LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Aug. 25 2001 -- While running in strong top-four positions for the first half of the event, the two Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers found themselves in the wrong position behind the pace car on a yellow flag,...
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Aug. 25 2001 -- While running in strong top-four positions for the first half of the event, the two Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers found themselves in the wrong position behind the pace car on a yellow flag, losing a lap to the leaders and allowing the BMWs to win easily at the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio.
Starting driver Sascha Maassen had just turned the #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche over to co-driver Lucas Luhr after their mid-race pit stop when an unrelated yellow flag brought the pace car onto the track, right in front of the Porsche, but after the leading BMWs had gone by.
"We had stayed in contact with the BMWs before that, running second and third or third and fourth, but that lost lap really hurt us," said team owner Alex Job, whose crew had worked hard the day before to help Maassen capture the pole.
The #23 Porsche suffered a final indignity with only five minutes left in the two- hour, 45-minute event when a rear-end noise that Luhr had heard during the last part of the event turned out to be a broken half-shaft. Maassen/Luhr finished sixth, and from the lead to third and fourth respectively in the points race.
The #22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS, co-driven by Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel, earned a better fate, finishing on the podium in third place, holding off the faster BMW V8 of Cunningham/Jonsson.
"We were free from the mechanical problems which plagued us last week at Mosport," said Pobst, who had more track time at Mid-Ohio than any of the Porsche competitors. "But after the pace car disaster and the other yellow flags allowing the thirsty BMWs to conserve fuel, we couldn't catch up. Menzel did an especially good job holding off Peter Cunningham in the BMW and avoiding altercations with the prototypes near the end of the event."
The Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RS, co-driven by England's Johnny Mowlem and American Mike Fitzgerald, also rebounded from a tough race last weekend at Mosport, when the car crashed twice. Both Fitzgerald and Mowlem drove flawless stints, guiding the car to a fifth place finish.
Other Porsche 911 GT3 RS finishers included the Seikel Porsche of Tony Burgess/Phil Collin (eighth), the Dick Barbour Porsche of Randy Wars/Mark Neuhaus (ninth), and the Kyser Racing Porsche of Kye Wankun/Joe Foster (tenth).
The official Porsche Web site -- www.porsche.com -- has results and photos from the ALMS Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio for all the Porsches entered. 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 followed the overall event include the American Le Mans site (www.americanlemans.com), 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).
ALMS GRAND PRIX AT MID-OHIO -- FINAL GT RESULTS
Car # Drivers Entry/Car Lap Completed
42 Lehto/Muller BMW Motorsport M3 V-8 107 43 Eckblom/Muller BMW Motorsport M3 V-8 107 22 Pobst/Menzel McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RS 106 10 P. Cunningham/Jonsson PTG BMW M3 V8 106 30 Fitzgerald/Mowlem Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Westward Ho! Porsche 911 GT3 RS 104 23 Luhr/Maassen McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RS 102 6 Stuck/Said PTG BMW M3 V-8 100 52 Burgess/Collin Seikel Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS 99 15 Neuhaus/Wars Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 97 69 Wankum/Foster Kyser Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS 74