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Mosport PTG BMW M3 Race Report

PTG BMW M3 Breaks Longstanding Record With Eighth Consecutive SPORTS CAR GT3 Victory BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 9, 1998: The Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 team broke a 16-year-old Professional Sports Car Racing record...

PTG BMW M3 Breaks Longstanding Record With Eighth Consecutive SPORTS CAR GT3 Victory

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 9, 1998: The Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 team broke a 16-year-old Professional Sports Car Racing record today as Bill Auberlen and Mark Simo co-drove the #10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door to the eighth consecutive GT3 win in the series for the Winchester, Va-based team led by Tom Milner. The victory in the 2-hour, 45-minute Mosport Festival at Mosport Park surpassed the previous record of seven SPORTS CAR GT3 wins in a row set by the Kent Racing Mazdas in 1981-82. Auberlen and Simo led a 1-2 team finish in GT3 today, the team's fifth such finish in as many SPORTS CAR races this year, and its 12th GT3 win in a row counting this season's four events in the revived United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC). PTG's Marc Duez and Ross Bentley also drove the #6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe to the team's fifth consecutive win in GT2 today.

"This is a tremendous feeling, to set a mark we've been focusing on since we started this BMW M3 program in 1995," said Milner. "It's a real credit to the reliability of the BMW M3 and a wonderful achievement for the drivers, the crew, everyone involved with this effort."

"The story of Mosport '98 was to stay focused after six weeks off, to stay focused after two rainy days of testing and practice (Thursday and Friday) and getting the cars ready for a dry race, and to focus on a small but intensely competitive field," said Scott Doniger, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc. "The PTG team showed its true versatility this weekend."

Auberlen and Simo led teammates Bentley and Peter Cunningham and their #1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door across the finish line in GT3.

"This team seems to be beyond flawless." said Auberlen, the defending SPORTS CAR GT3 driver's champion who leads this year's standings by a 126-122 margin over second-place teammate Simo while Cunningham and Bentley are tied for third with 114 points each. "It's simply amazing how, time and time again, the PTG crew can prepare these BMW M3s without making a single mistake. To go 12 races in a row without as much as a flat tire ... that's unheard of in racing."

Auberlen did, in fact, run into problems early in Sunday's race, having to pit earlier than planned - just 45 minutes after the start - to take on a fresh set of Yokohama radials.

"It was my fault because I was pushing much harder than I wanted to," Auberlen said. "Fortunately, Mark (Simo) jumped in and did just a fantastic job keeping us in the lead before he turned the car back over to me at the end."

The day was especially pleasing to Bentley, of Vancouver, B.C., who co-drove to the runner-up finish in GT3 and got to share in the GT2 victory.

"In all my years, I've never done well in Canada," said Bentley, who leads the GT3 driver's standings in the rival USRRC. "I've raced Indy cars in Toronto and Vancouver and never even finished a race. So, to pick up a first and a second in the same day at Mosport, that's just great. It helps to be with the best team out here. I wasn't even expecting to get into the #6 BMW M3. But it just worked out that way and turned out to be a very pleasant surprise."

Next stop for the PTG team is the annual six-hour Can-Am/GT race at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Round Five of the United States Road Racing Championship, Aug. 21-23. -30-

BMWs DOMINATE SATURDAY'S SPEEDVISION CUP RACE Andy Pilgrim and Terry Borcheller co-drove to the Grand Sports win in their BMW M3 while Jeff McMillin and Mike Fitzgerald led a 1-2 BMW 328is finish in the Sports class in Saturday's 2-hour, 45-minute Speedvision Cup race at Mosport Park. Ron Johnson and Lee Ezell took third place in their BMW M3 in Grand Sports, while Nick Longhi and Michael Culver took the runner-up spot in Sports in their BMW 328is. It was Pilgrim and Borcheller's second overall win in four Speedvision Cup races this year. Fitzgerald's Sports class win was his second in a row in the Speedvision Cup.

BMW WINS SPORTS CLASS IN SUNDAY'S MOTOROLA CUP EVENT Mike Fitzgerald and Randy Pobst drove a BMW 328is to the Sports Class victory in today's three-hour Motorola Cup race at Mosport Park. It was Fitzgerald's seventh Motorola Cup victory in nine races this year, and the eighth for a BMW 328is.

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Series GT
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Bill Auberlen , Nick Longhi , Randy Pobst , Peter Cunningham , Michael Culver , Ross Bentley , Marc Duez , Ron Johnson