BMW Team PTG victory disallowed at Sonoma

BMW Team PTG's fifth-consecutive GT victory at Sears Point Raceway was disallowed following Sunday's race, when the car's fuel tank was found to be larger than the size allowed by series regulations. Professional Sports Car Racing officials...

BMW Team PTG's fifth-consecutive GT victory at Sears Point Raceway was disallowed following Sunday's race, when the car's fuel tank was found to be larger than the size allowed by series regulations. Professional Sports Car Racing officials told team owner Tom Milner that the winning #7 BMW M3 would be disqualified. Boris Said started the #7 car second on the GT grid and held the position for more than half the two-hour 45-minute race. Hans Stuck drove the second stint, took the lead at the two- hour mark and crossed the finish line 20 seconds ahead of the second-place Porsche. Peter Cunningham started sixth in the #6 M3 and moved to third in the first 30 minutes. Johannes van Overbeek took over in seventh place just past one hour and worked back up to fourth. Brian Cunningham, co-driving with Nic Jonsson, started the #10 M3 third, but retired after 30 minutes with a mechanical problem.

Tom Milner, team owner, BMW Team PTG

"This was a brand-new car which we had just finished and we had not checked the capacity of the fuel tank. When we measured the tank, we put fuel-displacement balls in it. We then had the capacity checked at the gas pumps and it came up to about three-quarters of a gallon below. Apparently, this form of measurement wasn't accurate enough, and after taking expansion and other things into account, our fuel capacity was a half-gallon too large. It didn't have any effect on our performance or the outcome of the race -- we pumped out 2.5 gallons after the race. But regardless of those facts, our fuel tank capacity was above the maximum allowed. We all feel bad about this and it was an oversight on our part. We did every measurement that was available to us to make sure the tank was legal and just missed it by a half-gallon."

Tom Salkowsky, motorsport manager, BMW of North America, Inc.

"It's a very large disappointment for the entire team. PTG still ran a very hard race and it's really unfortunate that we weren't as exacting as we should have been. It was the first time we ran the 7 car, and these are some of the issues you face when you develop a new car, especially when you bring it to the track and haven't turned a wheel yet. It's very disappointing after the team worked diligently to prepare the car for the race. However, all the other measurements were up to par on the car and it's the only car we've experienced any issues with. Obviously, there's a half- gallon in the piping of the car that we have go back and correct."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson