PTG BMW M3s ARE SECOND AND THIRD IN LAS VEGAS PTG Team Prepares For Next Week's Pikes Peak Race Las Vegas, Nev.; Saturday, Sept. 20, 1997: The PTG BMW M3s, competing under the burden of the additional 100 pounds mandated on them ...
PTG BMW M3s ARE SECOND AND THIRD IN LAS VEGAS
PTG Team Prepares For Next Week's Pikes Peak Race
Las Vegas, Nev.; Saturday, Sept. 20, 1997: The PTG BMW M3s, competing under the burden of the additional 100 pounds mandated on them by Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc., finished second, third and 12th today in the GTS-3 class of the SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by F A O Schwarz at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This was round eight of the 11-race Exxon Supreme GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive. Bill Auberlen and Javier Quiros drove the No. 6 Yokohama M3 coupe to second, finishing nine seconds behind the No. 39 Porsche driven by David Murry and Jim Matthews. Boris Said and Derek Hill took the No. 10 Yokohama M3 four door to third, and Marc Duez and Dieter Quester placed 12th in the No. 7 Red Bull/Fina/Yokohama M3 after losing nine laps to replace a battery relay switch. The independent entry of Mattco Racing, the No 77 Alco Capital Group M3, driven by Matthew Cohen and Pete Halsmer and also 100 pounds heavier, was fifth. The PTG M3s qualified second (Auberlen in No. 10), third (Hill in No. 6), fourth (Duez in No. 7) and fifth (John Paul Jr. qualified the new No. 5 Conoco/Interstate Batteries/Budget Car Rental M3 four door in fifth, but, as planned, the car did not start the race, but was instead put away for the Pikes Peak event on Sept. 27). The No. 39 Porsche captured the pole by a margin of .6 of a second over the No. 10 M3. Said, starting in No. 10, made an early pass on the Porsche to take the lead, but lost it on the 17th lap as the Porsche steadily gained on him. By the time the first and only full-course-caution flag flew on lap 30, the Porsche was 10 seconds ahead. The Nos. 6 and 7 M3s (with Quiros and Quester starting) were running third and fourth. With the power steering pump out on No. 10, and with the No. 6 "running perfectly," according to Quiros, Auberlen was put into No. 6 following the routine pit stop 42 minutes into the race to refuel, change tires and drivers. Hill took over No. 10. After the flurry of pit stops, the Porsche maintained its lead, extending it to nearly 17 seconds at one point, with Nos. 6 and 10 taking chase. "The No. 6 was perfect," said Auberlen. I was trying as hard as I could. In the beginning I would close in on him a little bit, but then he just drove away." "Driving without power steering is like trying to steer a semi," said Hill. "Regardless, we finished on the podium, and ultimately getting on the podium is what's going towin the championship for BMW. The Yokohama tires held up the whole time, and that really helped me work around the few problems we had." "We gave it everything we had," said Erik Wensberg, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc. "I don't think this track suits our car as well as it suits the Porsche. Clearly the rulebook went against us today. We don't want to take anything away from David Murry and Jim Matthews. They drove a good race, but we just didn't have it. We will get them at Pikes Peak." Unofficially, in driver's championship points, Auberlen and Quiros drop to a third-place tie (163 points). Matthews moves into second (165), and Murry extends his lead to seven points over Auberlen and Quiros (170). BMW continues to lead the manufacturer's championship by 18 points over Porsche (199-181), and Milner holds a 28-point margin over Michael Colucci in the team championship.
The Festival of Road Racing at Pikes Peak International Raceway is next on SportsCar's schedule, with round 9 of the Exxon Supreme GT Series taking the green flag at 3:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, Sept. 28. It will be aired live on Fox SportsNet. The PTG team brings four M3s to Pikes Peak, with the usual two coupes and one four door. The second four door will make its racing debut there, the No. 5 sedan, with Eduardo Pellerano and John Paul Jr. taking the wheel, giving the series a total of five BMW M3s. # # #
BMWs SHINE IN SPEEDVISION CUP: Bill Auberlen and Terry Borcheller drove the No. 54 Cast-Crete/Syntec Concepts BMW M3 to second in the Grand Sports class of the three-hour Speedvision Cup event on Friday night in Las Vegas. The car led for five laps after starting in 10th. Mike Doolin and Scott Peeler won their second Speedvision Cup race in the Sports class, driving a BMW 328is.
BMW M3s' 2-3 FINISH IN GTS-3 HELPS YOKOHAMA DONATE $2500 TO MADD: Yokohama Tire Corp. donated a total of $2500 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) this weekend as a result of the second and third-place finishes by the Yokohama-shod Nos. 6 and 10 BMW M3s. Yokohama provided a minimum donation of $1,000. The remainder of the donation was based on the qualifying and racing success of eight GTS-3 cars running on Yokohama tires. MADD received $1,000 for the second-place finish and $500 for third.