BMW Team PTG gets to know Road America. Just four days after its historic 1-2-3-4 Speed GT Round-6 sweep at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., BMW Team PTG introduced its four BMW M3s to the Road America circuit today for Round 7 of the SCCA...
BMW Team PTG gets to know Road America.
Just four days after its historic 1-2-3-4 Speed GT Round-6 sweep at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., BMW Team PTG introduced its four BMW M3s to the Road America circuit today for Round 7 of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship.
Since the beginning of the current BMW M3 racing program in 1995, BMW Team PTG has never raced at the 4.0-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
BMW took over the Speed GT Manufacturer's Championship lead after 1-2-5 and 1-3-4 finishes in Rounds 3 and 4 at Lime Rock Park in May. With his third win of the season at Infineon, Bill Auberlen leads the Speed GT Driver's Championship, so Team PTG was all business today, pushing hard to learn the track in order to defend the championship standings.
Pushing a bit too hard, both Boris Said and Hans Stuck found the gravel trap at Turn 14 and Justin Marks was forced into the team's spare car after hitting the wall in Canada Corner (Turn 12).
Official practice for the weekend is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CT tomorrow. A second one-hour practice session is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 1:00 p.m. Sunday's race is scheduled to start at 11:20 a.m.
Speed Channel note: Last Sunday's Round 6 Speed GT race is scheduled to be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 2.
HANS STUCK, NO.8 BMW TEAM PTG M3:
"This is a track that requires everything from a car, with its slow corners, second-gear corners, long corners, fast kinks and long straights. Road America has three-quarters of what we want and one-quarter what we don't want (the long straights). I am quite surprised that even though we are maybe five miles per hour slower than most of our competitors on the straights our lap times are not too bad. ON THE OFF-COURSE EXCURSION: "We made many changes that kept improving the M3 so I kept pushing. Every lap was faster until I tried one-10th of one percent more and I was off sideways into the gravel. I am very lucky that we only have to spend time cleaning the rocks from the car and not repairing it."
BORIS SAID, NO. 6 BMW TEAM PTG M3:
"The track feels great and we made a lot of progress on our car today."
ON THE OFF-COURSE: "No big news - I tried something and got into the last corner a little too hot. I locked up the rear brakes and spun out."
ON THE FAMOUS ROAD AMERICA FOOD: "I'm already four brats into the weekend."
BILL AUBERLEN, NO. 7 BMW TEAM PTG M3:
"Road America is a fantastic race track. We felt that we would not be as competitive as we usually are because the M3 does not have nearly as large an engine as our competitors, so we have to make up our lap times in the corners and this circuit has very long straights. Team PTG has built great M3s and knows how to prepare them so I am cautiously optimistic now that we have actually made some laps."
JUSTIN MARKS, NO. 80 BMW TEAM PTG M3:
"Today was one of those unfortunate racing days when you have an accident. The good news is that Team PTG is a first-class operation and has a spare M3. Racing is always a challenge and now I am looking forward to rising to the occasion."