BMW Team PTG heads to Texas

FORT WORTH, Tex. (Aug. 23, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG will field its two newest 2001 BMW M3s in the inaugural American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Texas, scheduled for Saturday evening, Sept. 1 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race, seventh of...

FORT WORTH, Tex. (Aug. 23, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG will field its two newest 2001 BMW M3s in the inaugural American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Texas, scheduled for Saturday evening, Sept. 1 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race, seventh of 12 in the 2000 series, will be staged on a new 2.83-mile infield road course that incorporates the high-banked 1.5-mile oval track. Hans Stuck of Austria and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., will drive the No. 7 BMW M3. Their teammates Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., will be paired in the No. 10 M3 for the two-hour 45-minute race. Both BMW M3s will carry the colors of team sponsors Yokohama, Flextronics International and Level One. Although the road course is new, Jonsson has raced on the Texas oval in an Indy car. He is looking forward to a return visit. "I think it will be a wonderful place to race because it's a great facility, with a big grandstand so the audience can see the whole race, all the cars all the time," he said. "I assume that things are going to be very slippery on the infield, and that will fit our cars better than the Porsches. There is one long straight on the front stretch, but it's very bumpy, so I think our cars will handle the bumps much better going into turn one." "Since we've never raced at Texas Motor Speedway, this poses a challenge, especially adding to the fact that it's a night race," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "We've made some significant developments to the BMW M3 and it's starting to show in our qualifying and race results. I'd like to continue to maintain the momentum that we've picked up since the Sears Point race in July." BMW Team PTG owner Tom Milner noted the unknown will be a test for everyone. "Nobody's been there and nobody will be able to test, because the track will be finished right around the time we get there," he said. "Ovals don't generally favor our cars, but we don't know yet where we'll race on the banking." Although he hasn't raced in Texas, van Overbeek is confident about learning the track. "I've always done pretty well on the half-oval, half-road-course type of tracks, so I'm looking forward to it," he said. "We've been getting close to winning as a team, with third at Sears Point and second at Mosport, so this could be a great breakthrough event for us." The American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Texas is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. EDT) on Saturday, Sept. 2. It will be televised on NBC Sports on Sunday, Sept. 3 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will broadcast live on Sept. 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sept. 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (all EDT)

Race fans will have an opportunity to see both the racing and passenger versions of the 2001 BMW M3 at Texas Motor Speedway. Salkowsky explained: "As we approach the time when we introduce the new M3 coupe at BMW dealers later this year, we thought it would be appropriate to showcase not only the M3 race car on the track, but to also feature the M3 production car on display in our paddock area. All the M owners and BMW fans who have been waiting to see our car can stop by and take a look at the brand-new M3 coupe."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson