Champions Maassen, Luhr Reunite For American Le Mans Series Season Finale Braselton, GA - They go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cereal and apple pie and ice cream. In the world of endurance sports car racing, many of their ...
Champions Maassen, Luhr Reunite For American Le Mans Series Season Finale
Braselton, GA - They go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cereal and apple pie and ice cream. In the world of endurance sports car racing, many of their greatest successes have been achieved together.
Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, who won two American Le Mans Series GT class championships and 14 races together as teammates from 2001 through 2003, and have been called the best GT racers in the world, will reunite for the first time this season in North America and will race in this weekend's Audi Sports Car Championships event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Saturday's four-hour event is the 2004 ALMS season finale.
Maassen, the most winning driver in the six-year history of the ALMS with 22 wins, and 18-time winner Luhr, both Porsche factory drivers from Germany, will team with American Leo Hindery to race the YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for BAM! (British American Motorsport) in the Laguna Seca event.
The trio hope to bring BAM!, a first-year team, its first victory in American Le Mans Series competition. Luhr and Maassen have made "guest" appearances with Hindery in selected races this season but the Laguna Seca race will mark the first time they have driven together in the ALMS since wrapping up the 2003 series championship with a win in last year's season-ending event at Road Atlanta.
But the fact that they haven't been together this year in the ALMS won't mean much; Maassen once compared the two to "an old married couple. People think of us as one person," he said.
"We don't need to talk," he said. "Sometimes when Lucas comes out of the car, I can tell the engineer "uh-oh, the car is not good.' I can tell by his attitude.
"We know each other," he said. "It's like a couple that knows each other, both the good and the bad. We leave each other alone if we have a bad moment, or I tease him a little bit."
As Porsche factory drivers, Maassen and Luhr were reassigned by Porsche to race primarily in Europe this season and they have been successful in the FIA GT Series, including scoring a class win together this past weekend in Dubai, UAE, in conditions that included temperatures of 97 degrees F and 90 percent humidity.
While they will be out to win at Laguna Seca, which they did in both 2002 and 2003, Maassen and Luhr will also be keeping an eye on Timo Bernhard, their former teammate at Alex Job Racing, as he tries to clinch the GT class driving title for 2004. Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister have been driving the #23 Porsche for the Job team this season, the same car number that Maassen and Luhr used during their four years with the team. Maassen has scored two more ALMS wins this season with the Job team as a third driver in long distance races.
"I would like to see my old teammate and old team win the championship," said Maassen. "And I'd like to see them finish second in the race, behind my car."
The Audi Sports Car Championships event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will get the green flag at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, October 16. The American Le Mans Series Radio Network will have live coverage that can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com, and MotorsTV will have live flag-to-flag coverage that can be seen in Europe beginning at 24:00 (UK) and 01:00 (Paris).
In North America, NBC Sports will have coverage of the event on a one-day tape delay beginning at 2 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, October 17.
Event ticket information is available online at www.americanlemans.com or by calling the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca ticket office at 800-327-7322.