Peter Cunningham has won the BMW Sports Trophy 2000 to become the world's most successful non-works BMW driver. The American was at the wheel of a BMW M3 in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) as well as the Speedvision World Challenge GT Series. His placings earned him a points total of 330 in the battle for the trophy.
The second-placed winner in this historic contest collected his 320 points on the other side of the globe: Mikhail Ukhov won the Russian Touring Car Championship in a BMW 320i E36 DTC. Third place went to Germany's top contestant, Franz Engstler: he won the German Touring Car Challenge (DTC) in a BMW 320i E46 DTC, the touring variant of the current 3 Series.
The other contestants to be awarded prize money (totalling DM 456,000) were as follows:
<pre> 4. Duncan Huisman, Dutch Touring Car Champion (BMW 320i E46 DTC) 5. Brian Cunningham, currently twelfth in the GT class of the ALMS (BMW M3) 6. Sandor van Es, second in the Dutch Touring Car Championship (BMW 320i E46 DTC) 7. Paul Morris, currently front-runner in the Australian Touring Car Championship (BMW 320i E36 DTC) 8. Boris Said, currently 14th in the GT class of the ALMS (BMW M3) 9. Arto Salmenautio, second in the Finnish Touring Car Championship (BMW 320i E36 DTC) 10. Stefano Valli, winner of the N3 class in the Italian Touring Car Championship (BMW 320i, Group N) 11. Thomas Winkelhock, fourth in the German Touring Car Challenge (BMW 320i E46 DTC) 12. Artur Deutgen picked up points as ninth finisher in the German Touring Car Challenge, in the Long Distance Cup and in the Nurburgring 24 Hours (BMW 320i E46 DTC) 13. Alessandro Bertei, winner of the N1 class in the Italian Touring Car Championship (BMW M3 E36, Group N) 14. Stefano Gabellini, EURO STC 2000 (BMW 320i E36 STC) 15. Jason Richards, New Zealand's Touring Car Champion (BMW 320i DTC) 16. Angelo Baretto earned points in the International Special Car Series and the Nurburgring 24 Hours (BMW M3 E36, Group N) 17. Paolo La Neve, winner of the N2 class in the Italian Touring Car Championship (BMW 325i E36, Group N) 18. Ellen Lohr, fifth in the German Touring Car Challenge (BMW 320i E46 DTC) 18. Johannes van Overbeek, 13th in the GT class of the ALMS (BMW M3) 20. Erich Trinkl won points in the Austrian Series Touring Car Championship (BMW 320i E36)
</pre> New backing for successful BMW customer teams: special bonus for title victory
BMW is offering fresh support for successful customer teams in the 2001 season: in the event of a team winning the German Touring Car Challenge title in a BMW 320i DTC, it will be awarded spare parts vouchers to the value of DM 25,000 per car.
Fellow BMW-badged competitors also stand to gain from an overall victory by a BMW driver, with all other BMW teams in the relevant series receiving spare parts vouchers worth DM 10,000 per car.
With a view to improving preparations for the new season, BMW will be staging three test days for all customer teams. Two of them will be held ahead of the first race of the season, while the third is scheduled to follow the second event. BMW engineers will be present on these test days to assist the teams.