PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - SUNDAY, AUG. 23, 1998 First Union Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Raceway FINAL RACE REPORT PTG BMW M3 OVERCOMES MISFORTUNES TO FINISH THIRD Ross Bentley, Marc Duez and Peter...
PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - SUNDAY, AUG. 23, 1998 First Union Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Raceway
FINAL RACE REPORT
PTG BMW M3 OVERCOMES MISFORTUNES TO FINISH THIRD
Ross Bentley, Marc Duez and Peter Cunningham won a battle of survival but had to settle for a third-place finish in GT3 in their No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe during today's First Union Six Hours of The Glen, Round Five of the revived United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC). Meanwhile, the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door of Bill Auberlen, Mark Simo and Andy Pilgrim retired after the second hour with a rare mechanical failure. Bentley, Duez and Cunningham finished behind a pair of Alex Job Racing Porsches, scoring that team's first victory of the season and ending a 12-race winning streak for PTG BMW M3s dating back to last season and including events sanctioned by the rival Professional Sports Car Racing organization. The No. 6 PTG BMW M3 lost three laps at the end of the first hour repairing a stuck refueling valve, and it required an unscheduled pit stop during the fifth hour to replace a broken wheel.
Bentley held onto the USRRC GT3 driver's championship lead with a 146 to 134 lead over second-place Porsche driver Danny Marshall. However, the USRRC announced today that it is attempting to add another race to its schedule - the late-October date at Laguna Seca that as of now is to be a SPORTS CAR-sanctioned race - so it did not award season-ending points championships today as originally planned. BMW currently leads second-place Porsche 85-74 in the manufacturer's championship, and PTG clinched the team championship with an insurmountable 87-52 lead over Alex Job Racing. Manufacturer's and teams would earn 15 points for a win, 12 points for second, and 10 points for third, if there would be a race at Laguna Seca.
TOM MILNER, PTG Team Owner - "This is the first time in a long time (since 1995) that we have had an engine problem, and you simply can't count on the kind of problem we had with our refueling valve on the No. 6 BMW M3. That proves that the competition is such that any mistakes you make will cost you the race. Fortunately, our championship situations are looking very good whether or not we have another USRRC race."
SCOTT DONIGER, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc. - "We came here well prepared, as usual, but unfortunately we weren't able to overcome the Watkins Glen hex (PTG BMW M3s are winless here in four attempts). We had two very unfortunate and unexpected occurrences. But you have to credit the kind of persistence these guys have shown all year in being able to run strong at the end and salvage a third-place finish."
ROSS BENTLEY, #6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe - "We've wrapped up our championships ... I think! It's not quite the way we wanted to do it. It sure would've been nice to finally win one here. But considering the incredible streak this team has been on, something had to break eventually. Unfortunately, it had to happen today." On the prospects of securing the USRRC GT3 driver's championship: "It shows how much of a team sport racing really is. I haven't done anything differently this year than I've done in all my 20 years of racing. But when you have the best cars, the best team and the best co-drivers, you're in position to win championships, and that's really a great feeling."