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Puerto Rico: BMW GT qualifying notes

Puerto Rico Qualifying: BMW Team PTG to start fourth, fifth, seventh and 10th in Speed GT. Boris Said was the quickest of the BMW Team PTG M3 drivers in today's 30-minute qualifying session for the 10th and final round of the 2003 SCCA Pro...

Puerto Rico Qualifying: BMW Team PTG to start fourth, fifth, seventh and 10th in Speed GT.

Boris Said was the quickest of the BMW Team PTG M3 drivers in today's 30-minute qualifying session for the 10th and final round of the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT Championship at the Isla Grand Prix Circuit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His 1:09.329 lap around the 1.6-mile, 10-turn circuit was good for the fourth starting spot - his fifth top-five start this season.

Bill Auberlen, second in the Speed GT Driver's Championship standings and chasing the title, qualified fifth with a 1:09.372 lap. He made a second charge for the pole in the closing minutes of the session, but went wide in the last corner and was forced to abort his attempt. Both Said and Auberlen gained one Driver's Championship point for qualifying in the top five.

Hans Stuck will start seventh (1:09.432) and Justin Marks rounds out the top 10 with his fastest time of the weekend (1:10.035).

In this morning's final practice session all four BMW team PTG drivers improved their times from yesterday, with Auberlen quickest overall in the field with a 1:08.908 lap. Stuck was fifth fastest (1:09.121), Said sixth (1:09.372) and Marks 11th (1:10.152).

The four BMW Team PTG drivers stand in the top 10 in the Driver's Championship with Auberlen second, Stuck fourth, Said sixth and Marks eighth.

BMW leads the Manufacturer's Championship by one point over Audi.

Sunday's 50-minute, standing-start race is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m.

BORIS SAID, NO. 6 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (fourth):
"We found a problem in the left front of the car after this morning's practice and the crew worked up a sweat getting it fixed. This afternoon my M3 was very good. I only did a couple of laps to save the tires so I have the maximum left for the race."

BILL AUBERLEN, NO. 7 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (fifth):
"We were the fastest every session, but went backwards in qualifying. I believe I know what the problem was, but we will confirm it tonight. We will be ready."

HANS STUCK, NO. 8 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (seventh):
"I am happy with my qualifying. Our plan was to do as few laps as possible to save the tires, so my time was not the fastest of the weekend. I'll watch the race start from seventh and be ready to move forward."

JUSTIN MARKS, NO. 80 BMW TEAM PTG M3 (10th):
"We kept getting faster in qualifying and I was able to do my fastest lap of the weekend. The new tires made a big difference in that. I am in a tight battle for seventh in the points - only four points from David Farmer in sixth. He is starting right in front of me, so getting past him is the first thing I need to do."

TOM MILNER, OWNER BMW TEAM PTG:
"Qualifying is a different animal than a race. Tomorrow's race will be one of attrition and tires. Whoever makes it to the final laps with the best tires will win, and I believe the BMW M3 has the advantage."

-bmw-

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Series PWC
Drivers Boris Said , Bill Auberlen , Justin Marks , David Farmer