BMW Team PTG finalizes Sebring lineup

BMW Team PTG Names Three Additional Drivers for 12 Hours of Sebring Woodcliff Lake, N J - March 13, 2006-- BMW of North America, LLC and BMW Team PTG announced today that Ian James, Bryan Sellers and Martin Jensen have been added to the BMW Team...

BMW Team PTG Names Three Additional Drivers for 12 Hours of Sebring

Woodcliff Lake, N J - March 13, 2006-- BMW of North America, LLC and BMW Team PTG announced today that Ian James, Bryan Sellers and Martin Jensen have been added to the BMW Team PTG driver lineup for the 12 Hours of Sebring. Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand and Justin Marks have already been named as drivers for the 2006 season.

James, a 2005 BMW Team PTG driver and 2004 ALMS LMP2 champion will share the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3 with Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand. James scored one win and three podium finishes last season with BMW Team PTG. Sellers and Jensen will co-drive the No. 22 BMW Team PTG M3 with Justin Marks. Sellers drove a GT2 Panoz Esperante last season, finishing 14th in Driver Points. Jensen, of Smoerum, Denmark, will be making his first start in a BMW M3 and fourth career ALMS drive. He made three GT2 starts in 2005, scoring a second at Portland. Both James and Jensen spent time behind the wheel of the 2006 M3 at the January 23 - 25 Winter Test.

The 54th annual 12 Hours of Sebring will mark BMW Team PTG's first full season of ALMS competition since 2001. BMW Team PTG has entered the 12 Hours of Sebring seven times previously, in 1995 through 2001. The team's first class pole translated into the team's first podium appearance (third) in 1996 and two more poles produced two GT class wins in 1997 and 1998. Only in 2000 did the team fail to score a top-10 finish.

BMW Team PTG will continue its testing program at Sebring on Monday, March 13th as the team readies for the 54th 12 Hours of Sebring. The team will be testing the first sequentially shifted transmissions ever used in a BMW Team PTG M3. "The change to the new X-Trac gearbox is more about the size and strength of the gears available from X-Trac," said PTG boss Tom Milner. "The switch is first and foremost about increased reliability."

Another change fans will notice in the 2006 ALMS M3s is the revised, more aerodynamic body panels. New IMSA S2 rules allow smoother bodywork to be used in conjunction with a flat undertray. Milner continues, "Compared to our competition, the larger frontal area of the BMW M3 means we must push a bigger hole through the air, limiting our top speed. The Winter Test was indicative that the new aero package will help us be more competitive. While we have had success in the ALMS and Sebring in past years, we have very realistic expectations for the upcoming season. We are looking forward to every challenge."

-bmwptg

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Ian James , Justin Marks , Bryan Sellers , Martin Jensen