"PERFECT LAP" FOR SASCHA MAASSEN GIVES PORSCHE ALMS GT CLASS POLE; TWO PORSCHES AND THREE BMWS WITHIN Â½-SECOND FOR RACE -Porsche driver Sascha Maassen, at his first Mid-Ohio event, edged the BMW M3 V8 drivers to put his ...
"PERFECT LAP" FOR SASCHA MAASSEN GIVES PORSCHE ALMS GT CLASS POLE; TWO PORSCHES AND THREE BMWS WITHIN ½-SECOND FOR RACE
-Porsche driver Sascha Maassen, at his first Mid-Ohio event, edged the BMW M3 V8 drivers to put his #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna racer on the pole for Sat. ALMS race-
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Aug. 24, 2001 -- Sascha Maassen, from Aachen, Germany, in his first event ever at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, put his Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the GT class pole for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio. Maassen, who is currently tied with BMW driver Jorg Muller for first place in the season point standings, seemed to be the only one at the track not impressed with his pole-winning time -- Porsche's first pole in four events.
"We do not approach the race weekend looking for the fastest qualifying time," said Maassen, who almost won the ALMS driver's title a year ago. "We usually spend our pre-race track time setting the car up for the race. But some new shock settings and a nice, clean lap produced the fastest time today. I am especially pleased for the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche crew who worked so hard to prepare the car after a tough race last week at Mosport."
Maassen pointed out that the second and third gear corners that grace the historic sports car course favor the rear-engine cars.
Randy Pobst, who qualified the #22 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche in fifth position, was second after the first ten minutes of qualifying, but had to bring the car in for a sway bar adjustment and never went faster after that. It was Pobst's input that lead to the stiffer shock setting choice that has helped the team's performance. Pobst will share the driving duties with Germany's Christian Menzel.
Maassen, who now lives in Belgium, leads the GT class in the American Le Mans Series in his Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS with 109 points, which includes victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Grand Prix of Texas. His co-driver in the #23 Alex Job Porsche, Lucas Luhr, a German native now living in Monaco, is right behind Sascha with 108 points as Maassen gained an extra point turning the fastest lap during the Texas event. But the BMW drivers are right there as well, as German Jorg Muller also has 109 points, and his teammate J.J. Lehto along with American Boris Said have 108 points. Muller and Lehto will be on the front row with Maassen/Luhr, while Said and Hans Stuck qualified third.
The Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RS, co-driven by England's Johnny Mowlem and American Mike Fitzgerald, qualified seventh after the car had to be towed in during the morning practice session with a broken front control arm.
Other Porsche 911 GT3 RS qualifiers included the Kyser Racing entry with Joe Foster eighth, the Canadian-based Seikel Motorsports car, with Tony Burgess, ninth and the Dick Barbour Racing entry with Mark Neuhaus tenth.
The ALMS Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio will be telecast live on the NBC television network starting at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, August 25 (check local listings for the exact time and channel in your area). The race will be broadcast live 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 the race event.
The official Porsche Web site -- www.porsche.com -- has qualifying information on the ALMS Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio 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> # # # ALMS GRAND PRIX AT MID-OHIO -- FINAL GT QUALIFYING RESULTS
Car # Drivers Cars Qualifying Time 23 Luhr/Maassen McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RS 1:24.451 42 Lehto/Muller BMW Motorsport M3 V8 1:24.459 6 Stuck/Said PTG BMW M3 V8 1.24.507 43 Eckblom/Muller BMW Motorsport M3 V8 1:24.756 22 Pobst/Menzel McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RS 1:24.925 10 P. Cunningham/Jonsson PTG BMW M3 V8 1.25.124 30 Fitzgerald/Mowlem Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Westward Ho! Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:26.149 69 Wankum/Foster Kyser Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:28.544 52 Burgess/Collin Seikel Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1.28.827 15 Neuhaus/Wars Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:33.340