DERBYSHIRE, England - April 14, 2001 â€“ The Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers finished first and second for the third race in a row as Sascha Maassen/Lucas Luhr drove to victory at the initial European round of the American Le...
DERBYSHIRE, England - April 14, 2001 – The Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers finished first and second for the third race in a row as Sascha Maassen/Lucas Luhr drove to victory at the initial European round of the American Le Mans Series at Donington Park in England.
Lucas Luhr, the German GT driver now living in Monaco, jumped into the lead at the beginning of the 2 hour, 45-minute event run in cold and damp, but not rainy Easter weekend weather in England. The BMW M-3 GTR V-8 of Dirk Muller/Fredrik Ekblom, which started from the pole, was in the garage area after 15 minutes with engine problems, while the other BMW of J.J. Lehto/Jorg Muller was in contention for a while, but a stop-and-go penalty for passing Randy Pobst under yellow, a shunt from a prototype, fuel in the exhaust which caused a small fire, and terminal engine problems forced that car into retirement. The BMWs finished tenth and 11th in the final GT results.
When Luhr brought the car in for German Sascha Maassen at the halfway point, their #23 McKenna Porsche had a 20-second lead over teammates Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel in the #22 car, but, as Sascha explained, the teams both needed to think about fuel consumption over the last 90 minutes.
I was told to short shift and save fuel in order to complete the event with only the one stop. We thought that Christian would have no problem because he stopped after us,” said Maassen, who continues to lead the ALMS GT series points.
Over the next hour, however, the BMWs dropped completely out of contention, and Alex Job allowed us to race against each other for the lead. As it turned out, Menzel used more fuel trying to catch us, and needed a splash-and-go with five minutes left. And we ran out of fuel gliding into the pits after the cool-down lap at the finish. It was a little to close,” said Maassen. Also, Menzel spun off into the gravel pit on the last lap, but, with a four-lap lead over third place, was able to recover and ta ke the checkered flag without losing a position.
Luhr, who continues his amazing winning streak, has now tasted victory in five major events in a row including four ALMS races (Texas, Sebring and Donington this year and the finale at Adelaide last year) and the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
I was surprised that we could match the BMWs’ lap times early in the race, but in the interest of saving tires and fuel, we slowed down a bit, especially after the BMWs started to have their problems,” said Luhr.
The margin of victory was 24 seconds, and the two winning Porsches finished four laps ahead of the third place car, the British-based P.K. Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS team of Robin Liddell/Mike Youles. Fourth was the Seikel Motorsports TDM Technical Services Porsche 911 GT3 RS of ALMS regular Johnny Mowlem and Canadian Tony Burgess, while the Kyser Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Joe Foster from Atlanta, Georgia and Kye Wankum Toronto was fifth.
In all, Porsche 911 GT3 RS race cars took the top nine positions. It was Porsche’s 21st class win in American Le Mans Series, and its 17th GT win in the last 18 events dating back to October, 1999. <pre> Here are the final GT class results:
Donington Park GT Final Results Laps Pos Drivers Car Completed
1. Luhr/Maassen Porsche 911 GT3 RS 102 2. Pobst/Menzel Porsche 911 GT3 RS 102 3. Youles/Liddell Porsche 911 GT3 RS 98 4. Burgess/Mowlem Porsche 911 GT3 RS 97 5. Wankum/Foster Porsche 911 GT3 RS 96 6 Orti/Villarroel Porsche 911 GT3 R 96 7. Rosa/Drudi Porsche 911 GT3 RS 95 8. Forgeois/Sourd/Caternet Porsche 911 GT3 RS 92 9. Masarati/Humphrey Porsche 911 GT3 RS 82 10. Lehto/J. Muller BMW M-3 V-8 81 11. Ekblom/D. Muller BMW M-3 V-8 45 12. Hayden/Earle Porsche 911 GT3 RS 25