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Final BMW M3 '97 SportsCar Bullets

BMW SportsCar Bullets - December 31, 1997 AFTER THE 1997 GTS-3 SEASON: * BMW claimed its second consecutive manufacturers' championship by 50 points over Porsche (274-224). * BMW M3s won nine of the 11 races in '97. PTG won...

BMW SportsCar Bullets - December 31, 1997

AFTER THE 1997 GTS-3 SEASON:

* BMW claimed its second consecutive manufacturers' championship by 50 points over Porsche (274-224).

* BMW M3s won nine of the 11 races in '97. PTG won eight, Mattco Racing one.

* Tom Milner (PTG team owner) claimed the new SportsCar team championship by 86 points (268-182) over the Porsche team of Michael Colucci.

* Bill Auberlen captured his first GTS-3 driver's championship by 14 points over his teammate Javier Quiros (234-220), giving the PTG team its first driver's title and BMW it's first GT title since 1981.

* PTG is the only SportsCar team, in any class, to win both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Exxon Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring in 1997.

* The PTG BMW M3 team has swept the top-three podium positions five times in GTS-3 since adding a third car to the original two-car team in July, 1996. The team scored 1-2-3 finishes at Sears Point in 1996, and in '97 at Lime Rock Park, Pikes Peak (BMW M3s were 1 through 5), at Sebring in October and at Laguna Seca.

1996-1997 SEASON STATISTICS TO DATE:

* The PTG Daytona/Sebring sweep is only the fourth GTS-3 sweep in SportsCar history, and BMW is only the second manufacturer to achieve the double victory. The three previous sweeps (1984, '88 and '93) were by Mazda RX-7 teams.

* BMW won the GTS-2 (now GTS-3) manufacturer's championship in 1996, the first GT title for BMW since 1981 when Kenper Miller and David Cowart drove a BMW M1 to 11 victories to capture both the GTO manufacturer's and driver's titles. The '97 title was BMW's second consecutive. * Since 1995, the PTG BMW M3s have won 12 races (of 29 entered), earned 11 record-setting poles (13 total); have qualified 1-2-3 five times and 1-2 twice (at Sears Point this year M3s qualified 1-2-3-4, with PTG M3s taking first, second and fourth, and the Mattco Racing entry earning third place); and have set nine fastest race laps. In all, BMW M3s have won 13 GTS-3 races since 1995.

* The independent entry of Mattco Racing, the first customer M3 built by PTG for SportsCar GT racing, has claimed one victory (Watkins Glen '97), and one record-setting pole (Lime Rock '97). The Mattco Racing M3 has qualified in the front row in two of the 10 races it has entered this year.

* In 1996, BMW M3s led 45% of the laps (749 of 1676) and 43% of the miles (2211.59 of 5180.95) in SportsCar GTS-3 competition (1997 stats not available).

* Between July of 1996 and March of 1997, the PTG team won six consecutive GTS-3 races and is tied for second in all-time GTS-3 (GTU, GTS-2) win streaks. The record is seven straight, set by the Kent Racing Mazdas in 1981-82. PTG has won 12 of the last 15 races. * BMW is the only manufacturer, in any class, to win the first three Speedvision Cup for Stock SportsCars events of the year. A BMW 328is won the Sports class at the Daytona 3-hour race, the Sebring 5-hour event, and the Road Atlanta 3-hour race. A BM W M3 won the Grand Sports class and claimed first overall at Sears Point (the season's fifth race). In all, the BMW 328is won eight of the nine '97 Sports class races.

AFTER THE 1997 SPORTSCAR SEASON:

* BMW models, BMW teams and drivers captured championships in six SportsCar categories: * GTS-3 Driver's Championship (Bill Auberlen) * GTS-3 Manufacturer's Championship (BMW M3) * GTS-3 Team Championship (Tom Milner, PTG BMW M3 Team) * Speedvision Cup Car of the Year (BMW 328is) * Speedvision Cup Sports Manufacturer's Championship (BMW 328is) * Speedvision Cup Sports Class Driver's Championship (Jeff McMillin) * Speedvision Cup Rising Star Award (Mike Fitzgerald)

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Series PSR
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Jeff McMillin , Javier Quiros