BMW Team PTG Las Vegas Preview

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 27, 1999) -- BMW Team PTG hopes to end the 1999 race season with a strong showing in the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Las Vegas (Nev.) on Nov. 7. The two-hour 45-minute race will run on the 2.25-mile...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 27, 1999) -- BMW Team PTG hopes to end the 1999 race season with a strong showing in the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Las Vegas (Nev.) on Nov. 7. The two-hour 45-minute race will run on the 2.25-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway road course. It is the final of eight races in the 1999 series, sanctioned by Professional Sports Car Racing. Although the introduction of a new-generation car gave Porsche enough points to clinch the GT-class manufacturer championship, BMW Team PTG still leads the GT team standings by eight points over Alex Job Racing. And BMW M3 drivers Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., and Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., are second and third, respectively, in GT driver points behind Porsche driver Cort Wagner. He leads van Overbeek by 16 points and Cuningham by 18 points, with a potential 26 points available in the final race. "We had good success last year at Las Vegas, but things are a little different this year. We have a brand-new car from our major competitor that is optimized to next year's rules, while our BMW M3s are built to current standards," said Scott Doniger, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "But our drivers are experienced on the track and we know they'll give it their best shot." Last year at Las Vegas, BMW Team PTG won the GT2 (now GTS) class and scored a one-two finish in GT3 (now GT) en route to a third-consecutive GT3 manufacturer title for BMW. Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., co-drove the winning GT2 BMW M3. 1998 GT3 driver champion Mark Simo of Carlsbad shared driving honors in the winning GT3 M3. Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., drove the second-place GT3 car. This year, Said and Simo will be paired in the No. 10 BMW M3. Peter Cunningham will co-drive the No. 7 M3 with Brian Cunningham. "For an infield road circuit, Las Vegas is one of the best. I like it because you can pass and there are some decent high- speed turns, where most infield circuits are usually boring," Said explained. "Mark's one of my best friends in the whole world, so I think we'll have a good time and hopefully we can beat all the other heroes." Said's usual co-driver, Hans Stuck of Austria, will drive the No. 6 M3 with van Overbeek. Stuck, 48, has won numerous championships in his 30-year career. Van Overbeek, 26, is chasing the GT driver championship in his rookie season. "Having the opportunity to drive with one of the sports-car legends is a tremendous honor, one I thank both Hans and Tom [team owner Milner] for. I'm approaching this as a learning experience, with great respect. I'll have my eyes and ears open to learn all I can from someone who's been racing since before I was born," van Overbeek said. "I anxiously await the end of this roller-coaster of a year. The championship won't be decided until, hopefully, the very last lap on Sunday. I'm prepared and the team is prepared to give a 100- percent effort for Hans and I to finish as high as possible." All three BMW Team PTG M3s will carry the colors of team sponsors Yokohama, Level One and Flextronics International. The American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Las Vegas is scheduled to start at noon PT (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday, Nov. 7. The race will be telecast live on CNBC from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web live broadcast, real-time timing and scoring

American Le Mans Series website (www.americanlemans.com).

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