PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - THURSDAY, OCT. 8, 1998 The Inaugural Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga. PTG BMW M3s OFF TO FAST START IN PRACTICE Bill Auberlen recorded the fastest GT3-class lap of the opening day of practice...
PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - THURSDAY, OCT. 8, 1998 The Inaugural Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.
PTG BMW M3s OFF TO FAST START IN PRACTICE Bill Auberlen recorded the fastest GT3-class lap of the opening day of practice for Saturday's Petit Le Mans, covering the 2.6-mile Road Atlanta layout in 1 minute, 26.194 seconds (an average of 106.92 mph) in the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door. Auberlen, the defending Professional Sports Car Racing GT3 driver's champion and current points leader, was some 1.5 seconds faster than the No. 23 Porsche 911 of Alex Job Racing. He is co-driving with Mark Simo and Andy Pilgrim this weekend, which features Saturday's 10-hour (or 1,000-mile, whichever comes first) endurance race. The brand new No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door of Peter Cunningham, Brian Simo, Terry Borcheller and Javier Quiros, which first turned a wheel today, was third-fastest in GT3 practice at 1:27.936 (104.80 mph). The privateer #12 BMW M3 four-door, a former PTG race car making its debut in the T.C. Kline Racing camp this weekend, was fourth-fastest in GT3 at 1:28.133 (104.56 mph), followed by the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe of Ross Bentley, Darren Law, David Besnard and Jeff Shafer at 1:28.432 (104.21 mph). Practice continues Friday morning, followed by qualifying in the afternoon.
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door - "You know, with all the festivities leading up to today at the track - the scrutineering downtown, the parties - this race kind of feels a lot like Le Mans. (Auberlen competed in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans this season, co-driving a BMW-powered McLaren to fourth place overall.) There's even that familiar chill in the air. We're going well so far. These BMW M3s are so good, we drive them to the limit all through practice and qualifying. They're made to drive to the max. We've got a pretty good core group of drivers, and we've split some of the regulars up to help bring the young guys up to speed."
ROSS BENTLEY, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe - "The (No.) 6 car is perfect. Well, it was perfect until we had a little incident in night practice (David Besnard went off course in Turn 3 and damaged the front end). But it's fixable. This team is top-notch, so we'll be back first thing tomorrow. I've driven this car the last couple of races and I'm really happy with the way it's working. For us this race, it's just a matter of staying smart and lasting until the end. This race will be a hoot to do. This track is just phenomenal, and with all the stuff they've done to it, it's even better."
PETER CUNNINGHAM, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door - "I've got nice things to say about this car right out of the box. They just got done building this BMW M3. But we're so familiar with these cars now that we know exactly what to do to make improvements on the racetrack. We had a fix to make after the afternoon practice session, and in the night practice it went faster still. It has a wider track (by 1 inch), which really allows us to dive into the corners. I'm excited to get out and race it."
ALL-NEW NO. 1 YOKOHAMA/FINA BMW M3 FOUR-DOOR MAKES ITS DEBUT Having sold the familiar silver-colored No. 1 team car to T.C. Kline Racing, PTG unveils its new No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door here this weekend. It features front-end modifications to the previous design, including a 1-inch wider track, and significant upgrades to the air intake system. "We're trying some things with an eye toward next season," said PTG team owner Tom Milner. "Of course, with two races left in the season, people might say it's more important to stick with what's been working for you. But in the business of racing, you have to try and stay ahead of the game. We're happy with how it's working so far.