BMW Team PTG Returns to Europe

NUERBURG, Germany (June 28, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG will return to Europe for the second round of the European Le Mans Series, the Bitburger/AvD 1000 km Le Mans race, scheduled for July 9 at the historic Nuerburgring circuit. Points from...

NUERBURG, Germany (June 28, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG will return to Europe for the second round of the European Le Mans Series, the Bitburger/AvD 1000 km Le Mans race, scheduled for July 9 at the historic Nuerburgring circuit. Points from the race will count in the American Le Mans Series. Six drivers will contest the 1000-km race for BMW Team PTG. Hans Stuck of Austria, Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., will drive the No. 6 Flextronics/Level One BMW M3. Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., will share driving honors in the No. 10 Yokohama BMW M3. "The Nuerburging has a great history of racing," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "We're very excited about participating in the second race in Europe. We learned quite a bit while we were in Silverstone [England] and the entire team is prepared and ready to go." After long breaks between previous races, Salkowsky noted the close scheduling of the upcoming races, starting with the Nuerburgring, is beneficial. "I think everyone on the team is very excited, not only about getting back on the race track, but about getting back into a regular routine of racing and competing in the second half of our season." Stuck first competed at the Nuerburgring when the new 2.830-mile circuit opened in 1984. He won the 24 Hours of Nuerburgring race in 1998 in a BMW 320d. "The Nuerburgring is now the center of German racing," he said. "It has the most heritage with the old course, and the new course is highly sophisticated on safety and layout. It needs a lot of horsepower to be fast, but not so many driving skills. This is a circuit where it goes uphill and downhill, but it is a circuit you can learn pretty quickly. It's one of my favorite tracks, absolutely. "But the Nuerburgring is geographically in the wrong spot of Germany because it's quite a high elevation, at about 2000 feet," he noted. "Even in the summertime, you can have fog and very cold weather. It can very easily happen that at the start/finish line you have the brightest sunshine and about a mile south it's raining heavily. So the teams have to make sure they have all kinds of rain and dry stuff in the pits. It's pretty tricky." Brian Cunningham, who raced in Europe from 1993 to 1996, is eager to get back behind the wheel of his new 2001 BMW M3. "I'm looking forward to further progress on the new chassis, second time out," he said. "We have to go into it just like any new circuit, take each session one at a time and learn what we can. We've got a strong driver line-up that should prove a formidable team for a six-hour race." Van Overbeek noted the value of a second European race. "The last race, in England, was a wonderful experience," he said. "This should be even better for the team as a whole because the first time you do something, you forget things or you're overly nervous about things. Everything should be that much smoother and easier at the Nuerburgring, which should translate to better success on the track." The Bitburger/AvD 1000 km Le Mans race is scheduled to start at 6:15 a.m. on Sunday, July 9. It will be telecast on Speedvision July 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will broadcast live on July 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on July 9 from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All times EDT. The broadcasts, timing and scoring, interviews, video highlights, news and updates will be available on the American Le Mans Series website (www.americanlemans.com).

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Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson