Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr win unprecedented GT co-championship in 2002 American Le Mans Series; Porsche wins fifth annual Petit Le Mans. ATLANTA, Georgia -- October 12 -- Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr survived a late-race overheating scare...
Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr win unprecedented GT co-championship in 2002 American Le Mans Series; Porsche wins fifth annual Petit Le Mans.
ATLANTA, Georgia -- October 12 -- Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr survived a late-race overheating scare in their #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS to win the fifth annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
In addition to the two-lap victory, their seventh of the ten-race season, Sascha and Lucas clinched a unique tie for the points championship, and with all the tie-breakers being even as well, the two German drivers were declared co-champions of the GT clas s.
"I have run the ALMS series for four years, and came close to the driver's championship both last year and the year before, so this championship is very rewarding. The Alex Job Racing Porsche was fast and reliable all year, and the crew did a great job ri ght 'till the end -- and they had to work hard at the end tonight," said Maassen.
"We worked all season to make sure that both drivers had an equal chance to score points -- not an easy task with qualifying and bonus points for time in the car. I hope we get to do this again next year with Alex Job and Porsche," said Luhr, who, at age 2 3, became the youngest ALMS champion ever.
Second was the Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Randy Pobst and Johnny Mowlen, whose goal was to follow a conservative speed and pit stop strategy, and be there at the end. Their plan worked to perfection as they outran much of the favored Porsc he and Ferrari field to score their best ALMS finish in two years. Third was the much-improved Ferrari 360 of Ralf Kelleners/Anthony Lazzaro.
The second Alex Job Racing Porsche also had high hopes for a podium finish and a driver points tie behind the season champions. Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister were poised to tie for season points and a second-place finish in the standings, and Marc Li eb came from Germany to help with the driving chores, but an oil leak ended their day. The result of that DNF was that Kevin Buckler, who had a great season in The Racer's Group Porsche, finished third in the final standings after a fifth place at Petit L e Mans with Michael Schrom and Brian Cunningham. Buckler not only won two ALMS races this year, but also captured the GT class at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, giving him enough points to win the prestigious world-wide Porsche Cup.
With the victories scored by Alex Job Racing and the Racer's Group, Porsche captured the 2002 ALMS Manufacturers Championship, and Alex Job Racing took the team title.
Other Porsche champions participated in today's Petit Le Mans as well. While it was a disappointing day for Marc Lieb, he did win the 2002 Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany last month. Stephane Ortelli, from Monaco, who was running as high second early in t he race in the Freisinger Porsche, won the 2002 FIA-GT Group N championship last weekend, and the Porsche Supercup series in Indianapolis the week before.
The Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS driven by Leo Hindery/Tony Kester/Peter Baron also ran as high as second during the event, and finished a fine fourth at Road America. Hindery and Baron finished second at Mosport in August, and were running in the top five at Le Mans when the car broke. For their first season in ALMS, this was a special accomplishment.
Another rookie team that gave the field good competition every time it entered an event was the J3 Racing Porsche of Justin Jackson and Mike Fitzgerald, joined in the longer events by veteran David Murry. A cracked cylinder ended their day at Petit Le Man s, but they were running in the top five when it happened.
The Seikel Motorsports Porsche, winner at Le Mans in 2001, was running fifth today late in the event with drivers Tony Burgess/Philip Collin/Grady Willingham when the suspension broke and the car could not finish.
AUDI PETIT LE MANS GT -- Final Results
Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
1. #23, Lucas Luhr, Monaco; Sascha Maassen, Aachen, Germany; Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche Xybernaut Mobil 1 Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 348 laps
2. #31, Michael Petersen, Las Vegas, NV; Randy Pobst, Atlanta, GA; Johnny Mowlem, London, England; Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 346 laps
3. #35, Anthony Lazzaro, Acworth, GA; Ralf Kelleners, Duesseldorf, Germany; Risi Competition Ferrari Modena 360, 344 laps
4. #43, Leo Hindery, Hillsborough, CA; Peter Baron / San Mateo, CA; Tony Kester, Michigan City, IN; Orbit YES Network, Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 341 laps
5. #66, Kevin Buckler, Sonoma, CA; Brian Cunningham / Danville, KY; The Racers Group Mail2Web.com Adobe Road Winery Rennlist.com / Brackenridge Racing,Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 331 laps
6. #60, Philip Peter, Austria; Joe Foster, Lawrenceville, GA; Giovanni Anapoli, Italy; P.K. Sport Porsche 911 Gt3 RS, 330 laps
7. #52, Tony Burgess, Toronto, Canada; Philip Collin, Park Ridge, IN; Grady Willingham, Birmingham, AL; Seikel Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 327 laps
8. #40, Carlos de Quesada, Miami, FL; Scooter Gable, Tampa, FL , Boris Said, Carlsbad, CA; Alegra Motorsports, BMW M3, 327 laps
9. #98, Stephane Ortelli, Monaco; Christophe Bouchut, Paris, France; Cirtek Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 325 laps
10. #42, Gary Schultheis, Boca Raton, FL; Joe Policastro, Greenburg, PA; Jay Policastro; Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 317 laps
11. #21, Michel Neugarten; Angelo Barretto, Manila, Philippines; Thierry Perrier, Paris, France; Monaco Perspective USA Corporation Dunlop Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 315 laps
12. #29, Bart Hayden, Carlton, England; Richard Dean, Yorkshire, England; Jurgen Von Gartzen, Germany; Sebah Automotive Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 244 laps
13. #34, Craig Stanton, Seal Beach, CA; Hugh Plumb, Chadds Ford, PA; Gilles Vannelet, France; Ferrari 550, 1:27.457, Retired (crash) 171 laps
14. #22, Timo Bernhard, Miesau, Germany; Jorg Bergmeister, Langenfeld, Germany; Marc Lieb/Germany, Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche Xybernaut Mobil 1 Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Retired (engine) 159 laps
15. #10, Emil Assentato, Locust Valley, NY; Chris Gleason, Johnstown, PA; Alegra Motorsports Tradition Securities BMW M3, Retired (mechanical) 118 laps
#79, Justin Jackson, Buford, GA; Mike Fitzgerald, Phoenix, AZ; David Murry, Atlanta, GA J3 Racing, J3 Motorsport, Inc., Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Retired (engine), 37 laps
#61, Steve Donovan, Nottingham, England; Gavin Pickering, England; Piers Masarati; P.K, Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Retired (crash), 10 laps