PORTLAND, Ore. - Aug. 5, 2001 - In what turned out to be one of the most tightly contested races of the season, the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche duo of Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr extend their lead in the season-long American Le Mans Series...
PORTLAND, Ore. - Aug. 5, 2001 - In what turned out to be one of the most tightly contested races of the season, the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche duo of Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr extend their lead in the season-long American Le Mans Series GT Drivers Championship.
During the early stages of the race the Maassen / Luhr number 23 Porsche 911 GT3 RS passed all four of the V-8 powered BMWs to grab a tenuous, GT class lead.
"I made the start of my life," said Sascha Maassen, who stayed atop the standings in GT. "I don't know where everyone else went! I thought they all went to sleep!" he added laughingly.
But, while Maassen lead, he could not get away from the remainder of the GT field. In fact, the racing was so tight that at one point 2.8 seconds covered the top six cars in the class. As the race and the pit stop strategies began to unfold, the BMWs used their V-8 power to its best advantage, eventually claiming first through fourth in class.
Then the first of two full-course yellows gave the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche the opening it needed. Darting in for a last minute tire change before the return to green flag racing enabled Lucas Luhr to take the battle back to the BMWs. With fresh tires, Luhr began to make a dent in the BMW hold on the top of the class lap charts. A second yellow, with six minutes left to go in the race, enabled the BMW Motorsport cars to pit for new rubber negating the Porsche's advantage.
"It wasn't horsepower that carried the day today, it was strategy," said Job. "Our car was good, our pit stops were good, but our strategy was better."
The second place finish keeps the driving pairing atop the season points standings, with Maassen leading and Luhr trailing by one point.
"It was a great race, a great day for the team and a great day for the fans," said Luhr. "And we still lead the championship," he added.
The next race, The GT3 Grand Prix at Mosport will be telecast live on the NBC television network starting at 2:00 PM Eastern time on Sunday, August 19 (check local listings for the exact time in different time zones). The race, along with qualifying sessions starting August 18, will be broadcast live on the 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 GT3 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), The Race Site (www.theRaceSite.com), the Speedvision site (www.speedvision.com), Totalmotorsport (www.tottalmotorsport,com), Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com) and the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com).
GT Class Results
1. Said/Stuck BMW M3 GTR 121 laps 2. Maassen/Luhr Porsche 911 GT3 RS 120 laps 3. Lehto/J. Muller BMW M3 GTR 120 laps 4. Ekblom/D. Muller BMW M3 GTR 120 laps 5. Menzel/Pobst Porsche 911 GT3 RS 118 laps 6. Mowlem/Bernhart/ Petersen Porsche 911 GT3 RS 118 laps 7. Foster/Wankum Porsche 911 GT3 R 106 laps 8. Auberlen/Jonsson BMW M3 GTR 102 laps 9. Wars/Neuhaus Porsche 911 GT3 R 13 laps