PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - THURSDAY, SEPT. 17, 1998 NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic, Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway PTG BMW M3 LOGS FASTEST PRACTICE TIME IN GT3 The No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door of Bill Auberlen and...
PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - THURSDAY, SEPT. 17, 1998 NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic, Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway
PTG BMW M3 LOGS FASTEST PRACTICE TIME IN GT3
The No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door of Bill Auberlen and Mark Simo recorded the fastest times in GT3 while the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe of Ross Bentley, Peter Cunningham and Marc Duez was third in practice today for Saturday's three-hour NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic presented by Royal Purple Motor Oil. Auberlen toured the 3.75-mile Sebring International Raceway road course in 2 minutes, 11.013 seconds (an average of 101.66 mph) in the morning session. Best time for the No. 6 team car was 2:12.402 (100.60 mph). The No. 22 Porsche had the second-best GT3 time today. Today's afternoon session took place in extremely wet conditions after heavy rains doused the track. The PTG team nonetheless took part in the entire 90-minute wet session testing various Yokohama rain tires.
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door - "People must think we're crazy going out there on such a messy track. But we're anticipating messy conditions all weekend ... preparing for the worst ... so it gives us a good chance to learn first-hand how we'll do if it rains on Saturday. Yokohama gave us a few versions of rain tires and the last one we tested worked very well. So, in that sense, it was very productive 90 minutes. (On the newly resurfaced stretch of track from Turns 10 through 13) I'm not too crazy about the new surface. What has always made Sebring unique is the rough concrete and the grip you could get. It was rough and tough, but our BMWs thrive in those conditions. Now, it's very smooth where they've done the resurfacing and it's very slippery."
ROSS BENTLEY, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe - "We learned a lot about what will make our cars run better in the rain. At this point, it'd benefit us in a big way if it does rain on Saturday since only about two other cars bothered to practice besides us. It's going to take a while for the (newly resurfaced) sections of the track get some grip. But, unfortunately, that probably won't happen until the end of next year's 12-hour race. We're pretty optimistic, overall. We had a good day of testing yesterday. With the resurfacing, we couldn't just show up and throw on our setup from last March (for the Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring, in which PTG BMW M3s finished 1-2 in GT3). We had to more or less start all over."
BENTLEY'S BOOK GOES ON SALE
Bentley, who recently clinched the first-ever United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) GT3 driver's championship after the rival sanctioning body concluded its season with five races in the record books, just came out with his first-ever book. Speed Secrets, published by Classic Motor Books International, is a 160-page instructional booklet for both beginning and advanced race drivers. "Some books out there already are great for beginners, others are great for advanced drivers," Bentley said. "But my goal with this book was that the beginner would get a lot out of it, and the advanced driver would get a lot out of it." Speed Secrets is available at bookstores throughout North America, or direct from Motor Books International.