Contact: Laz Denes, 310-538-2599 TOSHIBA COPIERS & FAX NEVADA GRAND PRIX -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway PTG BMW M3 Team - Press Notes for Saturday, April 25, 1998 PTG BMW M3 TAKES GT2 POLE; SECOND AND FOURTH IN GT3 Substitute driver Andy...
Contact: Laz Denes, 310-538-2599
TOSHIBA COPIERS & FAX NEVADA GRAND PRIX -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway PTG BMW M3 Team - Press Notes for Saturday, April 25, 1998
PTG BMW M3 TAKES GT2 POLE; SECOND AND FOURTH IN GT3 Substitute driver Andy Pilgrim drove the fastest GT2 qualifying lap of the day to put the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe on the pole for Sunday's Toshiba Copiers & Fax Nevada Grand Prix at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pilgrim, filling in for regular BMW driver Boris Said, who was in Portland, Ore., competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series today, recorded a fast lap of 1 minute, 20.316 seconds (an average of 96.369 mph) over the 2.15-mile LVMS road course. He beat the No. 99 Porsche of Larry Schumacher by almost two-tenths of a second. In GT3, defending driver's champion Bill Auberlen qualified second in the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door, while Peter Cunningham qualified the No. 1 M3 four-door fourth. Auberlen's best time was 1:20.824 (95.763 mph), Cunningham's 1:21.237 (95.276 mph). The three-hour, 45-minute race begins at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday and will be broadcast live on Speedvision.
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 and No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3s - "They were all fine qualifying laps, but we made a risky choice on tires that just didn't work out. There was a whole lot of rubber laid down on the track during the Speedvision Cup race (a three-hour event held just prior to GT qualifying) and it didn't seem to agree with our tires. This is all too weird because it's developing into a scenario very similar to last year (when the BMW M3s finished second, third and 12th in GT3). We ran hard and had a very clean race but, for the first time all year, just couldn't seem to keep up. Hopefully, we'll be able to get over whatever it is about this track that plagues us."
PETER CUNNINGHAM, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door - "When it mattered, I just couldn't seem to put it all together. It didn't feel too bad, considering we missed just about all of this morning's practice session with an electrical problem. I think we have an excellent race car. It's going to be a great race in GT3. The top six cars on the grid are all within a second of each other."
ANDY PILGRIM, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe - The car was just great. The team did a great job getting it ready, and Bill (Auberlen) did all the set-up. All I did was drive it. I got to spend a little bit of time yesterday (in practice), and the team gave me a huge chunk of time in the car this morning, which helped get me in a groove. My job during the race will be to get the car off to a good start, stay out of trouble, and then turn it over to Bill and Boris (Said). These are all a great bunch of guys and I'm very happy that they came and asked me to help them out."
PILGRIM DRIVES M3 TO VICTORY FROM THE POLE IN SPEEDVISION CUP RACE It was quite a day for Pilgrim as he put the No. 54 Massari & Bell BMW M3 on the pole in an early morning qualifying session, then co-drove to victory with Terry Borcheller in the Speedvision Cup race. Lee Ezell and Chris Miller drove the No. 63 Massari & Bell BMW M3 to a fifth-place finish overall. BMW also scored a victory in the Sports class, as Michael Culver and Eric Tresslar drove their 328iS of IMTEK Tag-EMS/First Equity Racing to a six-place finish overall in the two-hour, 45-minute race. The No. 81 328iS of Mike Fitzgerald and Steve Pfeffer finished second in the Sports class and 11th overall.
# # #