Laguna Seca: BMW Team PTG qualifying report

BMW Team PTG M3s Qualify 7th and 9th for Monterey Sports Car Championships; No. 21 M3 Wins Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge Monterey, Calif. - Oct. 20, 2006-- Joey Hand, driving the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3 he will share with Bill Auberlen in ...

BMW Team PTG M3s Qualify 7th and 9th for Monterey Sports Car Championships; No. 21 M3 Wins Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge

Monterey, Calif. - Oct. 20, 2006-- Joey Hand, driving the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3 he will share with Bill Auberlen in tomorrow's American Le Mans Series Monterey Sports Car Championship, qualified seventh in the 10-car GT2 class with a 1:24.847-minute lap around the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit. Hand's time was 1.256 seconds slower than the pole winning Ferrari.

"We went to a little softer tire in qualifying to get a better idea of what we might need in the closing stages of the race," said Hand. "We don't have the speed of our competitors, so we have been working on making the car last over a consistently fast pace. Today we proved that we have the best crew. Tom always calls a good strategy, so I am confident we can reach the podium one more time."

Bryan Sellers qualified the No. 22 BMW Team PTG M3 ninth with a 1:25.738-minute lap. He will co-drive with Justin Marks and Ian James.

Sellers said, "It is frustrating not to be higher up the time sheets. James and the rest of the crew definitely have the No. 22 M3 ready for a good race-pace, but you always want to be faster. I was surprised to see the No. 21 M3 almost a second faster, but I did not know of their tire compound change."

Earlier today BMW Team PTG won the season-long Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge, beating the No. 009 Aston Martin team in the final round. The No. 21 BMW Team PTG crew reached today's finals after placing second in Round 1 in Portland and third in Round 2 at Road America.

PTG boss Tom Milner said, "We have not been able to show our strengths on the track this season, but with the win in the Klein Tools Pit Crew Competition we proved that everyone at Prototype Technology Group are winners - period."

The four-hour Monterey Sports Car Championship race is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. PT tomorrow and will be broadcast on Speed Channel beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET.

Background: 2006 marks the 11th season of competition for the BMW Team PTG M3s and the first full season of ALMS competition since 2001. BMW Team PTG has won a total of 53 races in both sprint and endurance racing series and 14 sports car racing championships. In 2005, BMW Team PTG won 7 of 13 Rolex Sports Car Series races entered.

-credit: bmw team ptg

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Series ALMS
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Ian James , Justin Marks , Bryan Sellers