ATLANTA - February 16, 2001 - A strong combination of experienced Porsche race teams, veteran road racers, and up-and-coming drivers will compete in Porsche 911 GT3 RS race cars for the 2001 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season starting with the...
ATLANTA - February 16, 2001 - A strong combination of experienced Porsche race teams, veteran road racers, and up-and-coming drivers will compete in Porsche 911 GT3 RS race cars for the 2001 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season starting with the Leathe r Center Grand Prix of Texas March 4.
Leading the way will be a two-car team prepared by Alex Job Racing of Tavaras, Florida. Team owner Alex Job, with more than a decade of experience preparing Porsche race cars, will field a two-car Porsche 911 GT3 RS team with drivers Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen in one car, and German GT specialist Christian Menzel and leading American driver Randy Pobst of Melbourne, Fla., in the other car. Maassen, Luhr and Pobst all battled for the ALMS championship a year ago, losing out to teammate Dirk Muller at th e last event in Australia.
Sponsored by McKenna Porsche in Norwalk, Calif. - part of the McKenna Automotive Group of 12 auto dealerships in Southern California and Hawaii - Alex Job Racing will be trying to recaptured the magic that earned its team the ALMS GT championship in 1999, with Cort Wagner and Dirk Muller at the helm. The team will be at Road Atlanta on February 17 testing their new cars.
Fresh from its GT victory and second overall finish at the 2001 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, Dale White and Mike Petersen's White Lightning/Westward Ho Casino race team will be preparing a Porsche 911 GT3 RS for Britain's Johnny Mowlem and France's Bob Wolle k.
The White Lightning team will also campaign a Speedvision World Challenge Porsche GT3 Cup car with 2000 Porsche Cup and Grand American champion Mike Fitzgerald driving.
Kelly-Moss Racing, a Madison, Wisc. - based racing team which has both USRRC and World Challenge experience, will be entering two Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers with veterans David Murry and Anthony Lazzaro driving the the lead car. Both Murry and Lazzaro, who reside in the metropolitan Atlanta area, had podium finishes in ALMS last year - Murry with Skea Racing and Lazzaro with Alex Job Racing. The second Kelly -Moss car will be driven by Rick Polk from Madison, Wisc. and 1999 ALMS GT champion Cort Wagner, fr om Los Angeles. Veteran crew chief Tony Dowe will be in charge of the Kelly-Moss effort.
Dick Barbour Racing, which won the ALMS GT Team Championship last year, will field a Porsche 911 GT3 RS for Mexico City's Randy Wars and New York's Mark Nuehaus. Barbour, who hopes to obtain sponsorship shortly in order to run a second car, won nine of th e 11 ALMS events last year with team driver Dirk Muller winning the driver title.
"With the BMW factory M3s mounting a formidable factory challenge in the GT class, we are again fortunate to have experienced customer teams and veteran drivers to carry the Porsche banner this year," said Alwin Springer, president of Porsche Motorsports N orth America (PMNA). Springer leads a team of PMNA engineers and technicians that provide factory support, service and parts to all Porsche competitors at all the ALMS events. These technicians help customer teams diagnose problems, provide repair solutions, and advise them o n the right parts to use for their Porsche race cars.
Built at the Porsche Motorsport in the Research and Development Department at Weissach, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS delivers 420 horsepower from its 3.6-liter normally-aspirated engine. In 1999, its first year of competition, the car finished 1-2 in class at Le Mans, and has won its class in the American Le Mans Series two years in a row. Porsche also won its class with the GT3 R in the Grand American Road Racing series in 2000, and is off to a fast start to defend that title with a 1-2-3 GT finish at the rec ent Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. More than 70 Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and GT3 RS' have been sold so far worldwide, with almost half of those cars having raced in the U.S.
The new 2001 model of the Porsche 911 has been designated as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and is almost identical to the 2000 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The new car has a larger front radiator, a slightly different front spoiler and rear wing, and other minor changes, but remains the same for the major components. Current GT3 R owners can purchase an update kit from Porsche which incorporates all the improvements in the new car.
The Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas will be telecast live on the Speedvision network starting at 1:00 PM local time (2:00 PM Eastern) on Sunday, March 4. The race, along with Saturday qualifying sessions, will be live on the Le Mans Radio Network, whic h 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 practice and qualifying information on the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas for all the Porsches entered, and will file stories during and after the race. Porsche web site uses should choose "North America" on the home page when prompted to choose a country, then choose "motorsports," then "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), Speedvision site (www.speedvision.com), Motorsport.com (www.motors port.com) and the CompuServe site (www.motorsportsforum.com).
After Texas, the next event for the American Le Mans Series circuit will be the Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Dodge, which will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2001.