Portland BMW Qualifying Report

BMW Team PTG notes: qualifying, July 31 Rose City Grand Prix -- Portland, Portland International Raceway race five, American Le Mans Series Christian Menzel set the second-quickest GT time in the ...

BMW Team PTG notes: qualifying, July 31 Rose City Grand Prix -- Portland, Portland International Raceway race five, American Le Mans Series

Christian Menzel set the second-quickest GT time in the #7 BMW M3 during Saturday's final qualifying session, with a lap time of one minute 16.086 seconds, at an average speed of 91.980 miles per hour. Darren Law qualified sixth in class in the #10 car (1:16.361, 91.648 mph), Hans Stuck was seventh in the #9 M3 (1:16.616, 91.343 mph) and Mark Simo was ninth in the #6 (1:17.364, 90.460 mph).

Christian Menzel, driver, #7 BMW M3

"I'm surprised because in my first lap I made a little mistake in turn number 10, and turn number 10 is important for the speed-up for the straight. In my first lap, I had oversteer and it was bad, but the next lap was the best lap. I can only hope for tomorrow for the race that we are a consistent car over the distance."

Darren Law, driver, #10 BMW M3

"After our weekend so far, we've been really just looking for the race setup and fighting a lot of different things. We're in good shape, only a couple of tenths [of a second] off where we need to be. We've actually got a good race car -- the car's fairly neutral and that's what we're looking for. I'm looking for a good run tomorrow. I'm excited!"

Hans Stuck, driver, #9 BMW M3

"I'm happy with the setup of my car. It might not be the fastest qualifying setup, but I think we have rather good plans for the race. We set the car, we have lots of room to go with the rollbar if we need an alternative for any situation. I think we have done the right thing. I must say this was not my day in qualifying. I didn't find the right line in turns one and two. I just didn't get it. I was braking late and everything, but sometimes you just need a little more power. I should have taken an espresso before, maybe."

Mark Simo, driver, #6 BMW M3

"It was better today, both the car and having a little track time. There's still room for speed in my driving and there's still room for speed in the car. Hopefully, we'll tinker with it a little bit more in the morning warm-up and find a little bit more on both ends."

Scott Doniger, motorsport manager, BMW North America, Inc.

"For the first time, we're up against a car built to Automobile Club de l'Ouest specifications, which are the rules we'll all run under next year. The new Porsche is at least 50 kilograms lighter, and it has a sixth gear and more displacement. As a new car, it has obviously been optimized to ACO rules, whereas our cars have been modified significantly in terms of weight, tire size and gearing to meet Professional Sports Car Racing rules. It's a challenge to win right now, but we're not giving up on anything."

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Final Qualifying Saturday Round 5, American Le Mans Series 31 July 1999, Portland International Raceway, Oregon (USA)

BMW Le Mans car is again on pole in the American sports car series

Munich/Portland. JJ Lehto has achieved a third pole position in the American Le Mans Series for BMW Motorsport. After having been fastest in Sebring and Sears Point at the wheel of his BMW V12 LMR, the Finn lapped the 3.128-kilometre Portland Raceway in 1 minute and 4.387 seconds. Lehto shares the No. 42 sports car with Englishman Steve Soper with whom he celebrated victory at the fourth round of the ALMS last Sunday at Sears Point, California.

Bill Auberlen (USA), who partners Joachim Winkelhock (D) for the two- hour and 45-minute race on Sunday, lines up fifth on the grid. He lapped his the BMW V12 LMR in 1 minute and 5.576 seconds.

The updated 1998 BMW V12 Le Mans with Pedro Lamy (P) and Thomas Bscher (D) at the wheel qualified seventh on the grid, whilst Hans- Joachim Stuck achieved seventh position in the GT class with his BMW M3 coupe, which is entered by BMW Team PTG.

JJ Lehto #42: It is typical of this team that good is never good enough. Even my lap time from Friday's first qualifying would have been quick enough for pole position. But we improved the car again and I was able to go three tenths of a second faster. The race, however, will be a completely different story. There will be more than 40 cars together on this narrow circuit, so it is going to be tough for everybody."

Steve Soper #42: JJ did a very good time and I am happy that we have struck up a good relationship again, just like we did in the GT series back in 1997. We are on the same wavelength and are both happy with the set-up."

Bill Auberlen #43: Joachim and I are up to the same speed: he did the first qualifying session on Friday and today it was my turn. It was not too difficult after Sears Point to set up the BMW V12 LMR for the Portland Raceway. The car felt great from the beginning, we just had to do some fine tuning."

Joachim Winkelhock #43: I feel very confident with the car, I am really looking forward the race. Also I enjoy the friendly atmosphere in the paddock a lot. Everybody talks to each other and it is nice to see how well informed the fans are about European and German touring car racing."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Pedro Lamy , Bill Auberlen , Joachim Winkelhock , Darren Law , Steve Soper , Christian Menzel , JJ Lehto