BMW Team PTG driver profiles

Following are updated profiles for the six drivers who will race with BMW Team PTG in the European Le Mans Series race at Silverstone Circuit May 13. BRIAN CUNNINGHAM born: Aug. 24, 1970 in Batavia, N.Y. residence: Danville, Ky. family: ...

Following are updated profiles for the six drivers who will race with BMW Team PTG in the European Le Mans Series race at Silverstone Circuit May 13.

BRIAN CUNNINGHAM

born:  Aug. 24, 1970 in Batavia, N.Y.
residence:  Danville, Ky.
family:  wife Susan, daughter Lucie

1999 second in ALMS GT driver championship; wins at Portland, Road Atlanta; third at Lime Rock, Mosport, Petit Le Mans

Brian Cunningham started racing karts in 1978. He was a leading contender in the Skip Barber Formula Ford Championship and the Formula Ford 2000 Championship in 1990 and '91. In 1992, he won rookie of the year in the Oldsmobile Pro Series and became a world speed and endurance record-holder as a member of the factory OIdsmobile team that set 52 records. He was a top racer in British Formula Three from 1993 through '96. He won one race and scored a pole, three fastest race laps and five top-five finishes for the factory Oldsmobile Aurora program in the 1996 IMSA GT1 series. He competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1997, and followed with a successful season in the PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship in 1998. Cunningham is a licensed pilot. He is the grandson of Briggs S. Cunningham, a legendary sports-car driver and constructor of the 1950s and '60s and the winning skipper of the America's Cup yacht Columbia.

PETER CUNNINGHAM

born:  July 1, 1962 in Milwaukee, Wis.
residence:  West Bend, Wis.
family:  single

1999 GT second at Lime Rock, third at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta -- 1998 GT2 win at Minneapolis; GT3 wins at Daytona, Lime Rock; second at Las Vegas, Laguna Seca, Mosport, Road Atlanta, Sebring; third at Petit Le Mans, Sebring, Watkins Glen

With 10 widely diverse championships to his credit, Peter Cunningham is the only driver in SCCA Pro Racing to have won titles in Solo II, Pro Rally, sprint and endurance road racing, as well as ice racing. He has driven in 25 24-hour races and collected eight victories. He was the 1997 SCCA World Challenge driver champion in the Touring 1 class. With 27 victories through 1997, he is the all-time winningest driver in the series and its predecessor. He was runner-up in the 1997 North American Touring Car Championship and holds the record for the most series wins. Cunningham is president and CEO of RealTime Racing & Logistics, which fields a five-car SCCA World Challenge Touring Car team and provides sales training and consumer- education events in automotive-related fields. He is also driving a BMW 328is in the Speedvision World Challenge GT championship.

NICLAS JONSSON

born:  Aug. 4, 1967 in Bankeryd, Sweden
residence:  Aliso Viejo, Calif.
family:  fiancee Helene Axelsson

Niclas Jonsson started racing karts in Sweden at age 10. He won the national go-kart event named after the late Ronnie Peterson, former Swedish Formula One driver, in 1984, '85 and '87. Jonsson made his first professional race start in 1989 in Scandinavian Formula Three, and won the series championship in 1990 and '91. He was the 1992 Scandinavian Touring Car champion, finished second in the 1992 and '93 European Cup for Formula Three and was runner-up in the 1995 Formula Asia championship. He moved to the United States in 1997 to compete in Indy Lights, then returned to Europe to race touring cars in 1998. He made four Indy Racing League starts in 1999 and 2000. Jonsson enjoys running and badminton. He played competitive badminton until age 17, when he declined an opportunity to play with the Swedish national team because of his 5'7" height. He also played semi-pro bandy, a fast version of ice hockey, played with a small orange ball instead of a puck. Jonsson's brother Mathias is chief mechanic for Penske Racing and driver Gil de Ferran.

BORIS SAID III

born:  Sept. 18, 1962 in New York, N.Y.
residence:  Carlsbad, Calif.
family:  wife Karen Sileo

1999 GT wins at Lime Rock, Sears Point; second at Petit Le Mans -- 1998 GT2 wins at Las Vegas, Lime Rock, Road Atlanta; GT3 wins at Daytona, Mid-Ohio, Sebring; second at Homestead -- 1997 GTS-3 wins at Daytona, Pikes Peak, Sears Point; second at Laguna Seca, Mosport; third at Las Vegas, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen -- 1996 GTS-2 win at Mosport; third at Daytona, Sears Point

Boris Said started racing motocross at age 12. He was the SCCA Corvette Challenge 1998 rookie of the year. He took the pole and fastest race lap, and led flag-to-flag to win the SCCA Showroom Stock GT national championship in 1989, '90 and '91. In 1992, he won the IMSA Endurance Challenge sports-class championship. He won the 1994 SCCA Trans-Am series Rising Star of the Year award, and collected a win, 11 top-five and 23 top-10 Trans-Am finishes from 1994 to '96. In 1995, he posted Ford's first Firestone Firehawk victory. He drove 18 hours of the 1996 Daytona 24-hour race, finishing first in GT1 and third in GTS, and competed as a self-crewed driver in six-hour races at Sebring and Road Atlanta. Said's European racing efforts include the ADAC German GT Cup (eighth in 1993), two 24 Hour of Le Mans races (GT2 pole in 1994, second in 1995) and a GT2 pole and class win at Spa-Francorchamps in 1994. He also drives for Irvan-Simo Racing in NASCAR. He started fifth in his first Winston Cup race in 1998 and was a front-row starter and race-leader in 1999. He is director of motorsports for No Fear.

HANS-JOACHIM STUCK

born: Jan. 1, 1951 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany residence: Ellmau/T., Austria family: wife Sylvia; his sons Johannes-Emanuel and Ferdinand- Alexander

1999 GT wins at Lime Rock, Sears Point; second at Mosport, Petit Le Mans

Hans Stuck began racing touring cars in 1969. He has a wealth of experience in most major series, including the Formula One World Championship, Formula Two European Championship, Sportscar World Championship, IMSA GT, European Touring Car Championship, International Touring Car Championship, SCCA Trans-Am Series and FIA GT Championship. He is a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1986 and '87), three-time winner of Sebring 12-hour event (1986, '88 and '93) and has won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring (1970 and '98) and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (1972). Stuck was the German Touring Car champion in 1972 and '90, won the Procar Series with the BMW M1 (1979), was Sportscar world champion (1985), winner of the ADAC Supercup Sportscars (1987) and winner of the IMSA Supercar Championship (1993). He spent 1998 with the BMW Motorsport BMW V12 Le Mans program and as a development driver for the BMW V8 race engine. His hobbies include alpine skiing, golf and "most of all my two sons, Johannes and Ferdinand".

JOHANNES van OVERBEEK

born:  April 14, 1973 in Sacramento, Calif.
residence:  Danville, Calif.
family:  single

1999 third in ALMS GT driver championship; win at Road Atlanta; second at Portland; third at Lime Rock, Mosport, Sears Point

Johannes van Overbeek started racing karts in 1983. His early career included four years of "secret" racing without his family's knowledge. In 1993, he ran his first SCCA ITC race and set a track record at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California. He raced a Camaro in SCCA club events in 1995 and finished third at the national runoffs. In 1996, he debuted in two SCCA World Challenge Series races with BMW. He had a strong rookie season in 1997, with three victories, two pole positions and two track records. He swept the field at Heartland Park Topeka as fastest qualifier, set the fastest race lap and won his first career race. Despite the trauma of his crew chief's death, he still collected three podium finishes, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes to help BMW finish second in the 1998 World Challenge Touring Car manufacturer championship. He finished third in the season finale at Pikes Peak after starting last. Now a marketing consultant, van Overbeek started his first business, a mailing service, at age 14. He has an avid interest in the history of the West and enjoys running, cycling, hiking, climbing and ski racing.

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Series General
Drivers Boris Said , Gil de Ferran , Johannes van Overbeek , Skip Barber , Brian Cunningham , Aliso Viejo , Ronnie Peterson
Teams Team Penske