Mosport BMW Team PTG Preview

BMW Team PTG Plays Threes BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (June 16, 1999) -- BMW Team PTG has entered three cars in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix at Mosport scheduled for June 27. The team is looking for a ...

BMW Team PTG Plays Threes

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (June 16, 1999) -- BMW Team PTG has entered three cars in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix at Mosport scheduled for June 27. The team is looking for a third-consective victory on the 2.459-mile Mosport International Raceway road course, and its third-consecutive victory of the 1999 season. The team scored a record eighth-straight Professional Sports Car Racing GT3 victory at Mosport in June, 1998. The win contributed to the PSCR GT3 driver championship for Mark Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., back-to-back team titles for BMW Team PTG and BMW's third manufacturer championship in three years. Simo and No. 6 BMW M3 co-driver Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., say they're ready for a win. Their teammates Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., won the American Le Mans Series race at Road Atlanta in April, in the No. 7 Yokohama/Level One/Flextronics M3. The No. 10 car, with co-drivers Boris Said of Carlsbad and Hans Stuck of Austria, won a United States Road Racing Championship race at Lime Rock Park in May. "Mosport has a lot of fast, high-speed sections that separate the men from the boys. It's a challenge because of its high speed, but there's an opportunity to shine there because of that," Simo said. "I like that. With Peter as a co-driver, I feel like we have a great shot." Simo is also enthusiastic about the American Le Mans Series. "I'm looking forward to the intensity of an American Le Mans Series race, with great competition, where the stakes are high. The professional level of the players and the attitude we have with the series means that every position, every point and every tenth of a second count," he said. "For the first time in a long time, the real pressure is on someone else. BMW Team PTG is second in team points and we have our targets set on the competition. So we're really focused, and in a different way than in the recent past. Our goal is to leave Mosport, which the drivers love, back in the points lead as the ALMS gears up for a fantastic series of races," said Scott Doniger, motorsport manager for BMW of North America, Inc. Stuck has raced and won at Mosport in everything from Formula One in the late 1970s through touring cars and sports cars en route to a world championship in the late '80s. "Every step in my career, there was a Mosport race," he said. His last race was an IMSA event in 1989, when he crashed heavily in practice and was not expected to race. The team doctor used acupuncture to ease Stuck's pain, so he could race and win. "Mosport is one of the old tracks. There is nothing artificial, it has ups and downs, good curbs and spectators sit on the lawn and watch the race. It's not like the newer track stadiums where you sit in plastic chairs and watch the race," Stuck said. "I like it because it is also a driver's track with very spectacular corners. I like very much turn two, which is a lefthander downhill. It's pretty spectacular because you brake into it, then you have to put the power down. It's very fast, one of these butt-squeezing corners." Christian Menzel of Germany will co-drive with Stuck at Mosport, while Said competes in a NASCAR Winston Cup race. Menzel is a former BMW factory driver in the European STW Cup. He and Stuck won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race last year. Stuck holds the overall Mosport lap record (126.87 mph, set in 1985), but he's not making any predictions. "To put it together doesn't mean only that I am fast. That's why it's called a team -- you have to get your act together, from preparing the car to driver changes. To win a race takes a lot of team tactics and abilities, but also a big, big portion of luck. The confidence is there, but you never know before the flag is dropped." The two-hour 45-minute Mosport race is the third of eight in the 1999 American Le Mans Series. It is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 27. It will be telecast live on CNBC from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Peter Cunningham , Johannes van Overbeek , Brian Cunningham , Christian Menzel