BMW Team PTG aims for Petit Le Mans 1-2

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 20, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG hopes to move up one step in this year's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the signature race in the American Le Mans Series. After winning the ALMS GT race on the 2.54-mile road course last...

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 20, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG hopes to move up one step in this year's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the signature race in the American Le Mans Series. After winning the ALMS GT race on the 2.54-mile road course last April, the team returned in September to score second-, third- and fourth-place class finishes in the Petit Le Mans. With a two-car effort for this year's 10-hour / 1000-mile race, the team's focus is on a one-two finish. Bolstered by strong podium finishes with the 2001 BMW M3 this season, the team is confident it is close to a victory. "We want to continue the momentum from the last few races," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "I feel very confident in the team and the amount of effort they're putting into preparing the cars. We've squeezed a little bit more out of the motor and we hope to see the team's hard work reflected in a positive result on the track. We're definitely going to continue this strong focus on winning and further developing the BMW M3. "We have a good history at Road Atlanta and we want to continue that," he said. " We're also looking forward to seeing hundreds of BMW car club members and BMW guests who will be on Spectator Hill in turn 5. We'll be listening for their cheers during the race." BMW Team PTG's driver lineup has Hans Stuck of Austria, Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., in the No. 7 BMW M3. Their teammates Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., and Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., will drive the No. 10 M3. The cars will carry the colors of team sponsors Flextronics International, Level One and Yokohama. Brian Cunningham and van Overbeek scored their first victory with BMW Team PTG at Road Atlanta in April, 1999. Said and Stuck paired for the second-place finish in the Petit Le Mans later in the season, followed by Brian Cunningham, Peter Cunningham and Brian Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., in third. "It's a compromise track," Brian Cunningham explained. "The Porsches have an edge on horsepower, but we have a better-handling car. At Road Atlanta, we'll have an edge on two- thirds of the track and they'll have an edge on one-third. It's going to take a consistent, hard-working team to win. And that's what we have -- a strong driver lineup, a strong car and a more powerful engine than we've had in previous events." "I'm definitely looking forward to getting on the podium again, hopefully in the top spot with Boris and Hans," said van Overbeek. "We finished second in the last race, at Portland, so with a bit more luck and a good performance from all the guys, finishing in the top spot would be a great result as we continue to develop the new BMW M3. "Road Atlanta is a relatively narrow track with some places that are one-car only, particularly in the esses. It will be a challenge in terms of dealing with traffic and working traffic properly, not only to get slowed down but to avoid contact with faster or slower cars. But the circuit is really fun to drive. The attendance is great and the fans are enthusiastic, so I suspect it will be even better this year." The 10-hour / 1000-mile Petit Le Mans is scheduled to start at 12:30 pm on Saturday, Sept. 30. It will be televised live on Speedvision. The ALMS Radio Web will broadcast live on Sept. 28 from 3 pm to 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 9 pm, on Sept. 29 from 1 pm to 3 pm and on Sept. 30 from noon until the race ends. (all EDT)

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Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson