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Laguna Seca: BMW Team PTG qualifying notes

Four BMW M3s in top 10; Miller to start fifth in first Speed GT race Today's 20-minute qualifying session for Round 8 of the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship at Laguna Seca Raceway left BMW Team PTG disappointed but determined. An ...

Four BMW M3s in top 10; Miller to start fifth in first Speed GT race

Today's 20-minute qualifying session for Round 8 of the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship at Laguna Seca Raceway left BMW Team PTG disappointed but determined.

An August 7 competition adjustment that added 150 pounds to the S54-engined BMW M3s left three-time winner and Driver's Championship points leader Bill Auberlen eighth (1:34.342), Boris Said ninth (1:34.443), Justin Marks 10th (1:34.598) and Hans Stuck 11th (1:34.599). New to PTG this race, Bryce Miller was able to set the fifth fastest lap (1:33.685) by benefit of the fact that the S50 engine that powers his M3 was not subject to the 150-weight addition.

After qualifying, the SCCA clarified the situation and imposed the 150-pound weight penalty on Bryce Miller's S50-engined M3 as well.

BMW currently leads the Speed GT Manufacturer's Championship by eight points over Audi and Bill Auberlen stands atop the Speed GT Driver's Championship. Hans Stuck is fifth, Boris Said sixth and Justin Marks stands eighth.

BMW Team PTG has combined for four poles, three wins, five podiums and 19 top-10 finishes so far this season in Speed GT.

Tomorrow's 50-minute, standing-start race is scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m.

BRYCE MILLER, NO. 81 TEAM PTG M3: (fifth):

"I am happy with my M3, but I am a bit concerned that new tires may mask some unanswered setup questions. I had to go to the front a bit more on the brakes during my lap so I think I know where the balance point is, but I will have to be careful in the race to manage the tires."

Have you ever done a standing start?

"I have made standing starts in formula cars, but this will be my first in a sedan."

BILL AUBERLEN, NO. 7 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (eighth):

"My gearbox had a problem on my out lap so I rattled around as best I could. We will change it tonight. Seventh is not where I want to be, or should be, but that is how it is."

BORIS SAID, NO. 6 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (ninth):

"The M3s are all running very well as evidenced by the four of us being 7,8,9 and 10, but we should be farther up than that. It is very disappointing as a driver to be in this situation where the added weight may determine the winner of tomorrow's race, not the driver."

JUSTIN MARKS, NO. 80 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (10th):

"I have mixed emotions about this session. It is good to be on par with my teammates, but it is unfortunate that we are as far back as we are. There is no reason that we cannot move up a few spots in the race by being smart."

HANS STUCK, NO. 8 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (11th):

"I put fresh tires on the car yesterday and it was fine. Today it understeered. We never had this condition all weekend so it was not the best setup for qualifying. For the race, however, to have a car start out this way may be good because if it oversteers too early it may be too loose to race hard."

RICHARD BREKUS, MANAGER PRODUCT PLANNING AND STRATEGY BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC:

"This qualifying session clearly shows the effect of the 150-pound addition. The best cars in the paddock, prepared by the most professional team in the paddock should not be mid-pack."

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Series PWC
Drivers Boris Said , Bill Auberlen , Justin Marks , Bryce Miller