PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP - Notes for Saturday, May 23, 1998 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park - GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive PTG BMW M3s QUALIFY 2-3 IN GT3; DUEZ GRABS GT2 POLE Bill Auberlen and Ross Bentley today...
PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP - Notes for Saturday, May 23, 1998 Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park - GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive
PTG BMW M3s QUALIFY 2-3 IN GT3; DUEZ GRABS GT2 POLE Bill Auberlen and Ross Bentley today qualified their respective Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-doors second and third on the GT3 starting grid for Monday's Professional Sports Car Racing-sanctioned GT Racing Series Presented by Virgin Interactive at Lime Rock Park near Lakeville, Conn. Auberlen drove the No. 10 BMW M3 to a lap of 57.038 seconds, an average of 97.198 mph over the 1.54-mile Lime Rock road course. Bentley recorded a time of 57.320 seconds (96.720 mph) in the No. 1 BMW M3 to take the third starting spot for Monday's 1-hour, 45-minute race. The No. 23 Porsche 911 of Cort Wagner grabbed the GT3 pole in 56.900 seconds (97.434 mph). In the GT2 class, PTG's Marc Duez recorded a fast lap of 56.985 seconds (97.288 mph) to grab the pole position in his No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe. Auberlen, the defending GT3 champion, will share the No. 10 BMW M3 with Mark Simo, while Bentley will co-drive with Peter Cunningham in the No. 1 BMW M3. Duez will share the No. 6 BMW M3 with Boris Said, who competed in a NASCAR Craftsman Racetruck Series event at I-70 Speedway outside Kansas City today. Monday's race is set for 4:00 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on Speedvision. There is no activity scheduled at Lime Rock Park on Sunday.
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "We did the best we could today and simply came up short in qualifying. I don't know what it is about this place ... this is the third year in a row we weren't on the pole. But we finished 1-2-3 here last year in the race, so we've got nothing to complain about. It would be nice to be on the pole, but what really matters is what happens on Monday."
ROSS BENTLEY, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "I'm about as happy as you can be for a guy sitting third on the grid. We've got ourselves just a dynamite race car. We picked up another chunk of time in that session, so we're happy about that ... very encouraged for Monday's race."
MARC DUEZ, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT2): "I'm quite pleased with the handling of my M3. It's been fun, selfishly speaking, to drive all the practice and qualifying sessions by myself while Boris (Said) was off racing his NASCAR Craftsman Truck. I suppose I'll let him drive a little bit on Monday after he gets back here! Seriously, it should be a very interesting race. We're running very similar times to the GT3 cars. We run lighter, are allowed higher revs and have an extra gear. But you only use three gears on this track, so it's not that much of an advantage. I'm looking forward to racing this M3 for the first time."
AUBERLEN SECURES RIDE FOR 24 HOURS OF LE MANS PTG's Bill Auberlen, who drove to a second-place finish last weekend in his first International Sports Racing Series (ISRS) event in Brno, The Czech Republic, has joined the GTC Motorsport team for next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 6-7). He will co-drive a BMW V12-powered McLaren F1 GTR in the GT1 class with Tim Sugden and team owner Steve O'Rourke, both of Great Britain. It will be Auberlen's first career appearance at Le Mans. "What an opportunity BMW has given me all year long," he said. "If it were to end today, everything I've wanted to accomplish in racing would have been fulfilled 10 times over! We tested (the Le Mans car) this week in England and the car was simply great, the team was great, and I came out of there with a really positive feeling." Last weekend, Auberlen co-drove a BMW-powered Riley & Scott for Team Rafanelli in the ISRS event. Prior to the season, he was named one of BMW AG's stable of factory drivers. PTG teammate Marc Duez also will be competing at Le Mans this year, driving a Dodge Viper GTR for Team Oreca in the GT2 class.
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