Las Vegas PTG BMW M3 Friday Notes

TOSHIBA COPIERS & FAX NEVADA GRAND PRIX -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway PTG BMW M3 Team - Press Notes for Friday, April 24, 1998 PTG BMW M3s FASTEST IN BOTH GT3 AND GT2 The No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe driven by Bill Auberlen and Andy Pilgrim, a...

TOSHIBA COPIERS & FAX NEVADA GRAND PRIX -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway PTG BMW M3 Team - Press Notes for Friday, April 24, 1998

PTG BMW M3s FASTEST IN BOTH GT3 AND GT2 The No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe driven by Bill Auberlen and Andy Pilgrim, a former GT3 car that moves up to GT2 this weekend for the first time, recorded the fastest GT2 time of the day in this afternoon's practice session. Auberlen toured the 2.15-mile LVMS road course layout in 1 minute, 19.891 seconds (an average of 96.882 mph). That time was some seven-tenths of a second faster than the No. 99 Porsche 911 of Larry Schumacher and Martin Snow. In GT3, Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-doors recorded the top two times. Marc Duez, who returns to drive the No. 10 M3 four-door after skipping the Sebring 12-Hour event (he was competing in a rally in Portugal that weekend), recorded a fast lap of 1:21.205 (95.314 mph). Peter Cunningham drove the No. 1 M3 to a fast time of 1:21.417. A trio of GT3 Porsches were all within a half-second of Duez's fast time.

BILL AUBERLEN, listed on both No. 6 and No. 10 PTG BMW M3s - "We're looking very good in both classes. That means the team has done a great job of making the GT2 modifications, particularly with the engine and in taking weight out of the car. That's very difficult to do. Yokohama also did an amazing thing by developing a brand new tire just for our GT2 effort here this weekend. We tested it here in this afternoon's session and it made the difference. I really like the new track layout a lot. It'll be a lot more challenging now for everyone instead of it being just a drag race. It's a much safer track. We should see some very good racing this weekend.

SAID PERFORMS DOUBLE DUTY, SO PILGRIM JOINS PTG Defending GT1 champion Andy Pilgrim joins the PTG fold this weekend, driving with Auberlen and Boris Said in the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe. With Said in Portland, Ore., today and Saturday for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Pilgrim was brought in to qualify the M3 Saturday, and start the race on Sunday. Auberlen, the defending GT3 driver's champion, will qualify and start the No. 10 M3 to further his GT3 points chase, then is slated to take over the No. 6 GT2 M3 after Pilgrim's first stint. "It's great working with a professional team," Pilgrim said. "It was really nice of Tom Milner to ask me to drive for him. I've watched what this team has been able to do over the years and I have a lot of respect for them. It's a super team with super drivers, and I just hope I can do a good job." Pilgrim, who holds the distinction of competing in 108 consecutive Sports Car-sanctioned races without a DNF (dating back to 1992), also is driving another M3 this weekend, that of the Massari & Bell team in Saturday's Speedvision Cup event here at LVMS.

SIMO TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH AT SATURDAY'S LAS VEGAS STARS GAME PTG driver Mark Simo, of the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3, will do the honors Saturday night before an expected crowd of 6,000 at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, when the Stars, the Class AAA affiliate of the San Diego Padres, square off against Memphis. "It's such an honor, it really hasn't sunk in yet," Simo said, tongue in cheek. "Really, I'm nervous as can be. I just hope The Chicken (who will be performing his antics at Cashman Field during Saturday night's game) doesn't come out and heckle me like he does everybody else. Just watch, I'll probably fall off the mound, or throw the ball into the stands or something humiliating like that."

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Boris Said , Andy Pilgrim , Bill Auberlen , Peter Cunningham , Martin Snow , Marc Duez