BMW Team PTG notes: test day, Oct. 7 VISA Sports Car Championships, Laguna Seca Raceway race seven, American Le Mans Series
NASCAR meets F1
#6 BMW M3 drivers Boris Said and Hans Stuck seem to have covered the spectrum of racing worldwide. In addition to their extensive road-racing experience, Said drives stock cars in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Stuck has competed in the highest level of open-wheel racing -- Formula One.
"Hans was my favorite driver growing up and it's hard to believe that I'm finally racing with him. It seems like for sure we're brothers who were separated at birth across the Atlantic," Said explained.
"Boris has the same experience as me -- he drives everything that has wheels on it," Stuck said. "I never thought my 30th season of driving would be so satisfying. Boris is one of the best three drivers I've ever had for a teammate, not only in terms of performance but also for having fun."
family and friends
#7 BMW M3 driver Brian Cunningham hopes to achieve what his grandfather set out to do -- win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He would like to do it with BMW. "I came to PTG because of BMW. I have the street car and I love it," he said. "I love their heritage. It's a supreme racing heritage, and I don't think I could align myself with a better marque."
Team-mate Peter Cunningham, who is driving the #10 M3 this weekend, says driver friendships are important elements of BMW Team PTG's success. "We're friends away from the track and we have fun. That's key because when we're talking about an on- track activity or we're doing an on-track activity, it's 110 per cent serious. But the camaraderie that we have helps us keep it a totally enjoyable experience."
#10 M3 driver Johannes van Overbeek and Mark Simo, co-driving the #7 car, both extend their racing involvement beyond seat-time. Van Overbeek coaches a handful of drivers who compete in sports-car and vintage racing. Simo co-owns a NASCAR team and his company, No Fear, produces the Driving Force line of racing apparel.
The people I coach are fun, interesting people. I enjoy their company and the cars that they have," van Overbeek said. "Everybody I coach is exceptional in their business, so it's fun to learn from their experiences and try to teach them an ability that I have."
"Getting up in the morning, I've never had a doubt in my life that this is something that I'm driven to do," Simo explained. "There is nothing more satisfying than getting behind the wheel of a race car, but driving a race car is only one component. It feels a lot better driving the race car when I'm intimately involved in the business."