BMW Heads to Mosport in Manufacturer's Points Lead BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (August 10, 2001) - With a slight lead in the American Le Mans Series' GT manufacturer's standings and a chance to move atop the driver's points, BMW and its two GT teams...
BMW Heads to Mosport in Manufacturer's Points Lead
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (August 10, 2001) - With a slight lead in the American Le Mans Series' GT manufacturer's standings and a chance to move atop the driver's points, BMW and its two GT teams head north of the border for the Grand Turismo 3 Grand Prix of Mosport on August 19.
Following PTG's convincing win at the Grand Prix of Portland (Ore.) on August 5 - in only the second race for PTG's new V8-powered M3 GTR - and BMW Motorsport's win at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., BMW leads Porsche by two points in the manufacturer's race. In the driver's title chase, Portland winners Boris Said and Hans Stuck climbed to third and fourth - just five points out of the lead. BMW Motorsport drivers Jörg Müller and JJ Lehto, who finished third in Portland, stand fifth and sixth, while Dirk Müller and Fredrik Ekblom are tied in 10th.
BMW is seeking its fifth GT manufacturer's title since it entered GT competition in 1995, and its fourth driver's crown.
The two-hour-and-45-minute round five of the 2001 series will be held on Canada's classic 2.459-mile Mosport International Raceway just north of Toronto, a track where BMW Team PTG has never finished less than second. Tom Milner's Prototype Technology Group won here in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and finished second in 1999 and 2000. In 1998 BMW won both the GT2 and GT3 classes.
"We are pleased with the performance of the new M3 GTR and the BMW teams so far this season. With only a few races remaining, every single point becomes critical towards each championship," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsports manager, BMW of North America, LLC. "BMW will fight for every one - from fastest race lap to the highest step of the podium - in both the manufacturer's and driver's championships."
"I'm looking forward to returning to Mosport," said Said, driver with Stuck of the No. 6 Yokohama-sponsored Team PTG M3. "Mosport is a very good track for the M3 and the repaving should make the track fast. Hans and I hope we can back up our performance at Portland."
"Boris and I finished second here last year so we look to move up a spot," said Stuck. "Mosport is a handling track and its long corners and up hills and down hills will favor the new GTR."
PTG teammates Bill Auberlen and Niclas Jönsson in the No. 10 M3 GTR are currently 13th and 14th in the GT driver's championship, but Auberlen's race lap record at Sears Point shows they have the speed, if not the luck.
"We didn't finish last week," said Auberlen. "But I learned more about the GTR that will help us at Mosport. I love the circuit and think it is well suited for our cars."
"It may be a little more difficult for us to win at Mosport as the Porsches showed us at Portland that they can run fast," said Milner. "But there is really only one slow corner at Mosport and the rest of the corners with their uphill or downhill characteristics require a race car to make precise transitions and this favors the handling of the M3. Our win at Portland was a sign that our pit stops and driver changes have improved and we are ready for a tough race."
The M3 GTR is the foundation of a renewed M3 racing effort for BMW as both BMW Team PTG and BMW Motorsport will vie for the American Le Mans Series GT class championship in 2001.
The Mosport race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2 p.m. EDT. The race can be heard online through the American Le Mans Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com.