VISA Sports Car Championships, Laguna Seca Raceway race seven, American Le Mans Series
BMW Team PTG finished seventh, 10th and 12th in the GT class on Sunday, after encountering mechanical problems with all three team cars. Hans Stuck did some trackside repairs when a throttle-cable bracket broke on the #6 BMW M3. The #10 M3 was subject to lengthy mid-race repairs for a broken drive-shaft joint. And the #7 M3 retired early with a broken control arm, so Brian Cunningham, chasing championship points, switched to the #6 car. Although still in the hunt for the series team title, BMW will not repeat as sports-car GT manufacturer champion.
Scott Doniger, motorsport manager, BMW of North America, Inc.
"Three consecutive championship runs is almost unachievable for most teams. The fact that we couldn't pull out a fourth one and will finish a close second to a brand-new car is testament to the dedication and professionalism of Prototype Technology Group. They should be commended for their run. And we congratulate the Porsche factory group for coming out with a brand-new car that's very good. We look forward to competing under an equal set of rules next year. We will undoubtedly give the Porsche teams around the world a run for their money."
Brian Cunningham, driver, #6 BMW M3
"I wasn't comfortable. Everything felt good in the pits, but when I got out [on track], I realized I wasn't close enough to the throttle. I had to stretch my foot and I just fatigued my back. I wasn't made to fit in that car: I'm not six-two, I'm five-two. It played a big role in how I felt in the car. It's always difficult when you get into a different car because you don't know what to expect with comfort, handling, gearbox, everything."
Johannes van Overbeek, driver, #10 BMW M3
"It was very frustrating to sit and wait for the Level One/Flextronics BMW. We had a good run going and unfortunately we had some mechanical ailments that prevented us from continuing. But all I could do was wait and when it was fixed, do the best I could to bring the car back. It's unfortunate for the team -- they busted their humps to get here and field a competitive car. It's unfortunate that we had problems with all three cars."
Boris Said, driver, #6 BMW M3
"Brian's higher in the points than me, so they made the decision to get him points instead of me. That's fine, I'm a team player. It's a team effort and I'm a small part of the whole equation. I'm disappointed I didn't get to drive more because it's a great track and the car was great. It was an unfortunate day, but that's racing. You've got to take the ups and the downs and you can't let it get to you. You just come back and fight hard, and that's what I'm going to do at the next race."
Mark Simo, driver, #7 BMW M3
"The car was decent, but I don't think we found what we were looking for all weekend, so I was just trying to be consistent. I went into the second-last turn and the GTS Porsche was on the inside of me. I didn't think he was going to try to take me there, but he did and we collected each other and I broke the rear control arm. It's unfortunate for Brian that he didn't really get a chance to run a full stint."