BMW Team PTG Takes Victory in Georgia BRASELTON, Ga. (April 18, 1999) BMW Team PTG returned to victory circle at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, scoring first, third and fourth-place GT finishes in the Grand Prix at Road Atlanta...
BMW Team PTG Takes Victory in Georgia
BRASELTON, Ga. (April 18, 1999) BMW Team PTG returned to victory circle at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, scoring first, third and fourth-place GT finishes in the Grand Prix at Road Atlanta presented by Lease Plan. The race was the second of eight in the new American Le Mans Series. Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., drove the #7 Yokohama/Flextronics International/Level One BMW M3 to a 9.7-second victory over the #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche the first win for each driver since joining PTG this season. Mark Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., and Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., were third in the #6 car, despite a fuel pickup problem. Hans Stuck of Austria and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., were fourth in the #10 M3. They finished 16th, 18th and 19th overall, respectively. All three cars completed 107 laps during the two-hour 45-minute race on the 2.54-mile track. The team cars started second (#10), third (#7) and fourth (#6) in the 15-car GT class. All three led the class, but followed different strategies. The winning #7 M3 made a routine refueling pit stop during an early caution period, just 20 minutes after the race started. The other two waited for their planned fuel windows after the first hour, and had to pit under green-flag conditions. "This is the whole dream come true," van Overbeek said. "Brian left me a perfect car, and that's how we won the race. We made an early stop and that turned out to be the right call. The yellow was timed just perfect, right in our window." "It really came down to strategy," Brian Cunningham agreed. [Team owner] "Tom Milner made a good call on pit stops. It's really good for two new drivers and BMW to win. It says a lot about the team." "The main thing is that BMW won. At the end of the season, the most important thing is the manufacturer's championship, and then the driver's championship. The advantage when you have three cars is that they are all the same, but you can have little differences [in setup and strategy]," Stuck said. "And the driver pairings on this team are very good. It doesn't happen very often that you have three pairs of speedy drivers, and that's good." The #51 BMW M3 of Aspen Knolls Racing, driven by Bob Mazzacoccola of Staten Island, N.Y.; Alan Ziegelman of Boca Raton, Fla. and Randy Pobst of Melbourne, Fla. started and finished fifth in the GT class. "This was an outstanding accomplishment for BMW Team PTG and the BMW M3. It's a reflection of the enormous perseverance and talent this team has, by picking themselves up after a loss at Sebring and finding their way right back into the winner's circle," said Scott Doniger, motorsports manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "I hope this puts us back on the winning track, with the pendulum swinging back in our favor. One-three-four-five is not bad. In the overall picture, it's a good start," said BMW Team PTG owner Tom Milner. The next race in the American Le Mans Series is scheduled for Mosport Park, near Toronto, on June 27.
Motorola Cup podium Pure Image BMW M3s collected two podium finishes in the 54- car Motorola Cup race at Road Atlanta. The #54 car driven by Steve Pfeffer of Etna, N.H. and Mike Fitzgerald of Atlanta finished second. The#22 car, with drivers Jeff McMillin of Erie, Pa. and Michael Culver of Westport, Conn. was third.