PSCR: PTG BMW M3s Sweep GT3 at Lime Rock; Win GT2
27 May 1998Ross Bentley and Peter Cunningham co-drove to victory in the No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door to lead a 1-2 team sweep in today's Round Three of the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing GT Series Presented by Virgin Interactive event at Lime Rock Park near Lakeville, Conn. Bentley and Cunningham started third on the GT3 grid but reaped the benefits of a timely pit stop just during the race's only caution period just over a third of the way through the race. They took over the lead for good when teammate Bill Auberlen pitted under green conditions in the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door with just over 30 minutes to go in the race. Auberlen started second on the GT3 grid but moved into the lead by the very first turn of the race and held it before pitting for fuel and handing the car over to co-driver Mark Simo. The GT3 pole-sitting Porsche 911 of Cort Wagner and Darryl Havens finished third.
BMW M3s have now won 18 of their last 20 GT3 races since 1995 (all but two sanctioned by SPORTS CAR). PTG has won 17 of those races. PTG BMW M3s have finished 1-2 in every SPORTS CAR GT3 race this year (Sebring, Las Vegas and Lime Rock) and have finished 1-2 four times in a row, including last weekend's result in Homestead, Fla.
In the GT2 class, Marc Duez and Boris Said led from start to finish in the No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 coupe to capture the team's second consecutive GT2 victory in SPORTS CAR competition and the third in a row overall for a BMW M3. Andy Pilgrim and Terry Borcheller drove a privateer Massari-Muller BMW M3 to the GT2 win at last weekend's USRRC event at Homestead, Fla. Today's GT2 and GT3 victories bring the victory total to 21 wins in the last 23 attempts for BMW M3s.
ROSS BENTLEY, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "The car ran absolutely great, and we got the pit strategy to work in our favor. The yellow came out at just the right time for us and we got a great pit stop. Peter (Cunningham) got in and took it the rest of the way from there. I'd like to say it was luck, but that's not fair to the team because good things just seem to happen when the team keeps doing such an excellent job."
PETER CUNNINGHAM, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "(PTG team owner) Tom (Milner) and his guys did another super job today. They keep giving us great cars to race and it really allows us to just put our head down, grab onto the wheel and go."
BORIS SAID, No. 6 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Coupe (GT2): "The BMW ran absolutely perfectly, like it does every week. I have four wins in five races, and the other one was a second-place finish. It doesn't get any better than that. It sure is nice to have the Williams or the McLaren of GT3 racing in the United States."
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door (GT3): "We worked really hard to stay in the lead as long as we could, perhaps hoping for another yellow, but it wasn't meant to be. My power steering stopped working very early along, so it was an incredible effort every single lap to keep the BMW up front. If we could have gotten another yellow, it might have worked out for us, but in the end it was another team victory and another team victory for BMW."
SCOTT DONIGER, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc.: "This was a great set of results on our home track. We had 300 BMW employees here (from company headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) enjoying it all, and it's an awesome feeling to deliver the ultimate results. Porsche put up a great battle all weekend, but the team just keeps outdoing itself."