Bowmanville, Ont. (August 19, 2001) -- BMW Team PTG drivers Hans Stuck and Boris Said did everything they could today to put their No. 6 BMW M3 GTR into victory lane for the second race in a row this season at the GT3 Grand Prix of Mosport...
Bowmanville, Ont. (August 19, 2001) -- BMW Team PTG drivers Hans Stuck and Boris Said did everything they could today to put their No. 6 BMW M3 GTR into victory lane for the second race in a row this season at the GT3 Grand Prix of Mosport - the fifth round of the 2001 American Le Mans Series -- but ultimately had to settle for third place.
A rainy start and Stuck's prowess in wet weather put the No. 6 Team PTG M3 into an early lead. Once the track dried, co-driver Said set a new race lap record of 1:19.614 after a well-timed pit stop for fuel and tires at the 2:20 mark of the 2-hour, 45-minute race. Unfortunately, late-race contact with the No. 43 car first slowed and then took Said off course, damaging the splitter, and relegating the duo to the third step of the podium.
The No. 42 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR of JJ Lehto and Jorg Müller crossed the finish line first, covering 107 laps around the 2.45-mile Mosport International Raceway, scoring BMW's third ALMS win in a row and extending BMW's points lead in the manufacturer's standings to 10 points over Porsche.
Second place went to the No. 43 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR of Fredrik Ekblom and Dirk Müller.
Another tough weekend for the No. 10 Team PTG M3 saw substitute driver Joe Foster (an ALMS GT series regular and chief instructor of the Panoz Racing School) and Niclas Jönsson retiring the car early.
Auberlen, who was to drive the No. 10 M3, was unable to drive because of an injury from a practice crash, but was in the pits and on the radio for the race.
Foster started the No. 10 M3 at the back of the field after the crew spent the balance of Saturday repairing the car after the crash and could not make the qualifying session.
A drying track brought Foster into the pits at the 35-minute mark for dry tires and a driver change. Jönsson moved up to fourth until an incident with the No. 43 car forced the No. 10 M3 to retire on lap 26.
driver of No. 6 PTG M3 GTR:
"I'm a little disappointed because Hans and I should have been second. JJ beat us fair and square, but twice I was helped off the road by the same car. I guess he didn't see me and that's just racing, but to get pushed off turn 8 at 120 miles-per-hour and then again in turn two after the restart was not a lot of fun. The second time my splitter was torn off and I had to just bring the car home in third. It was a good points day - we got the fastest lap. We'll be ready for Mid-Ohio and try to win there."
driver of No. 6 PTG BMW M3 GTR:
"First of all my, my stint was too short. I was hoping that it would continue to rain so that I could drive longer. As the track dried my rain tires began to give up and it began to get like Holiday on Ice - too slippery - and I was the first car into the pits for rains. That was a very good decision because it kept our track position. It was a good run and the car was in perfect condition for Boris."
"Boris did a great job. We did the maximum we could do at the end and it is always a pleasure to be on the podium."
driver of No. 10 PTG M3 GTR:
"It seems like we just can't catch a break this season. Bill was hit yesterday and could not race today. Joe did a good job at the start. We got one lap down early because of the stop under the green when the track started to dry and I tried to work toward the front. The car was certainly capable of getting there, but unfortunately I was hit coming into turn ten and when the tire deflated it put me off into the turn two wall."
Tom Milner, owner of Prototype Technology Group: "Under the circumstances we are happy with third place. Personally it was a disappointing weekend with everything that has transpired, but when you think that Bill was unable to drive and Boris had only a few laps in the No. 6 car before the race start we'll take third. And this is the third race in a row that we have set fastest race lap. Boris and Hans remain in the hunt for the championship so we'll put this weekend behind us and set our sights on Mid-Ohio."
motorsports manager, BMW of North America, LLC:
"For BMW it was another excellent race weekend. A 1,2,3 finish after losing the No. 10 M3 GTR was the best we could accomplish. Congratulations to BMW Motorsport. The win gains BMW more points in the race for the manufacturer's championship. It certainly has been a difficult season for the crew and drivers of the No. 10 car, but it was inspiring to see Bill back in the pits for the race."