Road Atlanta BMW Team PTG Petit Le Mans Preview

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 8, 1999) -- BMW Team PTG hopes to take the lead in American Le Mans Series GT-class manufacturer and team standings with a strong run in the Petit Le Mans on Sept. 18. The 1000-mile, 10-hour race on the 2.54-mile...

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 8, 1999) -- BMW Team PTG hopes to take the lead in American Le Mans Series GT-class manufacturer and team standings with a strong run in the Petit Le Mans on Sept. 18. The 1000-mile, 10-hour race on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course is the sixth of eight in the series. Team members believe it will be a pivotal race in the championship hunt. BMW, looking for its fourth-consecutive GT manufacturer championship, trails Porsche by just one point in manufacturer standings. BMW Team PTG is one point behind Alex Job Racing in team rankings after five races. And BMW Team PTG driver Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., leads the series GT driver championship by three points over Porsche driver Cort Wagner. "It gets harder and harder every year. Being the target means everyone is shooting for us," said Scott Doniger, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "We've had a tough year, but despite the rules changes from last year and the fact that Porsche has a new car built to next year's standards, it's still anyone's game. That's pretty impressive, and a credit to everyone who has contributed to this effort. We're going to continue to give it everything we've got to achieve what we set out to do -- win a fourth-straight championship for BMW." Van Overbeek will co-drive the No. 10 BMW M3 with Mark Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., and Darren Law of Phoenix. Simo, who won the Professional Sports Car Racing GT3 (now GT) driver championship last year, will have the rare opportunity to race with his twin Brian, also of Carlsbad, who is a leading SCCA Trans-Am competitor. "We've only had the opportunity to race together twice before in the BMW M3s, at Road Atlanta and Minneapolis last year. Brian ran GT2 and I ran GT3, and we shared victory at both races. If history repeats itself, maybe we'll be able to win again this year," Mark Simo said. "It's just going to be nice driving together again. I think Brian will blend well with the team and the other drivers. He's been around and he knows everybody, and that helps to build the right synergy." Brian Simo will drive the No. 7 BMW M3 with Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis. Their teammates Hans Stuck of Austria and Boris Said of Carlsbad will be paired in the No. 6 M3. All three cars will carry the colors of Yokohama, Flextronics International and Level One. The BMW Team PTG drivers know how to win at Road Atlanta. In 1998, Said and Brian Simo won the GT2 (now GTS) class, and Peter Cunningham and Mark Simo won the GT3 (now GT) class in the Sports Car Grand Prix at Road Atlanta. Law was on the second-place GT3 team at the inaugural Petit Le Mans. And van Overbeek and Brian Cunningham scored their first BMW Team PTG win at Road Atlanta in April this year. Stuck said the team completed a successful test at Road Atlanta in August, despite high temperatures that taxed the drivers' stamina. "I tested more or less all the different specifications and then started a long run. We changed drivers every half-hour or so," he reported. "We found something that was for sure an improvement in tire durability and our time was not bad, so we're moving forward. We were quite happy about this!" The 10-hour Petit Le Mans race is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 18. Race highlights will be telecast on NBC on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. ET. Petit Le Mans Radio Web will provide a live broadcast for all track sessions and the race. Petit Le Mans Radio Web, video highlights, news and updates will be available through the American Le Mans Series website (www.americanlemans.com).

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Series ALMS
Drivers Boris Said , Brian Simo , Darren Law , Peter Cunningham , Johannes van Overbeek , Brian Cunningham , Alex Job , Cort Wagner
Teams Alex Job Racing