Sascha Maassen Captures 2nd Straight Sebring GT Pole in Alex Job Porsche ATLANTA, Georgia - March 14, 2002 - German Porsche GT star Sascha Maassen, who captured the 2001 Sebring GT class pole en route to victory a year ago, made it two in a row...
Sascha Maassen Captures 2nd Straight Sebring GT Pole in Alex Job Porsche
ATLANTA, Georgia - March 14, 2002 - German Porsche GT star Sascha Maassen, who captured the 2001 Sebring GT class pole en route to victory a year ago, made it two in a row today by turning the fast qualifying time in his #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna
Porsche 911 GT3 RS with only three minutes left in the session. In all, Porsches earned the top five starting positions in the GT class, and eight of the top ten spots for Saturday's Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway. "We waited until the last half of the 25-minute session to go out on the track, a strategy we usually use to see how times are developing, and we were surprised at the speed of the top cars, especially the Romain Dumas in the Freisinger Porsche and Robin Liddell in the P.K. Sport Porsche.
We were planning to go only three laps to aim for the pole, and we needed four - and only beat Freisinger by 0.3 of a second," said Maassen.
Maassen, who has been in the running for the American Le Mans Series GT class championship the last two years going into the final event, will co-drive again this year with German factory driver Lucas Luhr. Second of the grid is the #57 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Romain Dumas/Ni Amorim/Hans Fertl, while the second Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS - the #22 car qualified by Timo Bernhard, sits in third position. Bernhard will co-drive with German veteran Jorg Bergmeister, the defending Porsche SuperCup championship.
Rounding out the top five are the #60 P.K. Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Robin Liddell/Fabio Babini/Giovanni Anapoli (fourth); and the #53 Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Gabrio Rosa/Alex Caffi/Luca Riccitelli (fifth). Babini, Rosa and Caffi drove the Seikel car to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year.
The only non-Porsches in the top ten are two Ferrari 360 Modenas, which qualified sixth and tenth respectively. 2002 Daytona 24-Hour winners Kevin Buckler and Michael Schrom have added 2001 Grand-Am champion Darren Law to their #66 Racers Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS driver line-up, and qualified ninth. Justin Jackson Racing, with Jackson adding veterans Mike Fitzgerald and David Murry to the roster, was seventh in the #79 J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS, while the British team of Mike Youles/Terry Rymer/Johnny Mowlem were eighth in their Harlow Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Porsche has 17 overall wins and 44 class victories at Sebring.
Since the Porsche 911 GT3 RS family of race cars was introduced in 1999, the car has been constantly updated and improved, but race fans will be hard pressed to tell the difference between the 1999 and 2000 GT3 R, and the 2001 and 2002 GT3 RS. The latest version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and is almost identical to the 2001 model. The engine and drivetrain are the same, and the car still produces 420 horsepower, but improvements have been made in the suspension, including a blade adjustment for the front sway bar for easy pit lane adjustments, and new rear suspension uprights. The bodywork is slightly wider to accommodate the wider offset Michelin tires - standard equipment on the car.
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 both the Grand Am and American Le Mans Series two years in a row. The car has also won its class three years in a row at the Daytona 24 Hours and the two years running at the 12 Hours of Sebring as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
More than 80 Porsche 911 GT3 RS have been sold so far worldwide, with almost half of those cars having raced in the U.S.
The 50th annual Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel (formerly know as Speedvision) network starting at 10:30 AM Eastern time on Saturday, March 16, beginning with the 30-minute pre-race show. Then, the Speed Channel will telecast the entire 12-hour event live starting at 11:00 AM. The race will be broadcast in Europe on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, March 24, at 20:00 Central European Time on the Eurosport television network. The 12-hour event will be broadcast live online on the American Le Mans Radio Network, which can be accessed on the Web at ww.americanlemans.com.
That same American Le Mans Series web site will also have live timing and scoring during qualifying the race event.
The official Porsche web site - www.porsche.com - will have qualifying information on the 12 Hours at Sebring for all the Porsches entered, and will file stories and photos 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. A section of the Porsche web site - reached directly by going to www.porsche.com/motorsport - brings the users to Porsche's international motorsports site, where they can choose between U.S. news, technical information and schedules, and European series material.