BMW Team PTG capped a challenging development year for the new 2001 BMW M3 with a strong victory, eight podium finishes, 14 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s in the GT class of the 12-race American Le Mans Series. In six years of...
BMW Team PTG capped a challenging development year for the new 2001 BMW M3 with a strong victory, eight podium finishes, 14 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s in the GT class of the 12-race American Le Mans Series. In six years of racing, the BMW M3 has scored 33 pole positions and 33 wins in 64 races. The M3 has paced 90 podium finishes, 28 records and 11 championships.
The BMW M3 earned its sole 2000 victory at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., and scored three runner-up finishes and four thirds during the team's toughest season since the M3's1995 debut year in GT. Hans Stuck of Austria and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., took the Monterey win. They were second at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., and third at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., finished second at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Said and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., were second at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway and van Overbeek teamed with Peter Cunningham for third at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Brian Cunningham and Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., added a third at Laguna Seca, and Terry Borcheller of Phoenix, Ariz., and Anthony Lazzaro of Atlanta, Ga., finished the season with a third in Adelaide.
"The 2000 season had a few valleys and several peaks," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "We introduced the 2001 BMW M3 to the race track almost a year before it arrived in BMW showrooms, so it shows how much work PTG put into the development of the new car. The car was reliable and the motors ran very strong. The highlight, of course, was Laguna Seca. Having Boris and Hans bring home the trophy after a long season was very gratifying."
Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., won the BMW Sports Trophy 2000, awarded to the world's most successful non-works BMW driver. He drove a BMW M3 in both the American Le Mans Series and the Speedvision World Challenge GT Series. In addition to his second- and third-place finishes with BMW Team PTG, he won three World Challenge pole positions and one race, in Ste. Croix, Que. Jeff McMillin of Erie, Pa., won the World Challenge GT driver championship in a BMW M3. BMW won the Motorola Cup Sport Touring class manufacturer title and Howie Liebengood of Vienna, Va., drove a BMW 328is to the class driver championship.