PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - Notes for Saturday, June 27 Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota - USRRC Can-Am/GT Race PTG BMW M3s TOP GT3 AND GT2 GRID FOR SUNDAY'S SPRINT PCS GRAND PRIX Mark Simo grabbed the GT3 pole by seven...
PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - Notes for Saturday, June 27 Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota - USRRC Can-Am/GT Race
PTG BMW M3s TOP GT3 AND GT2 GRID FOR SUNDAY'S SPRINT PCS GRAND PRIX Mark Simo grabbed the GT3 pole by seven thousandths of a second on the last lap of qualifying today for Sunday's Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota, Round Four of the USRRC-sanctioned Can-Am/GT championship. Simo drove the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door to a fast lap of 1 minute, 22.360 seconds, an average of 69.936 mph over the 1.6-mile, 13-turn circuit on the downtown streets of Minneapolis. He'll share the No. 10 BMW M3 with Ross Bentley in Sunday's 1-hour, 45-minute featured event. Meanwhile, PTG teammate Peter Cunningham took the GT2 pole in the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe that he'll share with Brian Simo, Mark's twin brother and a regular on the SCCA Trans-Am circuit. Cunningham toured the Minneapolis circuit in 1:21.814 (70.403 mph) for top GT2 qualifying honors. Sunday's race begins at 3:00 p.m. CDT and will be broadcast live by Speedvision.
MARK SIMO, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "Wow, what a feeling to pull out the pole on the very last lap of qualifying. I just put my head down and told myself, 'This is it, it's now or nothing!' These BMW M3s are truly amazing in that when you ask them to do a little more, they oblige. It's especially gratifying to put both our cars on the pole since the heart and soul of our driver lineup (Bill Auberlen, Boris Said and Marc Duez) couldn't be here this weekend because of other racing commitments. You might call us the 'B' team, but we certainly got 'Grade A' results."
PETER CUNNINGHAM, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe (GT2): "This is a lot of fun. It's my first time in our GT2 BMW M3. It's lighter and you can really tell the difference on a downtown street course like this. We should be in excellent shape for the race. The guys did a great job setting up the car right where it needs to be. We just need to stay out of trouble - which can be a challenge on a downtown street course with Can-Am cars and GT1 cars running alongside GT2s and GT3s. But, knock on wood, we hope to keep our (four-race GT2) winning streak alive."
BRIAN SIMO, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe (GT2): "I'm feeling even more comfortable in the BMW this week (after having debuted with the PTG team last weekend at Road Atlanta, a race he co-drove to victory). Once again, it's a whole world apart from what it's like to drive my Trans-Am car. That's pure horsepower, but these BMWs run very comparable lap times. These BMW's talk to you a lot better and they're much easier to run hard through the corners. I'm looking forward to the race."
ROSS BENTLEY, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "You know, people call these downtown street tracks 'point-and-squirt' tracks, but that's not the case in GT3, and especially not the case with the BMW M3s. If you just settle into every corner and try to accelerate out, you're going to lose ground in a hurry. With the BMWs, you can carry a whole lot of momentum all the way through the corner. That's where we have a big advantage."
AUBERLEN, SAID AND DUEZ LEAVE MATTERS IN CAPABLE HANDS PTG regulars Bill Auberlen, Boris Said and Marc Duez are fulfilling other racing commitments this weekend and could not be here. Auberlen, a BMW factory driver, is participating in testing in a BMW-powered Riley & Scott World Sports Car for next weekend's International Sports Racing Series race in Misano, Italy. Said is substituting for NASCAR Busch Grand National series regular Jimmy Spencer at Watkins Glen, where he won the pole today for Sunday's feature event. And Duez is competing in