Three cars for BMW Team PTG at Sears Point

SONOMA, Calif. (July 12, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG will introduce its third 2001 BMW M3 at the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma. The two-hour 45-minute race, fifth in the 12-race series, will be held July 23 at Sears Point ...

SONOMA, Calif. (July 12, 2000) -- BMW Team PTG will introduce its third 2001 BMW M3 at the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma. The two-hour 45-minute race, fifth in the 12-race series, will be held July 23 at Sears Point Raceway. Hans Stuck of Austria and Johannes van Overbeek of Danville, Calif., will drive the No. 6 BMW M3. Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., and Peter Cunningham of West Bend, Wis., will be paired in the new No. 7 M3, and Brian Cunningham of Danville, Ky., will drive the No. 10 M3 with Nic Jonsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif. The cars will carry the colors of sponsors Yokohama, Flextronics and Level One. A year ago, BMW won both the prototype and GT classes of the Sears Point race. JJ Lehto of Finland and Steve Soper of England took the prototype win in the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR, while Stuck and Said scored the GT class win in the No. 9 BMW M3 over the powerful next-generation Porsche. It was BMW Team PTG's third-consecutive victory at Sears Point, a track that's well-suited to the M3's excellent handling characteristics. "We're looking forward to Sears Point because this race track has a lot of short, tight corners and handling is paramount," said BMW of North America, Inc.'s motorsport manager, Tom Salkowsky. "This is one of the M3's real strengths." Local driver van Overbeek, who lives in nearby Danville, has logged many miles on the 2.52-mile Sears Point road course. He agreed with Salkowsky's assessment. "I think the M3 will do very well here because of the tightness of the track versus some of the other tracks that tend to favor the Porsches because of the long straightaways," he said. "I think we'll get a good result." After a strong finish in a five-hour, 45-minute series race at the Nrburgring track in Germany last weekend, Peter Cunningham says the team is ready for California. "This PTG crew has really put in the hours to prepare, maintain and develop these cars," he said. "The cars are all in one piece, the drivers are all in one piece, the crew is all in one piece. So we'll go back and do a quick regroup. We have a little bit more for a place like Sears Point, so we're all looking forward to that." BMW Team PTG owner Tom Milner noted the team will have new engines for the race, in its continuing quest for victory over the bigger Porsche engines. "We will have newly built motors, which have some more horsepower than what we had before," he said. "We're getting closer, we're slowly sneaking up on them! "We're undefeated at Sears Point, so maybe that's a good sign," he suggested. "We won three years there, including a one- two-three in 1996. The track has always suited our cars, so I think our chances are better than at any other race to do well." The ALMS Grand Prix of Sonoma is scheduled to start at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) on Sunday, July 23. It will be telecast live on Speedvision from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will also broadcast live, with audio, photos, news and updates on the American Le Mans Series website (www.americanlemans.com).

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Series ALMS
Drivers Boris Said , Peter Cunningham , Johannes van Overbeek , Brian Cunningham , Steve Soper , Aliso Viejo , JJ Lehto