BMW M3 Drivers Bentley, Cunningham Each Team With a Simo To Win GT3 and GT2 at USRRC's Sprint PCS Grand Prix MINNEAPOLIS, June 28, 1998:. Ross Bentley and Mark Simo held off a hard-charging Porsche in GT3 while Peter Cunningham and...
BMW M3 Drivers Bentley, Cunningham Each Team With a Simo To Win GT3 and GT2 at USRRC's Sprint PCS Grand Prix
MINNEAPOLIS, June 28, 1998:. Ross Bentley and Mark Simo held off a hard-charging Porsche in GT3 while Peter Cunningham and Brian Simo held on in GT2 despite a cut tire to give PTG BMW M3s two class wins in today's 1-hour, 45-minute Sprint PCS Grand Prix of Minnesota on the downtown streets of Minneapolis. Bentley and Mark Simo made it 11 GT3 wins in a row for the PTG team, co-driving the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door to victory in Round Four of this year's USRRC-sanctioned GT championship. Prototype Technology Group is also unbeaten in GT3 through four rounds of rival sanctioning body Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc. (SPORTS CAR) events this season, and finished last year's SPORTS CAR season with three consecutive GT3 wins. "The 07 Porsche was really, really fast today," said Bentley, who moved into the USRRC GT3 driver's points lead with his second USRRC win of the season and third victory overall. "I just did all I could to keep us close through the first hour, then hand the car over to Mark and hope for the best. I knew we'd get them with a faster pit stop, and we had full confidence in Mark." "Our BMW M3 was just flawless today," added Mark Simo, who enjoyed his first USRRC victory this season to go with two SPORTS CAR wins. "The 07 Porsche clearly was fast from the get-go. Talk about (the USRRC) equalizing things (with 40 pounds added this weekend to the PTG BMW M3s, which now weigh 340 pounds more than the rival Porsches), they sure did it! "But the PTG team gave us a great car and a great pit stop. So Ross and I could go out there and drive just as hard as we could to bring home another win. The M3 wasn't going to let us down today." Cunningham and Brian Simo, Mark's twin brother and a regular on the SCCA Trans-Am circuit driving for only the second time with the PTG team, shared the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe and won despite contact with the 07 Porsche on the track that led to a cut tire and forced an unscheduled pit stop two-thirds of the way through the race. "'Fun' is the best way to describe this day," said Brian Simo, who also co-drove to the team's GT2 victory last weekend at Road Atlanta. "These BMW M3s are just fun cars to drive. They are true driver's cars. Peter (Cunningham) did all the work today. He gave me the car with almost a lap lead. I just had to stay out of trouble. Fortunately, the trouble I did have with the cut tire didn't cost us the win. That's teamwork for you!" "If this weekend proves anything, it's that there truly is competition in GT3," said Scott Doniger, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc. "We chased the 07 Porsche for the first hour of the race. But what it came down to was another total team effort, because we beat the Porsche team in the pits by 16 seconds. Then, as soon as Mark got in the car, he put his foot down and took care of business." Next stop for the PTG team is Round Five of SPORTS CAR's GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 7-9. The USRRC Can-Am/GT schedule resumes with Round Five at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Aug. 21-23.
USRRC GT3 DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS - Ross Bentley 116, Danny Marshall 111, Boris Said 99, Mark Simo 86, Bill Auberlen 74, Marc Duez 70.
USRRC GT3 MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS - BMW 75, Porsche 59.
USRRC GT3 TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS - PTG 75, G&W Motorsports 41, Alex Job Racing 32.