BMW Team PTG notes, qualifying April 17 Grand Prix of Road Atlanta presented by Lease Plan Race two of eight, 1999 American Le Mans Series Hans Stuck of Austria was just six-thousandths of a second off the GT pole for Sunday's American Le Mans...
BMW Team PTG notes, qualifying April 17 Grand Prix of Road Atlanta presented by Lease Plan Race two of eight, 1999 American Le Mans Series
Hans Stuck of Austria was just six-thousandths of a second off the GT pole for Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Road Atlanta. He qualified the #10 BMW Team PTG M3 four-door in one minute, 26.331 seconds at an average lap speed of 105.91 miles an hour on the 2.54-mile road course. Stuck and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif. will share driving honors in the Yokohama/Flextronics International/Level One car.
Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky. and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif. will start third in the GT class in the #7 M3, with Cunningham's time of 1:26.348 (105.89 mph). Mark Simo of Carlsbad, driving with Peter Cunningham of West Bend Wis., qualified fourth in 1:26.452 (105.76).
Hans Stuck, #10 Yokohama/Flextronics International/Level One BMW M3 four-door
"It was my first qualifying in these cars in a long time. We had to change tires, and it was difficult to go with tires that we didn't know. We came very close, but we lost traction in the slow corners. I'm happy to be runner-up, but obviously I'd rather have the pole."
Brian Cunningham, #7 Yokohama/Flextronics Int'l/Level One BMW M3 four-door
"We'd rather be 1-2-3, but 2-3-4 is okay. That's their [Porsche] race pace, but it's our qualifying pace. I'm disappointed I was only one-tenth off the pole, but any time you're just hundredths off Hans Stuck, you gotta be happy. This is my first time qualifying for BMW, so I'll just sit behind and learn from him from him for awhile."
Mark Simo, #6 Yokohama/Flextronics International/Level One BMW M3 coupe
"I had some initial problems with traffic. I went earlier and maybe should have held back a bit. The car is great, but because of the rain on Wednesday and some setup work that Peter [Cunningham] wanted to do, I'm a little short of laps personally. But I went faster than I have all week, so we can still make up some ground and work up from there." The BMW Team PTG drivers hosted a group of students from the Atlanta Bible Baptist Church at Road Atlanta. Chaplain Steve Kearney arranged the visit as part of Motorsports Ministry's Light Racing program, to introduce children to racing at each race track.
"Getting people involved in the sport has a lot to do with getting up close and personal," #6 driver Mark Simo explained. "I think we underestimate the connection between teams, sponsors and drivers and our fans. We get caught up in driving, but we need to devote the time and energy to give people an opportunity to get close to the cars and the drivers. Our team is particularly supportive of this, and I personally really enjoy it."