BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada. - Aug. 18, 2001 - While hoping to be closer based on previous practice times, the GT class Porsches wound up having to play second fiddle to the V8 powered BMW specials of both the Schnitzer BMW and PTG teams in ...
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada. - Aug. 18, 2001 - While hoping to be closer based on previous practice times, the GT class Porsches wound up having to play second fiddle to the V8 powered BMW specials of both the Schnitzer BMW and PTG teams in today's final qualifying for the Gran Tourismo 3 Grand Prix at Mosport to be run tomorrow afternoon.
The qualification charts reflected what the top Porsche teams already knew; that the V8 BMWs had yet to show all they had to show. Despite only being able to qualify fourth, Randy Pobst, as the pilot of the fastest Porsche, was up-beat about his chances. "I don't just like this place," said Pobst of the historic circuit located outside of Toronto, "I love this place!" "With its fast sweeping turns, diving first corner, and tons of elevation change, its like Road Atlanta, only much faster," he added. "It really separates the men from the boys."
The session held few surprises with the BMWs controlling the pace from the beginning. The number 22 Alex Job Racing, McKenna Porsches of Pobst and Christian Menzel worked hard to get close to the BMWs, being less than 1.2 seconds adrift of the class pole winning car of J.J. Lehto and Jorg Muller. It also marks the first time this year that the Number 22 has out qualified the number 23 team car of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen.
Another limiter on the Porsche's speed was the new track surface. "They've repaved turns 1 thru 4 and while it's faster, it seems to be coming up in some spots," explained Pobst. "But overall, I'm really happy with the car. We've made big improvements. We are actually a whole second faster in qualifying than we were last year! With any luck, we'll be right in the thick of things tomorrow."
The GT 3 Grand Prix at Mosport will be telecast live on the NBC television network starting at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, August 19 (check local listings for the exact time and channel in your area). The race, along with qualifying sessions, will be broadcast live starting August 18 on the American Le Mans Radio Network, which can be accessed on the Web at www.americanlemans.com. That same American Le Mans Series Web site will also have live timing and scoring during qualifying and the race event.
The official Porsche Web site - www.porsche.com - will have qualifying information on the GT 3 Grand Prix at Mosport for all the Porsches entered, and will file stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche Web site users should choose "North America" on the home page when prompted to choose a country, then choose "motorsports," then "motorsport news" to find the ALMS updates.
Other Web sites that will follow the overall event include the American Le Mans site mentioned above, the ON TRACK ONLINE site, (www.ontrackonline.com), TotalMotorsport (www.totalmotorsport.com); The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), the Speedvision site (www.speedvision.com), Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com) and the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com). <pre>
Final GT Class Qualifying 1. Lehto/J. Muller BMW M3 GTR 1:18.840 2. D. Muller/Ekblom BMW M3 GTR 1:18.873 3. Stuck/Said BMW M3 GTR 1:19.428 4. Pobst/Menzel Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:20.099 5. Luhr/Maassen Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:20.354 6. Bernhard/Mowlem/Petersen Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:21.827 7. Wallinder/Burgess Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:22.042 8. Pabst/Wankum Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:25.209 9. Willingham/Wars Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:26.381