BMW prepares new M3 GTR

While half the Prototype Technology Group shop continued to make the first Team PTG V8-powered M3 GTR ready for its June 11-13 test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, the other half of the crew was 15 miles down the road at Summit Point...

While half the Prototype Technology Group shop continued to make the first Team PTG V8-powered M3 GTR ready for its June 11-13 test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, the other half of the crew was 15 miles down the road at Summit Point Raceway, in Summit Point, W. Va., with drivers Bill Auberlen and Boris Said, running the six-cylinder M3s to test new equipment and new ideas.

"We will bring one of our six-cylinder cars to Sebring to establish a baseline - to see exactly where the track is that day," said PTG owner Tom Milner. "I feel quite sure we can continue to improve the GTR. Development is a constant at PTG."

Assisting Team PTG in the critical last days of construction of the GTR are three engineers from BMW Motorsport. Having already proven the new M3 GTR a winner at the European Le Mans Series race in Jarama, Spain, on May 20, the mood in the shop was decidedly upbeat.

Returning from Summit Point and a fast day in the M3 CSLs, Boris swung open the shop door late in the afternoon asking the question that is first in everyone minds; "Is it done? Let's go. I'm ready!"

The BMW Team PTG M3 GTRs will debut at the X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma on July 22 at Sears Point Raceway.

BMW: Three for Three (Series) in May It was an outstanding month of May for BMW, scoring three major victories with its 3 series racers.

As mentioned above, BMW Motorsport proved the M3 GTR a winner, delivering a decisive victory at the ELMS race in Jarama, Spain, in only the third race since its debut at the 12 Hours at Sebring in March. "BMW of North America is very pleased that, after only its third race, the BMW M3 GTR has proven victorious," said Tom Salkowsky, Motorsport Manager for BMW of North America, LLC. "To the credit of the Motorsport team they have done an excellent job developing a very potent combination of power and reliability in the new M3 GTR over a short period of time.

"When we formulated our strategy for this season early last year," continued Salkowsky, "we looked at what was needed to get the BMW M3 back to the highest step of the victory podium. It was determined that a combination of the many years of M3 experience in Team PTG and the engineering and development resources of BMW Motorsport would make a formidable partnership. It is very gratifying to see these positive results of the entire BMW effort."

Over the Memorial Day weekend BMW scored a double victory at the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at a very wet Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn. -- winning in the Grand Am GT and Speedvision Touring classes.

First overall in the 53-lap Grand Am GT race was the powerful PTG-built JET Motorsports M3 of Terry Borcheller of Phoenix, Ariz. and Toney Jennings, of San Antonio, Texas. JET Motorsport's second win of the season (the first was at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in Homestead, Fla.) sees BMW standing second in the manufacturer's championship.

Bill Auberlen, driving the No. 93 Turner Motorsports BMW 328is in round four of the Speedvision World Challenge Touring Championship, started from the pit lane after electing to start on rain tires and carved through 44 cars in a driving rain on the way to an 11.5-second win, averaging 62.92 mph in the 35-lap contest. "In the rain, the rear-wheel drive and even balance of the BMW was a real advantage -- always in control," said Auberlen. "I could see that many other cars were a handful for their drivers. Even in the rain, I never broke a sweat driving from the back of the field to the front."

Auberlen's win helped BMW tie Acura for the lead in the Touring class manufacturer's championship with 37 points each.

No time for victory lane, Auberlen leapt directly into the Genesis Racing BMW M3 for the 125-mile Grand Am GT contest and, although he missed getting his Speedvision trophy he and co-driver Rick Fairbanks of Greenville, S.C., were rewarded with a third-place finish. "It was a great advantage to do the Speedvision race and hop right in the GT M3," said Auberlen. "Knowing what the track was like, I was completely up to speed from my first lap and that is exactly what we needed."

"Driving Techniques" Bill Auberlen recently completed work on the "Driving Techniques" section of "The Hire" series for bmwfilms.com. In "Driving Techniques" Auberlen comments on the action in the wildly popular internet short film series from his BMW racer's perspective. "Driving Techniques" will be released in July on www.bmwfilms.com.

-BMW-NA

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About this article
Series ALMS , Grand-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Bill Auberlen , Terry Borcheller , Rick Fairbanks
Teams Turner Motorsport