BMW Team PTG rolls to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 18, 2000) -- Buoyed by victory in California, BMW Team PTG heads to Las Vegas with renewed optimism for the Oct. 29 Grand Prix of Las Vegas, the penultimate round in the 12-race American Le Mans Series. BMW Team ...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 18, 2000) -- Buoyed by victory in California, BMW Team PTG heads to Las Vegas with renewed optimism for the Oct. 29 Grand Prix of Las Vegas, the penultimate round in the 12-race American Le Mans Series. BMW Team PTG will field three 2001 BMW M3s for the two-hour 45-minute race on the 2.25-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway road course. Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., will drive the No. 6 BMW M3. Hans Stuck of Austria and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif. -- who won the GT class at Laguna Seca Raceway on Oct. 15 -- will drive the No. 7 M3. And Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., third-place finishers at Laguna Seca, will share the No. 10 M3. "Las Vegas is certainly a fast track, one that doesn't necessarily favor the BMW M3 strengths of great braking and cornering, but more horsepower and top speed," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "But as we've shown at Laguna Seca, it's not always the fastest car, but the smartest team strategy that can end up winning races. Of course, we'd like to continue the momentum from the double podium finish at Laguna Seca and build on the success we've had at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the past three years." The BMW M3s of BMW Team PTG have enjoyed previous success at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In 1997, Bill Auberlen of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Javier Quiros of Costa Rica finished second in GTS-3 (now GT) and Said was third, driving with Derek Hill of Santa Monica, Calif. In 1998, Auberlen scored a double victory, winning both the GT2 (now GTS) and GT3 (GT) classes. His co-drivers were Andy Pilgrim of Cooper City, Fla., and Said in GT2, and Marc Duez of Monaco and Mark Simo of Carlsbad in GT3. Peter Cunningham and Ross Bentley of Vancouver, B.C., finished second in GT3. Last year, Brian Cunningham and Peter Cunningham were second in the GT class. "I'm glad it will be my second year there," said Brian Cunningham. "Every time I've gone to a second-year track, I've always fared a little better . Last year, we were second at Las Vegas, so I'm hoping this will be our breakthrough win. I think we have all the bugs worked out of our car, so I hope the crew's hard work will pay off for the win at Vegas." Peter Cunningham will compete in two races at Las Vegas this year. In addition to the BMW Team PTG M3, he'll drive the RealTime BMW M3 in the Speedvision World Challenge Series GT race, where he's aiming for a record 20th series victory. He says the double driving duty could be an advantage in finessing the track. "I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Hopping back and forth between the cars, it only takes a few laps to become re- acclimated. Beyond that, it ultimately helps me to perfect my [racing] line." All three BMW Team PTG cars will race under the banner of team sponsors Flextronics International, Level One and Yokohama. The two-hour 45-minute American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Las Vegas is scheduled to start at noon PT (3 pm ET) on Sunday, Oct. 29. It will be televised live on Speedvision starting at 3 pm. The ALMS Radio Web will broadcast live on Oct. 27 and 28 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm and on Oct. 29 from 2 pm to 6:30 pm. (all ET)

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Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson