PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - SATURDAY, SEPT. 19, 1998 NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic, Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway PTG BMW M3s FINISH THIRD, FOURTH IN RAIN-MARRED RACE The Prototype Technology Group BMW M3s finished third...
PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP BMW M3 TEAM - SATURDAY, SEPT. 19, 1998 NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic, Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway
PTG BMW M3s FINISH THIRD, FOURTH IN RAIN-MARRED RACE
The Prototype Technology Group BMW M3s finished third and fourth, respectively, in the GT3 class of today's rain-marred NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic. Peter Cunningham and Ross Bentley co-drove the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe to third place behind a pair of Alex Job Racing Porsches, which ended PTG's winning streak in Professional Sports Car Racing-sanctioned events at eight. Bill Auberlen and Mark Simo co-drove the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door to fourth place in the three-hour race. Rain began falling just eight minutes after the start of the race, and standing water that quickly began developing throughout the 3.75 mile Sebring International Raceway road course caused the race to be red-flagged for 64 minutes. In all, just 10 of 33 total laps ran under green conditions, including just 16 minutes at the end that wasn't sufficient time for the PTG BMWs to chase down the Porsches, which led by almost a full lap at the final restart. In the GT2 class, the No. 54 privateer BMW M3 coupe of Massari-Bell Racing finished in second place.
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door - "We were having a fantastic race until one wrong thing happened after another. It goes that way sometimes. We were in position to catch the Porsches. But the (No. 4) Panoz car (the overall leader of the race) was sitting between us and the Porsches, and it never pitted. So the Porsches got waved by and on the restart left us with almost a lap to make up in 16 minutes. It'll be a few weeks before we can come back and redeem ourselves, but I'll tell you, I can't wait for (the Petit Le Mans at) Road Atlanta (Oct. 8-10)."
PETER CUNNINGHAM, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe - "We really had a great car today, and we did what we came here to do, which is race. Unfortunately, a little bit of racing luck just caught us out. Hey, we had a podium finish and we'll be looking to get back on the winning track at Atlanta. Hats off to the Porsches. They've been getting stronger all season, and they did a great job today."
TOM MILNER, Team Owner, Prototype Technology Group - "It was a matter of pit strategy, and the decisions we make aren't necessarily to win race, but to win overall championships for our drivers, team and manufacturer. Unfortunately, we came up on the short end today. We had to do the safe thing with only three races to go, including today's, and the way the Porsche team has been gunning for us. The Porsche team earned its win today."
BMWs 1-2 IN GRAND SPORTS, 1-2-3 IN SPORTS CLASS OF SPEEDVISION RACE Terry Borcheller and Andy Pilgrim led a 1-2 BMW M3 finish in Friday's 2-hour, 45-minute Speedvision Cup race. Meanwhile, Mike Fitzgerald and Peter Cunningham co-drove to the Sports class victory in their BMW 328is to lead a 1-2-3 BMW finish and clinched the Sports class manufacturer's championship for BMW with one race left. Borcheller also joined Lee Ezell in the BMW M3 that finished second in Grand Sports. Anthony Massari and Charlie Postins co-drove the second-place BMW 328 in the Sports class, while Michael Culver and Eric Tresslar co-drove the third-place-finishing BMW 328is. Pilgrim and Borcheller are tied for the Grand Sports class driver's points lead, and BMW leads the Grand Sports manufacturer's points with only next month's event at Road Atlanta remaining. In Sports, Culver holds a 15-point lead over second-place Fitzgerald atop the driver's standings.