BMW Team PTG M3s Finish Sixth and Ninth in GT2 at Utah Grand Prix Tooele, Utah. - July 18, 2006-- Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand, driving the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3, finished a team-best sixth in last weekend's Utah Grand Prix at Miller...
BMW Team PTG M3s Finish Sixth and Ninth in GT2 at Utah Grand Prix
Tooele, Utah. - July 18, 2006-- Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand, driving the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3, finished a team-best sixth in last weekend's Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Starting from the eighth position the duo completed 58 laps of the 4.5-mile, 24-turn circuit in the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute contest. Combined with two consecutive top-five finishes in the last two races the sixth place moves the duo to 13th in GT2 driver points.
Justin Marks and Bryan Sellers, driving the No. 22 BMW Team PTG M3, finished ninth, completing two laps less than their teammates after having to make an unscheduled pit stop late in the race. They stand 18th in driver points.
Auberlen started the No. 21 M3, running as high as sixth, before pitting for tires and fuel just before the one-hour mark. He remained in the car for another hour before Hand entered the car after service. Hand reentered the race in seventh and on an exciting final lap split the two Panoz Esperantes to finish sixth.
Marks pitted the No. 22 M3 following Auberlen and, following the same strategy, stayed in the car. He pitted a second time to hand off to Sellers for the final 45 minutes of the race. Following the last of the races caution periods and within the final 15 minutes of the race Sellers pitted with a vibration. The crew replaced the tires and Sellers continued, but the third stop dropped him to the ninth finishing position.
"After a solid performance at Mid-Ohio and reaching the podium at Lime Rock we were certainly hoping for better results than we achieved this weekend," said Larry Koch, M Brand and Motorsport Manager for BMW of North America, LLC. "The team never gave up despite quite a few problems that this new track threw at us. Portland is next and we won the last time we raced there."
Round 6 of the American Le Mans Series, the Grand Prix of Portland will be held on July 19 - 22 at Portland International Raceway. The race will be televised on CBS television on July 23 beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET.
BMW Team PTG last raced in Portland in the 2001 with Boris Said and Hans Stuck winning the GT class from the pole in a M3 GTR.