PTG BMW M3s Produce Another First-Time Winner In 1-2 GT3 Sweep at Homestead; Privateer M3 Wins GT2 HOMESTEAD, Fla., May 17, 1998: Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 driver Ross Bentley caught and passed teammate Mark Simo in the final...
PTG BMW M3s Produce Another First-Time Winner In 1-2 GT3 Sweep at Homestead; Privateer M3 Wins GT2
HOMESTEAD, Fla., May 17, 1998: Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 driver Ross Bentley caught and passed teammate Mark Simo in the final stretch to cap a thrilling 1-2 finish in the GT3 class of today's 2-hour, 15-minute USRRC Road Racing Extravaganza at the Homestead Motorsports Complex south of Miami.
Bentley, co-driving the No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door with Marc Duez, won his first race in the PTG BMW M3 and helped keep PTG's and BMW's records perfect this year. Meanwhile Duez, also a winner in the only other USRRC-sanctioned event this year - the season-opening Daytona 24-Hour - took over the USRRC's GT3 driver's points lead with teammate Boris Said close behind in second (80-77).
Another BMW M3, the No. 54 privateer entry of Massari-Muller Racing, won the GT2 class by two laps. It was driven by Andy Pilgrim, Terry Borcheller and Scott Newman.
"These BMWs have proven themselves time and again to be fast and durable," said Scott Doniger, M Brand Manager, and BMW of North North America, Inc. "The PTG team works harder than anybody out here, and with our excellent drivers, we're going to be tough to beat on any given day, on any given track. Once again, hats off to everyone associated with this program, and congratulations to Massari-Muller for its GT2 win."
BMW M3s have now won 19 of their last 21 outings. It was the third consecutive 1-2 finish in GT3 for the PTG team, the last two coming at Professional Sports Car Racing-sanctioned events at Sebring and Las Vegas.
"That had to be one of the funnest races I've had in a long, long time," said Bentley, who drove the M3 to runner-up finishes at Sebring and Las Vegas. "We played cat-and-mouse there at the end, passed each other a couple of times, and I just got a good run on him through the fast stuff on the back side of the course. Then, coming off the last turn, I got a good run and was able to beat him down the straightaway to the finish line."
Simo, co-driving the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door with Said, who on Saturday qualified the car on the GT3 pole, came within two car-lengths of his second consecutive victory.
"I didn't realize it was the last lap, otherwise I would have worked harder to hold my position," said Simo, whose victory at Las Vegas last month was the first of his career in only four starts with the PTG team. "The (overall) race leader was between Ross and me, so I never saw the white flag. It's not so bad, I guess. If you're going to get beat, it might as well be by your teammate."
The PTG M3s finished seventh and eighth overall in the 27-car field that included USRRC Can-Am, GT1 and GT2 cars. The next closest GT3 competitors - the No. 55 Porsche 911 of Jorge Trejos and Tim Ralston, finished three laps back. "Hey, if no one else is there at the end, we're going to race ourselves," said PTG team owner Tom Milner. "It was a good show, not only for the fans, but for everyone on the team. Very exciting. I told the drivers they could race each other, but if they hurt the cars ... well, we won't get into that!"
The next stop on the schedule is Round Three of the Sports Car GT Series presented by Virgin Interactive next weekend (May 22-25) at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. That 1-hour, 45-minute race, is set for 4 p.m. EDT on Memorial Day (May 25) and will be broadcast live by Speedvision.
BMW M3 WINS SATURDAY'S MOTOROLA CUP RACE - Andy Pilgrim and Terry Borcheller drove the Massari & Bell Grand Sports class BMW M3 to the overall victory in Saturday's two-hour Motorola Cup race at Homestead. The other team car, driven by Scott Newman and Benoit Theetge, was seventh overall. Meanwhile, Darryl Havens and Mike Fitzgerald won the Sports class in a Fitzgerald Racing BMW 328iS, finishing 12th overall.
# # #