BMW M3s are fourth and 12th on the provisional GT starting grid for Saturday's Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring. Peter Cunningham qualified the ...
BMW M3s are fourth and 12th on the provisional GT starting grid for Saturday's Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring. Peter Cunningham qualified the #10 BMW M3 fourth in class with a time of two minutes, 8.736 seconds (103.46 mph). Boris Said qualified the new #6 BMW M3 12th (2:12.255, 100.71 mph), after he spun and then lost the passenger-side door of the car. The car had been hit during Tuesday testing, resulting in a shattered door. BMW Team PTG members Doug Clark and Conway Simpson logged long hours piecing the door together so Said could qualify. The team expects to have a new door in place for Saturday's classic endurance race.
Peter Cunningham, driver, #10 BMW M3
"I'm very pleased with how our car performed. The guys had to skip lunch and thrash to get ready for the session. We had to replace the differential, so the first eight minutes of the qualifying session was just breaking it in. We took one lap to lay down a time. We could have taken another to move up a bit on the grid, but we thought better of it since this is our race differential. We want to save it for the race. The car is just wonderful, so we'll see how things are again tomorrow, and then I think we're ready for 12 hours."
Boris Said, driver, #6 BMW M3
"We kinda used qualifying as a test session. We tried something with the rear wing and I ended up getting my doors blown off -- literally! Unfortunately, the damage yesterday blew the door off so we didn't get a lap. But there's time tomorrow. The car is better with the adjustment, so I think we're headed in the right direction. Every session we learn something, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but we're getting better and better."
BMW Team PTG is happy to see the return of chief engineer Ina Gastesi, who missed the final 1999 American Le Mans Series race while undergoing surgery for cancer. Doctors believed Gastesi had only one year to live, but he didn't accept the prognosis. "In racing, if you have a problem, you deal with it and you find a way to fix it. I do the same," he said, reporting that nutritional changes and chemotherapy have reduced the cancer in his body by 40 per cent. He says working 12- to 16-hour days on the new M3 has also had a strong impact on his recovery because the support and positive atmosphere in the shop are "tremendous".