BMW TEAM PTG Driver Profiles
born: Aug. 24, 1970 in Batavia, N.Y. residence: Danville, Ky. family: wife Susan, daughter Lucie
Brian Cunningham has been a consistent front-runner throughout his racing career. He started racing karts in 1978, and was a leading contender in the Skip Barber Formula Ford Championship and the Formula Ford 2000 Championship in 1990 and '91. In 1992, he became a world speed and endurance record-holder as a member of the factory Oldsmobile team that set 52 records, won rookie of the year in the Oldsmobile Pro Series and was Racer Magazine's Star of Tomorrow. He was a top racer in the British Formula Three championship from 1993 through '96. He won one race and scored a pole, three fastest race laps and five top-five finishes for the factory Oldsmobile Aurora program in the 1996 IMSA GT1 series. He competed in four PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship events and 13 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in 1997, and followed with a successful Indy Lights season in 1998. Cunningham is a licensed pilot. He is the grandson of Briggs S. Cunningham, a legendary sports-car driver and constructor of the 1950s and '60s and the winning skipper of the America's Cup yacht Columbia. Brian's father Briggs Jr. finished 10th in the 1963 Daytona 500 as a team owner.
born: July 1, 1962 in Milwaukee, Wis. residence: West Bend, Wis. family: single
1998: SPORTS CAR GT3 win at Lime Rock, second at Sebring, Las Vegas, Road Atlanta and Mosport; USRRC GT3 win at Daytona, second at Mid-Ohio, GT2 win at Minneapolis
With 10 widely diverse championships to his credit, Peter Cunningham is the only driver in SCCA Pro Racing to have won titles in Solo II, Pro Rally, sprint and endurance road racing, as well as ice racing. Along the way, he has driven in a remarkable 25 24-hour races and collected eight victories. He was the 1997 SCCA World Challenge driver champion in the Touring 1 class. With 27 victories through 1997, he is the all-time winningest driver in the series and its predecessor. He was runner-up in the 1997 North American Touring Car Championship and holds the record for most series wins. When he's not on the track racing, Cunningham is president and CEO of RealTime Racing & Logistics, which fields a four-car SCCA World Challenge Touring Car team and provides sales training and consumer-education events in automotive-related fields.
BORIS SAID III
born: Sept. 18, 1962 in New York, N.Y. residence: Carlsbad, Calif. family: wife Karen
1998: SPORTS CAR GT3 win at Sebring; GT2 wins at Las Vegas, Lime Rock, Road Atlanta; USRRC GT3 wins at Daytona and Mid-Ohio, second at Homestead. 1997: three wins, eight podiums, nine top-fives, seventh in GTS-3 driver points.
Boris Said started racing motocross at age 12. He was the 1988 SCCA Corvette Challenge rookie of the year. He took the pole and fastest race lap, and led flag-to-flag to win the SCCA Showroom Stock GT national championship in 1989, '90 and '91. In 1992, he won the IMSA Endurance Challenge Sports class championship. He won the 1994 SCCA Trans-Am series Rising Star of the Year award, and collected a win, 11 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes in Trans Am from 1994 to '96. In 1995, he posted Ford's first Firestone Firehawk victory. He joined BMW Team PTG in 1996 and scored four podium finishes, including a victory at Mosport Park. In 1997, he drove 18 hours of the Daytona 24-hour race, finishing first in GT1 and third in GTS. He also competed as a self-crewed driver in six-hour races at Sebring and Road Atlanta. Said's European racing efforts include the ADAC German GT Cup (eighth in the 1993 series), two 24 Hours of Le Mans races (GT2 pole in 1994, second in 1995) and a GT2 pole and class win at Spa- Francorchamps in 1994. He has competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Irvan-Simo Racing since 1997. In 1998, he won the Sears Point road-course truck race, took the pole in his first NASCAR Busch Grand National race and finished fifth in his first NASCAR Winston Cup race. He is director of motorsports for No Fear.
born: Oct. 1, 1959 in Beloit, Wis. residence: Carlsbad, Calif. family: single
1998: SPORTS CAR GT3 driver champion with wins at Las Vegas, Road Atlanta, Mosport; USRRC GT3 win at Minneapolis, second at Homestead, Mid-Ohio.
Mark Simo started racing motocross at age 12. He drove a Camaro in showroom stock GT competition in 1990 and '91 and competed in the Firestone Firehawk series in 1993. He raced in the Willow Springs Sportsman Championship for late-model cars in 1994 and '95, and won the championship in '95. He competed in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races (1995 Topeka Park, '96 Sears Point and '98 Watkins Glen) and joined BMW Team PTG in 1998. Simo and NASCAR Winston Cup star Ernie Irvan formed Irvan-Simo Racing in 1995. The team was a regular contender in the Craftsman Truck Series from 1995 to '98. This year, in transition to a fulltime Winston Cup effort in 2000, the team will enter eight Winston Cup, six Craftsman Truck and three NASCAR Busch Series races. Simo and his twin Brian, a leading competitor in the SCCA Trans-Am series, founded the sports brand No Fear in 1990.
born: Jan. 1, 1951 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany residences: Ellmau/T., Austria and Boca Raton, Fla. family: sons Johannes-Emanuel and Ferdinand-Alexander
Hans Stuck began racing touring cars in 1969. He has a wealth of experience in most major road-racing series, including the Formula One World Championship, Formula Two European Championship, Sportscar World Championship, IMSA GT, European Touring Car Championship, International Touring Car Championship, SCCA Trans-Am Series and FIA GT Championship. He is a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1986 and '87), three-time winner of the Sebring 12-hour event ( 1986, '88 and '93) and has won the 24 Hours of Nrburgring (1970 and '98) and the 24 Hours of Spa- Francorchamps (1972). Stuck was the German Touring Car champion in 1972 and '90, won the Procar Series with the BMW M1 (1979), was Sportscar world champion (1985), winner of the ADAC Supercup Sportscars (1987) and winner of the IMSA Supercar Championship (1993). He spent 1998 with the Team BMW Motorsport BMW V12 Le Mans program and as a development driver for the BMW V8 race engine. His hobbies include alpine skiing, golf and "most of all my two sons, Johannes and Ferdinand".
JOHANNES van OVERBEEK
born: April 14, 1973 in Sacramento, Calif. residence: Danville, Calif. family: single
Johannes van Overbeek started racing karts in 1983. His early career included four years of "secret" racing without his family's knowledge. In 1993, he ran his first SCCA ITC race and set a track record at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California. He raced a Camaro in SCCA club events in 1995 and finished third at the national runoffs. In 1996, he debuted in two SCCA World Challenge Series races with BMW. He had a strong rookie season in 1997, with three victories, two pole positions and two track records. He swept the field at Heartland Park Topeka as fastest qualifier, set the fastest race lap and won his first career race. Despite the trauma of his crew chief's death, he still collected three podium finishes, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes to help BMW secure second place in the 1998 T2 class manufacturer championship. He finished third in the season finale at Pikes Peak after starting from last position. Now a marketing consultant, van Overbeek started his first business, a mailing service, at age 14. He has an avid interest in the history of the west and enjoys running, cycling, hiking, climbing and ski racing.