BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN June 10, 2004 - Bloomfield Hills, Michigan based management and marketing firm Sports Management Network, Inc. ("SMN") announced today that the firm has reached an agreement with Prototype Technology Group, Inc. ("PTG")...
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN June 10, 2004 - Bloomfield Hills, Michigan based management and marketing firm Sports Management Network, Inc. ("SMN") announced today that the firm has reached an agreement with Prototype Technology Group, Inc. ("PTG") for client Lawson Aschenbach to contest the remainder of the inaugural Formula BMW USA season for the team.
Aschenbach, a twenty-year old native of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is the 2002 US Formula 2000 Zetec Series Road to Indy Oval Champion and multiple race winner in the Zetec series. Having also scored championships in karting and Formula Ford, Lawson recently completed his sophomore year at Vanderbilt University's prestigious School of Engineering.
"This is a great opportunity for me that SMN worked hard to put together with Tom Milner's PTG team," said Aschenbach. "I know BMW is placing a lot of resources and effort behind this series and to be competing for a team with the track record of success that PTG has achieved confirms that this is a good place for me to be at this point of my driving career."
Although open-wheel racing is a departure for Team PTG it is a homecoming of sorts for owner Milner. The 30-year sportscar racing veteran began his career managing teams that included a partnership with Bill Scott Racing that produced 10 Formula Vee, Super Vee and Formula Ford championships from 1967 to 1984. PTG has been BMW's primary United States motorsports research and development team for the past nine years. Since 1995, PTG has won four sportscar manufacturer championships, four team titles, and three driver championships. Drivers who have raced for Tom Milner and PTG include Bobby Rahal, Paul Newman, Rick Mears, Pete Halsmer, Scott Goodyear, Arie Luyendyk and Scott Sharp.
2004 marks the inaugural season of the Formula BMW USA series. Already established in Germany and Asia and recently announced in the UK, Formula BMW has become a very successful proving ground for young aspiring open- wheel drivers. Formula BMW USA's 14-race, seven-weekend championship becomes the premier North American open- wheel foundation series with races at the most visible venues including the Canadian Grand Prix, the United States Grand Prix and four Champ Car events.
The season opened only 90 miles from BMW of North America's headquarters at Lime Rock Park, CT on May 31st. Formula BMW USA will now support the only two Formula One races in North America at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 13th and the United States Grand Prix on June 20th. The event in Montreal, Canada will be Aschenbach's first with the PTG team.
The final four races of the year will be in support of the Champ Car World Series at Cleveland on July 3rd, Road America on August 8th and Denver on August 15th. The series finale will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 12th.
Each Formula BMW USA race weekend will include two rounds of the Championship. Separate qualifying sessions will determine the grid for each 30-minute standing- start contest.