LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 14, 1998: Bill Auberlen and Boris Said enjoyed a perfect day in the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door, winning from pole to checkered flag and leading a 1-2 PTG BMW M3 sweep in the GT3 class of today's U.S. Road...
LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 14, 1998: Bill Auberlen and Boris Said enjoyed a perfect day in the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door, winning from pole to checkered flag and leading a 1-2 PTG BMW M3 sweep in the GT3 class of today's U.S. Road Racing Classic at the scenic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
PTG teammates Ross Bentley and Mark Simo, who started third on the GT3 grid, prevailed in a race-long battle for the runner-up spot with a pair of Porsche 911s in this third USRRC-sanctioned race of the season.
"What can I say - these guys never cease to amaze me," said PTG team owner Tom Milner, whose troops battled to their second straight 1-2 finish in events sanctioned by the revived USRRC and their fourth 1-2 finish in a row overall. "This is more than a team owner can ask for. Each race, they settle for nothing less than a win and a runner-up spot. It's sheer determination and hard work that just keeps paying off for us. Today, we won a great battle for second place because the guys just went out and made it happen."
"Today was a classic example of teamwork paying off," added Scott Doniger, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc. "One car had a flawless day. The other comes into the pits in fourth place, has a great stop that enabled it to pick up a position on the track, and the driver (Simo) finishes the job. This is a great way to kick off a grueling three-race stretch in the schedule (with Road Atlanta and a downtown Minneapolis street race the next two weekends). The team certainly is energized after fighting off some close competition by the Porsches that keep on coming closer each race."
Auberlen, who qualified the No. 10 BMW M3 on the pole on Saturday, got off to a clean start and was never challenged as he cruised to a comfortable 35-second lead before turning the car over to Said for the charge to the finish.
"This is exactly what the doctor ordered," Auberlen said. "We had a wonderful race car and had zero problems from start to finish. We had a great pit stop. And the rest is history. It's a real pleasure to work with such a first-class organization."
"Great car, great team, great drivers ... if everybody just does his job, no one can beat us," added Said, who moved into the USRRC GT3 driver's points lead over teammate Marc Duez, who missed this weekend's event while driving for BMW at the Nurburgring 24-hour race in Germany.
The day for Bentley and Simo was a bit more eventful in the No. 1 PTG BMW M3. Bentley moved from third to second at the start, but then dropped back to fourth by the fourth lap behind the Nos. 07 and 23 Porsche 911s. During the mid-race round of pit stops, Bentley handed the car over to Simo, and a quick work by the PTG crew enabled the car to emerge in third place behind the No. 23 Porsche. Within five laps, Simo had the BMW M3 in second place and kept it there.
"It was a fun race," Bentley said. "I had a great time dicing for second place with the two Porsches. But, as usual, the team did a perfect pit stop. And Mark (Simo) just took it from there. He did a great job."
"Not bad for my first time here, eh?" Simo said. "I wasn't as happy today as I was during practice the last two days. Race traffic is a lot different than it is during practice. But we got the job done and brought home another 1-2 finish, and that's all that matters."
USRRC GT3 POINTS LEADERS SPORTS CAR GT3 POINTS LEADERS Drivers Drivers Boris Said 99 Bill Auberlen 76 Ross Bentley 86 Mark Simo 72 Danny Marshall 84 Ross Bentley 72 Bill Auberlen 74 Peter Cunningham 72 Marc Duez 70 Cort Wagner 60 Manufacturers Manufacturers BMW 60 BMW 80 Porsche 47 Porsche 60
Team Team PTG 60 PTG 80 Alex Job Racing 37 Alex Job Racing 60