Race: 4 Hour Report - No. 42 BMW M3 GTR Leads GT Class, No. 6 PTG M3 Fifth At the four-hour mark of the 49th annual 12 Hours at Sebring the new No. 42 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR of Jorg Muller and JJ Lehto leads the GT class after passing the first...
Race: 4 Hour Report - No. 42 BMW M3 GTR Leads GT Class, No. 6 PTG M3 Fifth
At the four-hour mark of the 49th annual 12 Hours at Sebring the new No. 42 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR of Jorg Muller and JJ Lehto leads the GT class after passing the first and second starting Alex Job Porsches eleven minutes into the race - and running among the top three positions race-long.
The No. 43 BMW Motorsport M3 of Fredrik Ekblom and Dirk Muller have rejoined the race after a long pit-stop to replace a piece in the engine's VANOS system. Starting from their fifth and sixth positions in the GT class, the No. 10 PTG M3 of Bill Auberlen and the No. 6 PTG M3 of Boris Said took the green flag under bright Florida sunshine and the hottest temperatures seen all week.
Niclas Jonsson replaced Auberlen at the one-hour mark when the No. 10 car stopped early for new Yokohamas and fuel. The two switched again one hour later and shortly after that Auberlen came to a stop at turn 13 with an engine failure.
At the 1.15 mark Said gave the wheel of the No. 6 M3 to Stuck after running in the seventh position. Peter Cunningham entered the car 2.50 hours into the race and brought the M3 to fifth position before handing the M3 to Said.
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 10 BMW M3 "The PTG BMWs have won this race twice before and normally the M3 is the most reliable race car you can drive, but we didn't have the luck today. These cars have won championship after championship and now they will be retired to make way for the GTR. I'm really looking forward to the next time we race because it will be with that new car. When I was together with it on the track today it looked like one fine machine - one that I can't wait to be in. I feel for the PTG crew. They worked tirelessly all week, but we'll get a chance to get back after it again at Sears Point."
Niclas Jonsson, driver No. 10 BMW M3 "This is my first 12 Hours At Sebring. I know BMW has a great record here but, unfortunately, something went wrong today. I'm really looking forward to driving the new GTR. It is running very fast, very consistent lap times today. I'm sorry for the PTG crew. We had two great pit stops, but we couldn't finish. I enjoyed driving with Bill. I can't wait to get back and win a race with him in the very near future."
Peter Cunningham, driver No. 6 BMW M3 "The No. 6 PTG M3 was very good from the start of my stint to the end. The balance never changed. It was very easy to drive. I was setting a pace and acclimating myself to the car - there were no dramas. We'll see what happens as we are only one-third of the way to the end."
Hans Stuck, driver No. 6 BMW M3 "I will be in the No. 6 M3 next and once we are past the half-way point there is a good chance to survive to the end and we'll start to take it to the finish with more speed."