Road Atlanta BMW V12 LMR Final Qualifying

Munich/Atlanta. In the final qualifying session for the 1.000 mile Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta, JJ Lehto qualified on the front row with a lap time of 1 minute 11.269 seconds around the 2.56 mile circuit, to place second behind the Panoz of ...

Munich/Atlanta. In the final qualifying session for the 1.000 mile Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta, JJ Lehto qualified on the front row with a lap time of 1 minute 11.269 seconds around the 2.56 mile circuit, to place second behind the Panoz of Brabham/Bernard/Wallace. The Finn, who has started from pole position three times in the ALMS this year, was eight tenths of a second faster than first qualifying in the car he shares with Jörg Müller (D). Team mates Bill Auberlen (USA), Steve Soper (GB) and Joachim Winkelhock (D) are fourth on the grid.

The BMW M3 of works driver Hans-Joachim Stuck and Boris Said qualified fourth in the GT class with a time of 1 minute, 25.347 seconds. Said set the fastest time of the three BMW Team PTG M3s.

BMW Team Manager Charly Lamm: "I am satisfied with our achievements in qualifying. Our drivers did a good job in closing up to the Panoz cars which are here on their home ground and even more impressive than they are elsewhere."

JJ Lehto #42: "I was expecting to go below 11.5 yesterday, but could not. Then after the night practice we changed everything for the race and now with the new components the car is much better. The boys did an excellent job."

Jörg Müller #42: "We have concentrated very much on race preparation and this worked out very well. A comfortable set-up is extremely important for such a long race. Apart from this of course I am happy with the grid position JJ achieved."

Steve Soper #43: "I had done the qualifying session on Thursday and was third, just a tenth of a second slower than JJ. Bill took over for the final session for a strategic reason: the driver who qualifies the car has to start. I am the only one who actually can sit in both cars so in case of a problem I could still change."

Bill Auberlen #43: "During the cooler night practice our car was just brilliant but I am not completely happy with the car in this heat, so we will make a few changes. We are already extremely well prepared with the BMW engine. We tested, practiced and qualified with the same configuration."

Joachim Winkelhock #43: "With 50 cars for about ten hours on a four kilometre long circuit, traffic is going to be harder here than everywhere else we have raced so far. One has to concentrate and needs a little bit of luck as well."

Hans-Joachim Stuck #6 (BMW M3, BMW Team PTG): "Boris was more than a second quicker than in the yesterday's session and we are very well prepared for the race. For us, one stint between refuelling will last for nearly one and a half hours - and I hope the tires will stay in a good shape in the heat we have over this distance."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck , Boris Said , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Joachim Winkelhock , Steve Soper , Charly Lamm , JJ Lehto