2001 was the third season for the American Le Mans Series. The rules for the series followed those of the legendary 24 Hour of Le Mans which meant there were four classes of cars competing.

  • Le Mans Prototype 900 (LMP900) – These were the purpose built race cars powered by a 6.0-litre normally aspirated or 4.0-litre turbocharged engine. The cars could weigh no less than 900-kilograms. Audi, BMW and Cadillac entered two factory supported cars. Privateer teams entered cars manufactured by Riley & Scott, Lola and Panoz.
  • Le Mans Prototype 675 (LMP675) – Introduced in 2001 was the LMP675 class for cars which could weigh no less than 675-kilograms. The rules were for the cars were written so that the two LMP classes (LMP900 and LMP675) would be contending for the overall win.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – This class included production-based cars such as the Dodge Viper GTS-R, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Saleen S7-R and Porsche 911 Turbo. The cars were permitted to use 8.0-litre normally aspirated or 4.0-litre turbocharged engines. These cars could weigh no less than 1,100-kilograms.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – The GT cars were also restricted to an 1,100-kilogram weight rule and had similar engine limitations as the GTS class. These were also production-based cars such as the BMW M3, Porsche GT3RS and Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Unlike the GTS entries, competitors in this category could not use carbon fiber brakes.

The ALMS schedule included nine North American events in 2001 but the series finale, initially planned for Lowes Motor Speedway, was cancelled. The first round, the Grand Prix of Texas, was held at Texas Motor Speedway which was the only time in ALMS history that the opening event was not the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The late August Mid-Ohio weekend was added to the schedule after the cancellation of the Las Vegas event. Twenty-eight cars would compete in the 2-hour and 45-minute race around the 2.25-mile thirteen-turn road course.

David Brabham qualified second in the Panoz LMP1 - Roadster S. During the first stint he fell to third behind the Audis. His teammate Jan Magnussen was able to take advantage of the mistakes made by the Joest team during the yellow flag periods and put the car out front. The pair stayed in the lead to the checkered flag. This was the duo’s second victory of the season.
Dyson Racing won the 1999 ALMS Driver Championship but were struggling with the development of the new Riley & Scott MK IIIC. At Mid-Ohio, the team’s hard work was rewarded. The car shared by James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger started seventh but late in the race Weaver was contending for second. A spin at the Keyhole while chasing the Audi of Dindo Capello meant the team had to settle for third.
The No. 42 BMW M3 GTR was qualified and started by J.J. Lehto. Lehto was able to get around pole-sitter Sascha Maassen at the start and take the class lead. He and co-driver Jorg Muller never looked back on their way to the GT category victory.
Second in the LMP675 class was the Nissan-powered Lola B2K/40 entered by Roock-KnightHawk Racing. Just about the time the team solved their early season overheating problems the quicker Dick Barbour Reynards appeared. At Mid-Ohio Claudia Huertgen and Steve Knight started and finished twelfth overall.
Sascha Maassen was the fastest qualifier in the GT class driving the No. 23 Alex Job Porsche GT3RS – he and his co-drover Lucas Luhr were leading the points. Maassen was passed by J.J. Lehto at the start but ran second in the early part of the race. Maassen's teammate Lucas Luhr was running third in class with four minutes left in the event when the left rear half-shaft failed – they were classified sixth in class.
Tom Weikardt and Joe Ellis drove the No. 44 American Viperacing Dodge Viper GTS-R. They started and finished last in the GTS category. Problems during the race meant that they only completed fifty-two laps.
The Dick Barbour duo of Didier de Radigues and Bruno Lambert had to overcome a couple of obstacles to take the LMP675 victory at Mid-Ohio. On the opening lap de Radigues spun the Reynard 01Q and Lambert received a penalty for entering the pits when they were closed during a safety car period. Despite these setbacks, they finished a lap ahead of their competition.
In 2001, Bill Auberlen and Nic Jonsson were paired in the No. 10 PTG BMW M3 GTR. At Mid-Ohio Auberlen was replaced by BMW Sports Trophy winner Peter Cunningham. Auberlen had to sit out the event after suffering a concussion at Mosport – caused by an incident with an LMP Cadillac. The pair started sixth in the GT category. After a slow start, they moved up to a fourth place finish in class.
The Corvette C5-Rs finished first and second in GTS. Johnny O'Connell and Ron Fellows qualified second in the No. 3 car but fell to third before the first pit-stop. Some changes were made during the stop which allowed O'Connell to move the car to the lead and victory. They were followed home by their teammates Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim.
The Champion Audi R8 was one of the quickest LMP900 cars at Mid-Ohio, however, the team had to suffer through a series of problems. Andy Wallace started the race and had to deal with bad understeer and two 'stop and go' penalties. His teammate Johnny Herbert overcame these setbacks to grab a fifth place finish - one lap down to the leaders.
Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel were classified third in GT after starting fifth in the Alex Job prepared Porsche GT3RS. A full course yellow during the race caused them to fall one lap behind the second place Schnitzer BMW. At the end of the event, Menzel did well to hold off the hard-charging PTG BMW M3 of Peter Cunningham.
The No. 1 Audi R8 of Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen was the quickest car at Mid-Ohio but a series of errors prevented them from winning – in fact, they were lucky to finish second. Re-entering the track following at pit-stop during a full course caution period race leader Capello believed he was third behind Magnussen. When the Magnussen passed the pace car, Capello followed which resulted in a 'stop and go' penalty for passing the pace car.
The No. 43 Schnitzer prepared BMW M3 GTR was driven by Fredrik Ekblom and Dirk Muller. Ekblom qualified the car fourth in the GT class and ran in this position for much of the race. Problems for the No. 23 Alex Job Porsche and No. 6 PTG BMW allowed them to move up to second in class at the checkered flag.
Twins Joel and John Field shared the No. 37 Judd-powered Lola B2K/10. Ohio resident, John was always quick at Mid-Ohio having won the June Grand-Am event with Oliver Gavin. But the faster ALMS cars meant the pair would start eighth. An accident forced the team to retire after only 41-laps – they were classified last in LMP900.
Hans Stuck qualified third in the PTG BMW M3 GTR. Stuck was able to maintain this spot during his stint. However, the car was suffering from overheating and electrical problems. The BMW stopped on course while Boris Said was at the wheel. Despite these issues, they were able to get the car restarted and finished seventh in GT. (Boris Said is checking the cooler for a 'cold one'.)
Fourth in the GTS class went to David Donohue and Shane Lewis in the quicker of the two American Viper Racing GTS-Rs. This was quite an accomplishment for the team. During Friday’s qualifying session a rear brake failure resulted in substantial impact with the turn-one tire barrier. The team worked hard and repairs were completed in time for the race.
Franz Konrad took the early lead in the GTS pole-winning Saleen S7-R. The team also recorded the fastest race lap which was only 0.2-seconds slower than the quickest LMP675. However, a series of problems, which included an incident with the Champion Audi that damaged the hub and wheel, dropped Konrad and his teammate Terry Borcheller to a third in class – a lap behind the Corvettes.
The ALMS GTS podium at Mid-Ohio. On the right are second place finishers Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins and at the left are Franz Konrad and Terry Borcheller, who captured third. In the middle are GTS race winners Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARENTRANTLAPSRETIREMENTS
1LMP900Magnussen / BrabhamPanoz LMP-1 Roadster SPanoz Motor Sports116-
2LMP900Capello / KristensenAudi R8Audi Sport North America116-
3LMP900Weaver / LeitzingerRiley & Scott Mk III C LincolnDyson Racing116-
4LMP900Biela / PirroAudi R8Audi Sport North America116-
5LMP900Wallace / HerbertAudi R8Champion Racing115-
6LMP900Graf / LagorcePanoz LMP-1 Roadster SPanoz Motor Sports115-
7LMP900Taylor / AngelelliCadillac Northstar LMP 01Team Cadillac114-
8LMP900Tinseau / CollardCadillac Northstar LMP 01Team Cadillac113-
9LMP675de Radigues / LambertReynard 01Q JuddDick Barbour Racing109-
10GTsFellows / O'ConnellChevrolet Corvette C5-RCorvette Racing109-
11GTSPilgrim / CollinsChevrolet Corvette C5-RCorvette Racing109-
12LMP675Hürtgen / KnightLola B2K/40 NissanRoock-KnightHawk Racing108-
13GTSKonrad / BorchellerSaleen S7-RKonrad Team Saleen108-
14GTLehto / MüllerBMW M3 GTRBMW Motorsport107-
15GTEkblom / MüllerBMW M3 GTRBMW Motorsport107-
16GTPobst / MenzelPorsche 996 GT3-RSAlex Job Racing106-
17GTJönsson / CunninghamBMW M3 GTRPrototype Technology Group106-
18GTSDonohue / LewisDodge Viper GTS-RAmerican Viperacing106-
19GTMowlem / FitzgeraldPorsche 996 GT3-RSPetersen Motorsports104-
20GTMaassen / LuhrPorsche 996 GT3-RSAlex Job Racing102Drive Shaft
21GTStuck / SaidBMW M3 GTRPrototype Technology Group100-
22GTBurgess / CollinPorsche 996 GT3-RSSeikel Motorsport99-
23GTNeuhaus / WarsPorsche 996 GT3-RDick Barbour Racing97-
24GTWankum / FosterPorsche 996 GT3-RKyser Racing74Transmission
25GTSEllis / WeickardtDodge Viper GTS-RAmerican Viperacing52-
26LMP900Field / FieldLola B2K/10B JuddIntersport Racing41Accident
27LMP675Adams / BlackerPilbeam MP84 NissanSouthern Comfort Racing28-
28LMP675Graham / DunoReynard 01Q JuddDick Barbour Racing6Electrical


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