clutch out BAM! (British American Motorsport) led the GT class early in the American Le Mans Series race at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on Sunday, but a mechanical failure dashed the team's hope for a strong finish. Porsche factory...
BAM! (British American Motorsport) led the GT class early in the American Le Mans Series race at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on Sunday, but a mechanical failure dashed the team's hope for a strong finish.
Porsche factory driver Lucas Luhr started the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR third on the GT grid and quickly moved to second on the first lap. He took the class lead after 21 minutes of the two-hour 45-minute race and held it until he stopped for fuel and tires during a caution period at 46 minutes. He returned to the track fourth in class, behind two cars that didn't stop and the eventual class winner. His cooling equipment failed and heat exhaustion forced him to pit at 1h24, handing off to Leo Hindery, Jr. Hindery returned to the track sixth in class and held the position until the car's clutch failed at 1h56.
Leo Hindery, Jr.
"It just gets harder and harder. This is the second mechanical [failure] in a row - I don't think Lucas and I are that hard on equipment, but that clutch just got fried. Lucas did exactly what he was supposed to do, which is lead the race. We had a great pit strategy thanks to [team owner and technical director] Tim Munday, [technology strategist] Jim Malicki and Lucas. I was keeping us up in pace and Lucas would have gone back in and we could have hopefully done very well. It's been a real privilege to race with Lucas for three races in a row and we're anxious to have him back in the fall." [Luhr will return for the season finale in October.]
"I'm sorry that we again did not finish, but we were in the lead during the first hour of the race and we were really competitive. We showed everybody that our car is able to win or fight for a win. It makes me really proud because the guys worked their tails off after the last two races to get the car back together, and it was just great. It was a really good first stint for me, but then I had to come in early because the cool suit quit working. I was going to do a double stint, but it was just too hot and I couldn't do it anymore. But we showed everybody that our car is good for a win."
Tim Munday [team owner, technical director]
"We had a good start to the race; Lucas put in a sterling effort and hung with the leaders. The strategy went quite well and we were looking good for the race, but unfortunately we had a clutch failure. Just another one of the gremlins we've been dealing with all year; we'll get on top of it eventually. It's a shame it ended that way but hey, we're still alive to fight another day."