BMW Team PTG Mid-Ohio Thursday report

Team PTG has visited the 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course once before with great success. In 1998, Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 10 Team PTG M3 on the GT3 class pole and with co-driver Boris Said lead every lap to win the third ...

Team PTG has visited the 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course once before with great success.

In 1998, Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 10 Team PTG M3 on the GT3 class pole and with co-driver Boris Said lead every lap to win the third round of the United States Road Racing Championship race series here. Ross Bentley and Mark Simo finished second in the No. 1 Team PTG M3.

Peter Cunningham, of West Bend, Wis., will substitute for Bill Auberlen this weekend at the American Le Mans Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.

No stranger to the BMW M3 and Tom Milner's Prototype Technology Group, Cunningham drove for Team PTG in 1998, 1999, and 2000 and this season at the 12 Hours at Sebring where he co-drove with Boris Said and Hans Stuck, helping them to a fourth place finish in the last race for the 6-cylinder powered M3.

Thursday Test Session:
As evidence of the slippery and ever-changing track conditions in today's one and one-half hour test session for the American Le Mans Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio the No. 6 Team PTG M3 GTR of Hans Stuck and Boris Said ended the session in the gravel off of turn seven and only posting the eighth quickest time in the GT class (1:46.78). The No. 42 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR of JJ Lehto and Jorg Müller was the fastest (1:40.89) in class with the No. 43 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR of Fredrik Ekblom and Dirk Müller third at 1:42.00. The No. 10 Team PTG M3 GTR of Niclas Jönsson and Peter Cunningham was fifth quick at 1:45.61.

Boris Said
"I focused on finding the line with the most grip, but since today is a test session and does not pay anything I didn't take any risks. I was conservative, but I know where I want to be on the track if the rain continues. We made a number a sway bar and shock adjustments, as the rain requires that the car be much softer and roll more and get the maximum grip from the rain tires. Even in the rain you learn something new."

Hans Stuck
"I had a bit of a trip through the desert in turn 7, but if you never try you never learn. The off was one hundred percent my fault. I was on a good lap to compare rain tires and I saw the oil flag, but did not realize the oil line was as wide as it was and put the M3 into the gravel. A good lesson for the weekend."

Niclas Jönsson
"First of all this is still a new track for me and I am still finding the line - and in the rain you have to look for a different line. In the beginning and middle of the session there was a lot of standing water and it was difficult, but we are getting there."

Peter Cunningham
"The M3 was awesome - especially the brakes and the steering. It truly feels like a different car from what I drove in Sebring. In fact I was able to move my braking point later and later - even in these wet conditions. I will have a better idea of the GTR's capabilities hopefully when it is dry tomorrow, but today was a very pleasant experience."

-BMW

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Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Boris Said , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Peter Cunningham , JJ Lehto