Bill Auberlen took the long road to a very close fourth-place finish to lead BMW Team PTG to strong fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and eighth-place finishes today in Round 2 of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship at Mosport International Raceway in...
Bill Auberlen took the long road to a very close fourth-place finish to lead BMW Team PTG to strong fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and eighth-place finishes today in Round 2 of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Phil McClure took his second win of the season in his No. 73 Corvette in the 30-lap contest.
Starting his No. 7 BMW Team PTG M3 from the pole, Auberlen jumped the standing start and was forced to the pits on lap five to serve a stop-and-go penalty. In a determined drive back through the field he recorded the quickest lap of the race (1:25.319) on lap 20 to finish only a fender's length from the podium.
Hans Stuck drove a solid race in his No. 8 BMW Team PTG M3 to finish fifth with teammate Boris Said's No. 6 BMW Team PTG M3 just behind him in sixth.
In his first race with BMW Team PTG, Justin Marks survived a spin to finish eighth in his No. 80 BMW Team PTG M3.
After two rounds BMW Team PTG drivers are third (Auberlen), fourth (Stuck), 12th (Said) and 14th (Marks) in the Driver's Championship and BMW stands fifth in the Manufacturer's Championship, only one point out of fourth.
The Mosport race is scheduled to be broadcast on Speed Channel at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 24.
BMW Team PTG heads to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., for Rounds 3 and 4 of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship on May 24 and 26.
BILL AUBERLEN, NO. 7 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (fourth):
"I jumped the start because I wanted to be right on the light, but I was way early. Four laps later I was called in for a stop-and-go and I thought my race was over, but Dave Gahagan (crew chief) and the guys prepared such a good M3 that I was able to push as hard as I could. We are lacking horsepower, so Mosport is a circuit where we will be beaten on the straights, but Lime Rock will be a different story."
HANS STUCK, NO. 8 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (fifth):
"We have a disadvantage up these hills. Even in the slipstream I could not stay with the car ahead. I did race with Boris quite a bit and I can tell you that I would rather have him in the car with me than driving against me. He has exactly the same driving style as me and I would not have been able to pass him except for the fact that he caught some traffic and I could go by. I think most fans forget that we have the least horsepower in the field and to give this kind of performance I think Team PTG is doing a great job."
BORIS SAID, NO. 6 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (sixth):
"My M3 was 100 percent today and I got a much better result than I had at Sebring. We need a little more horsepower for the straights. Hans was a bit faster than me and got by me when I was held up. I didn't fight hard with him, but I fought hard behind him. We have three races in three weeks so you have to take that into consideration out there. We have no damage so it will be easy for the team to get the cars ready for Lime Rock."
JUSTIN MARKS, NO. 80 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (eighth):
"I got a good start, but as soon as everyone got into a line it was difficult for me to stay up with Boris and Hans. I am a little upset with myself because I overcooked it going into turn five and looped the car. I lost two positions, but got one of them back. All-in-all a good race for me and a top-10 finish for BMW."
TOM MILNER, OWNER BMW TEAM PTG:
"Clearly this race proved that the M3 handles very well, but we don't have as much horsepower on the straights as our competitors. Lime Rock will be a better track for the M3, but it will be important for us to start in the front as the Audis have an advantage on the standing start and we can't let them get away from us."
TOM SALKOWSKY, MOTORSPORT MANAGER, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC:
"Of course, we would like to be on the podium, but finishing as well as we did proves the durability and reliability of the M3. I have to give credit to Bill Auberlen. He had a mistake at the start, but showed his true character by driving back through the field to fourth. The M3 handles wonderfully, but our 3.2-liter engine is the smallest in the GT class. Justin Marks had a very consistent first race with Team PTG and except for one bad lap did a great job. Lime Rock is next and we have a great history there so we look forward to next weekend."