Auberlen, Simo Lead PTG BMW M3 Sweep in GT3, Duez, Said, Another Simo Capture GT2 at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga., June 21, 1998: The PTG BMW M3 team persevered through intense heat and humidity and the uncertainty of a redesigned ...
Auberlen, Simo Lead PTG BMW M3 Sweep in GT3, Duez, Said, Another Simo Capture GT2 at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga., June 21, 1998: The PTG BMW M3 team persevered through intense heat and humidity and the uncertainty of a redesigned race course to take a 1-2 finish in the GT3 class and GT2 honors in today's 3-hour, 45-minute Sports Car Grand Prix at Road Atlanta, Round Four of the Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc.-sanctioned GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive.
Bill Auberlen and Mark Simo guided the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door home in front of the No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door of teammates Ross Bentley and Peter Cunningham for PTG's sixth consecutive 1-2 finish in GT3 this year.
The trio of Marc Duez, Boris Said and late-add Brian Simo captured PTG's fourth GT2 victory in as many attempts this year in the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe.
"It was closer than it really looked, especially in GT2," said PTG owner Tom Milner, whose team has won 10 consecutive GT3 races dating back to last year's Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., event at Pikes Peak. "Unfortunately, we lost two of our top Porsche GT3 competitors before we got to qualifying this weekend. I would rather have had them here duking it out with us. But, then again, I think back to just two years ago when we were struggling and I can't complain. Everyone did a marvelous job once again."
"Road Atlanta treated us better this year than last (when the team managed only a fifth-place finish and two DNFs)," added Scott Doniger, M Brand manager, BMW of North America, Inc.
"The (almost 100-degree) heat and a lively GT1 vs. World Sports Car race played havoc with our strategy," Doniger added. "But it was another consistent effort by the whole team. We expected a real dogfight this weekend, but our competitors (who dropped out Saturday) will be back, and we'll be prepared."
The SPORTS CAR series resumes with Round Five at Mosport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, August 7-9.
TRANS-AM REGULAR BRIAN SIMO DEBUTS IN A PTG BMW M3
Brian Simo, twin brother of regular PTG BMW M3 driver Mark Simo, was pressed into action this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe in GT2. He arrived early Saturday morning after a red-eye flight from Southern California, brought in as additional support with regular PTG driver Boris Said taking part in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Bristol, Tenn., on Friday and Saturday. "Getting up to speed in the BMW M3 wasn't nearly as difficult as the all-night flight that brought me here," Brian Simo said. "This is a great opportunity. These cars are unbelievable. Just showing up in the middle of the weekend, with the setups all in place by this talented group of drivers is like having a chauffeur. Trans-Am cars have an edge in horsepower, but these BMWs are definitely comparable in lap times. It's nice to get into something different for a change of pace. My first impression was amazement at how fast the BMW M3s are. I'm certainly learning a few things about how to finesse my way around the racetrack."
BMW 328is WINS TWO IN A ROW IN TWO WEEKENDS
Local favorite Mike Fitzgerald, of Atlanta, and Steve Pfeffer, of Lebanon, N.H., co-drove a BMW 328is to victory in the Sports class of Saturday's 2-hour, 45-minute Speedvision Cup race at Road Atlanta for stock sports cars. Fitzgerald co-drove the same car to the Sports class victory in last week's Motorola Cup race at Mid-Ohio, a similar series sanctioned by the rival USRRC. The Road Atlanta victory was the team's fifth in a row this season. The BMW 328is of Michael Culver, of Fairfield, Conn., and Eric Tresslar, of Denver, finished second in the Sports class Saturday.