2nd round of American Le Mans Series, Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) 1-April-2000 Munich. Two weeks after getting third place in the season's kick-off in Sebring, BMW is really on the move in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In the second...
2nd round of American Le Mans Series, Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) 1-April-2000
Munich. Two weeks after getting third place in the season's kick-off in Sebring, BMW is really on the move in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In the second round on the first of April in Charlotte (North Carolina, USA), both BMW V12 LMRs will be driving for the first time on an oval course with steep banking. Muller is the only one in the driver duos, JJ Lehto/Jorg Muller and Bill Auberlen/Jean-Marc Gounon, who doesn't know the course; not even from a test drive. The gradient of the banking in Charlotte is 24 . Typical of the ALMS, the race on Saturday will last two hours and 45 minutes.
The straight stretches of the oval which are found in the 3,62 km sports car course, are interrupted by a chicane and a loop on the inside of the oval. In the infield and in the chicane we need good breaking, drifting and a mechanical grip, said BMW Motorsport team manager Charly Lamm. The transition from the flat infield up into the banking is especially difficult and from the perspective of the driver is like driving into a wall. When turning into the oval, the front right of the car is under an extreme load. In order to stop the chassis from scraping, one has to drive with more ground clearance as is desirable when high speed driving on the straight stretches.
Intensive adjustments after Sebring
After the twelve hour race, BMW tested with both V12 LMRs for two days while still in Sebring. The sports cars handled the first and longest race of the season without problems and they got third and fourth place. Stability and teamwork within the partially new crew from BMW and Schnitzer were good, said BMW Motorsport director Gerhard Berger, however we were not as satisfied with the performance of the cars. They were unusually difficult to control. Only after intensive adjustments during the testing, the handling and balance has been improved.
As compared to 1999, only technical changes were only made to the BMW V12 LMR where required by the regulations. In Charlotte we will begin with the aerodynamics package from 1999, according to Dr. Mario Theissen, the director of BMW Motorsport who is responsible for technology. Regarding the motor, where a smaller air flow control cost us performance, a change already proved over the twelve hour period to be good. In Sebring we used our own BMW motor electronics in the six litre V12 fro the first time.
Hans-Joachim Stuck is starting with a completely new car in the GT class of the ALMS. He is driving alternately with Johannes van Overbeek for the BMW PTG team in the new BMW M3, which had its racing premier in Sebring.