PTG BMW M3 NOTES AND QUOTES Exxon Supreme GT Series - GTS-3 VISA Sports Car Championships Laguna Seca Raceway Race - Saturday, October 25, 1997 BILL AUBERLEN CAPTURES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP - BMW M3 four-door driver Bill Auberlen won the...
PTG BMW M3 NOTES AND QUOTES Exxon Supreme GT Series - GTS-3 VISA Sports Car Championships Laguna Seca Raceway Race - Saturday, October 25, 1997
BILL AUBERLEN CAPTURES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP - BMW M3 four-door driver Bill Auberlen won the SportsCar GTS-3 Driver's Championship after placing second to teammates Dieter Quester and Marc Duez. Auberlen finished the season with 234 points followed by teammate Javier Quiros who had 220 points. David Murry was third with 208 points. The title is Auberlen first professional auto racing title. It is also the first time PTG has produced a driving champion. They finished second last year with Pete Halsmer. Auberlen won five races and six poles this season. Among his victories are the 24-hours of Daytona and the 12-Hours of Sebring. PTG is the only team to win both races in any class in 1997.
CHAMPIONS - BMW won the GTS-3 manufacturer's championship for the second consecutive year and PTG won the team championship last week in Sebring.
WINNING SEASON - BMW M3s have won nine of 11 races in 1997. PTG BMW drivers have owned the podium the last three races. In Pikes Peak BMWs held the top five spots at the end of the race, lead by race winner Bill Auberlen. PTG BMW M3s finished 1-2-3 and 5 and the Independent Mattco entry finished 4th. BMW drivers, lead by Auberlen, swept the top three spots in Sebring and a last lap pass by Derek Hill, allowed the M3s to again have the podium to themselves in Laguna Seca.. BMW also laid claim to the podium Lime Rock Park earlier in the season.
FIRST TIME WINNER - Going into the Sebring race last week, Dieter Quester and frequent co-driver Marc Duez were winless in GTS-3 competition this year in the Red Bull BMW M3. Duez won with GTS-3 Driver's Champion, Bill Auberlen in Sebring, and Duez and Quester visited victory lane today at Laguna Seca. It is also the fist victory for the No. 7 BMW M3.
BILL AUBERLEN - No. 10 YOKOHAMA BMW M3 FOUR-DOOR "It's really neat to be part of something when it is growing and developing. BMW and PTG have worked for several years and now here we are. What a great feeling. I've been trying for this championship for many years and I am ecstatic to have won this title. It's been a great day." HOW WAS YOUR RACE? "I ran conservatively, but the crew gave a great car and Boris, as always, kept the M3 up front, and gave me what I needed to stay in contention."
DIETER QUESTER No. 7 RED BULL/FINA/YOKOHAMA BMW M3 - "It is like I celebrated Christmas, Easter and my birthday all in one day. I'm very, very happy. Mark did a great job today as always and we had a fantastic machine as we have all year from PTG. My BMW M3 was great this entire year."
MARK DUEZ No. 10 YOKOHAMA BMW M3 FOUR-DOOR - "The car was perfect at the start, but about a half hour from the end we had a third gear problem. I couldn't out of third gear. Bill (Auberlen) was closing, but didn't overtake me. It was great to win with the Red Bull M3 for the first time this year."
JAVIER QUIROS No. 6 YOKOHAMA BMW M3 - "To finish second in the driver's championship is very good. The team has been tremendous all year and, I want to thank them. They gave me a great car, the BMW M3 is fantastic. I congratulate Bill on winning the title he is very deserving."
ERIK WENSBERG, M BRAND MANAGER, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, INC. - "To finish one-two in the driver's championhip after the BMW M3s won the manufacturer's championship last week in Sebring is ideal. We couldn't be happier for Bill Auberlen and the PTG team, which also won the team championship. PTG came through in fine style for us this year. They made the M3 four-door a winner in its first race at Sears Point and have prevailed despite some trying times during the season. I'd like to congratulate Bill and Javier and the PTG team."
TOM MILNER, PTG TEAM OWNER - "Three years of hard work, and we accomplished what we set out to do. We won the driver's title today for the first time and brought BMW their second manufacturer's title and my guys won us the team championship. This program has had the strong support of BMW and we molded the team and found the good drivers. Everybody had to learn and get better as we went. This is the fruit of all the labor."