to see how big it is or how tight it is. Other than that, the track is pretty good. We're having fun -- we're pretty competitive."
Hans-Joachim Stuck #6 (BMW M3, BMW Team PTG): "I'm happy with the new car. We made some progress from Sebring, but we're still losing a little bit on the power side. But to be in fourth position is much better than we had in Sebring."