PORTLAND, Ore. - Aug. 3, 2001 - The first test session for this weekend's Grand Prix of Portland went anything but true to form. When the dust settled the Alex Job Racing number 22 Porsche GT3 RS of Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel had set fastest...
PORTLAND, Ore. - Aug. 3, 2001 - The first test session for this weekend's Grand Prix of Portland went anything but true to form. When the dust settled the Alex Job Racing number 22 Porsche GT3 RS of Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel had set fastest time with a 1:13.673, a new GT-class track record, more than 1.5 seconds faster than last years pole time. Second fastest in GT went to the number 23 Alex Job Racing team car of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen at 1:13.731.
For the first half of Friday's hour and a half test session, less than half a second covered the top 5 cars in GT with the early benchmark times being set by the favored V-8 powered BMW of Jorg Muller. But as the session ground to a close, the Alex Job Racing cars moved out in front to stay.
"It's early yet," said Alex Job, leader of the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche Team. "We've put all the settings back to what they were here last year, as we've always done well here. I'm hopeful, " Job added, "I think the track favors our Porsches more than Sears Point did."
Next fastest in the session were the four V-8 powered BMWs of BMW Motorsports and PTG, all within half a second of each other and only about four tenths of a second slower than the second Alex Job car.
The Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RS driven by Michael Petersen, Johnny Mowlem and Timo Bernhard wound up seventh fastest at 1:15.956.
"Timo is still learning the track," said Walter Gerber, crew chief of the number 30 Porsche. "There will be more to come, I'm sure."
With two additional practice and qualifying sessions still to go tomorrow for the Portland Grand Prix, the leading Porsche drivers are reluctant to claim any sort of victory. "They don't give you a very big trophy for winning practice," commented Randy Pobst. "Tune in tomorrow and we'll see."
The Grand Prix of Portland will be telecast on the Speedvision network starting at 8:30 PM Eastern Time on Monday, August 6 (check local listings for the exact time in different time zones). The race, along with qualifying sessions starting August 4, 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 qualifying and the race event.
The official Porsche Web site - www.porsche.com - will have qualifying information on the Grand Prix of Portland 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).