BMW Team PTG to Adelaide

ADELAIDE, Australia (Dec. 13, 2000) -- A three-car contingent from BMW Team PTG is off to Australia for the Dec. 31 Race of a Thousand Years, the final event in the 2000 American Le Mans Series. The 1000-kilometer / six-hour race will...

ADELAIDE, Australia (Dec. 13, 2000) -- A three-car contingent from BMW Team PTG is off to Australia for the Dec. 31 Race of a Thousand Years, the final event in the 2000 American Le Mans Series. The 1000-kilometer / six-hour race will be held on a 2.36-mile temporary street circuit in Adelaide, South Australia. BMW Team PTG will be represented by Hans Stuck of Austria, Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., in the No. 6 BMW M3. Bill Auberlen of Redondo Beach, Calif., Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., will drive the No. 7 M3. Terry Borcheller of Phoenix, Ariz., Toney Jennings of San Antonio, Tex., and Anthony Lazzaro of Atlanta, Ga., will share the No. 10 M3. The three 2001 BMW M3s will be sponsored by Flextronics International, Level One and Yokohama. "Developing a new race car takes time and patience, and BMW Team PTG proved its substance as we began to hit our stride in mid-season," said Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. "We are focused on maintaining our momentum and finishing 2000 on a high point. It's an interesting period because it's halfway between the previous race and the first race of the new season. It's almost a warmup for next year, but also a milestone because we're racing on New Year's Eve, at the turn of the millennium." "I'm really looking forward to going there, not only because the race is in Australia but because it's a street circuit," Stuck noted. "Being on the street circuit is one of my favorites because I like being close. I don't like huge runoff areas where everybody can go fast. With the walls, there isn't much room so you have to know your way, you have to take some risks to be very fast. That is what I like." Stuck will celebrate his 50th birthday at midnight, two hours after the race ends. "There aren't many race-car drivers in the world who can say they drove into their birthday," he grinned. He is also looking forward to a belated honeymoon on the Great Barrier Reef with his wife, Sylvia. The couple were married in 1999. Auberlen returns to BMW Team PTG after driving a BMW V12 LMR prototype car for the Munich-based BMW Motorsport team in 1999 and 2000. He was able to rejoin his former team because BMW Motorsport will not compete in Adelaide. Auberlen won the IMSA GTS-3 (now GT) driver championship with BMW Team PTG in 1997. He scored 10 pole positions, won 12 races and set five records with the team in 1997 and 1998. He has been a test driver for BMW Team PTG this year. "We are very excited to have Bill Auberlen and all of his talents racing again in the M3," Salkowsky noted. "I'm sad that we can't finish up the year in the prototype car, but I'm very happy that I get to go to Australia with a car I know very well, the BMW M3," Auberlen said. "It's a fantastic machine to drive, so I'm very much looking forward to going back. Because of all the testing I've done for the team this year -- tire testing, suspension testing, etcetera -- I hope I'm going to be right on the ball when I get there." The 1000-km / six-hour Race of a Thousand Years is scheduled to start at 4 pm in Australia, 15.5 hours ahead of EST (12:30 am EST) on Sunday, Dec. 31. The race will be telecast on NBC Sports on Dec. 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm EST. The ALMS Radio Web will broadcast live practice on Dec. 29 from 4:30 am to 6:30 am and qualifying from 10:30 pm to 12:30 am. The race will be broadcast from midnight Dec. 30 to 7 am Dec. 31 (all EST).

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Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson