PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM Press Notes for Saturday, June 20 The Sports Car Grand Prix at Road Atlanta - GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive
PTG BMW M3s GRAB FRONT ROW IN GT3, AND GT2 POLE Bill Auberlen grabbed the GT3 pole in his No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door and PTG teammate Marc Duez earned the GT2 pole in his No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe today for Sunday's 3-hour, 45-minute Sports Car Grand Prix at Road Atlanta, Round Four of this year's Professional Sports Car Racing GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive. Peter Cunningham put the No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe alongside the No. 10 team car, qualifying second on the grid. It was the second time in four SPORTS CAR events this season, and the fourth time in seven events overall, that the PTG BMW M3s qualified 1-2. They currently are riding a streak of five consecutive 1-2 finishes in GT3, including SPORTS CAR's Sebring, Las Vegas and Lime Rock events. Auberlen's record-setting pole-winning time over the newly redesigned 2.55-mile Road Atlanta layout was 1 minute, 26.841 seconds (an average of 106.13 mph). Cunningham recorded a time of 1:27.635 (105.16 mph) in the other team GT3 entry. Duez won the GT2 pole in 1:26.835 (106.13 mph). Auberlen will share the No. 10 BMW M3 with Mark Simo on Sunday while Cunningham will share the No. 1 BMW M3 with Ross Bentley. Duez will share the No. 6 BMW M3 with Boris Said, who is racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tonight at Bristol, Tenn., and late-add Brian Simo.
BRIAN SIMO ADDED TO PTG BMW M3 LINEUP IN GT2 With PTG team driver Boris Said having left Road Atlanta after Thursday's test session here to practice, qualify and race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Bristol, Tenn., this evening, SCCA Trans-Am regular Brian Simo was flown in from Southern California to help drive the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe. The twin brother of PTG driver Mark Simo, with whom he co-founded the sports apparel brand No Fear, Brian arrived early this morning on a red eye flight from California, headed straight to the track, and drove the car for most of this morning's practice session. "I've never driven a GT car, or in a SPORTS CAR event," he said. "Fortunately, I know Road Atlanta from when I raced here in the SCCA Runoffs several years ago. And, of course, I've been following this team very closely with Mark driving with them full-time. I'm looking forward to the race, and I'm thankful to Tom Milner and BMW for the opportunity. This is a great team."
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "Knock on wood, the car is absolutely perfect. It's been ready to race since we rolled it off the truck Thursday for testing here. We just have to stay out of trouble during the race and we should end up with a good finishing position. I feel bad for Cort Wagner and Darryl Havens (whose No. 23 GT3 Porsche 911 was heavily damaged in an accident during practice this morning and won't be available for Sunday's race). It's a shame. We've had some good racing the last several events."
PETER CUNNINGHAM, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "We've made some very good progress and we've got a great car for Sunday. The car felt a little strange early in the session, and I noticed in my mirrors and saw that my rear wing had come off. I thought, 'that's not good,' and brought the car right in. We bolted on another one, and went out and turned out hot laps to put us second on the grid."
MARC DUEZ, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe (GT2): "We played it pretty conservatively. I took no risks. We have an excellent car for the race. (NOTE: Duez scored a milestone victory last week at the Nurburgring 24-hour race in Germany, co-driving a BMW 320TD to the overall victory, the first ever by a diesel-powered car in the legendary endurance race. BMWs finished 1-2-3 overall.