USRRC: PTG BMW M3 Grabs GT3 Pole at Mid-Ohio
14 June 1998PROTOTYPE TECHNOLOGY GROUP - Press Notes for Saturday, June 13, 1998 United States Road Racing Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio)
AUBERLEN QUALIFIES PTG BMW M3 ON THE GT3 POLE; BENTLEY THIRD
Bill Auberlen grabbed the GT3 pole while PTG teammate Ross Bentley took the third spot on the GT3 grid in qualifying today for Sunday's 2-hour U.S. Road Racing Classic at the scenic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Auberlen, paired with Boris Said in the No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 this weekend, toured the 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio road course in 1 minute, 28.689 seconds, an average of 91.330 mph. Bentley, teamed with Mark Simo in the No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 four-door, recorded a fast lap of 1:30.729 (89.276 mph), just behind the No. 23 Porsche 911 of Cort Wagner (1:29.251, 90.755 mph) that took second on the GT3 grid. It was the second GT3 pole of the season for Auberlen in the three USRRC-sanctioned races thus far, the first coming at the season-opening Daytona 24-Hour. He missed Round Two at Homestead, Fla., due to a conflicting race in Europe. It was Auberlen's third GT3 pole overall this year, including the Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc.-sanctioned Sebring 12-Hour event. PTG BMW M3s have started on the pole 20 times in all since 1995.
BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door: "We made some good decisions that paid off for us today. The track was still kind of damp in places (after late-morning rain showers that passed through between practice and qualifying) but the crew decided to send me out on a great set of Yokohama racing slicks. It turned out to be the right call since we had only 13 minutes to qualify. We took it easy the first part of the session while the track dried, and then stepped up the pace at the end of the session. A lot of teams went out on intermediates (lightly grooved tires for partially wet conditions), came in to put on their slicks, and didn't have time to get up to speed. We made a lot of progress in a short amount of time on the track the last two days. We ran our quickest laps of the weekend in partially wet conditions. I'm looking forward to going out and running hard tomorrow."
ROSS BENTLEY, No. 1 Yokohama/Fina BMW M3 Four-Door: "I can't say I'm totally satisfied, but for these conditions, we did the best we could. We made some changes that helped solve some problems we had yesterday, but it created some problems in other areas for us today. We'll go back and try to make some compromises for tomorrow. But overall, I think we have a car that we can run at a good, consistently quick pace. I think we'll be in good shape."
REVISED ROAD ATLANTA TELEVISION SCHEDULE: With the Speedvision broadcast of this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio moved to next Sunday (June 21) at 1 p.m. EDT, the first broadcast of next Sunday's SPORTS CAR Grand Prix at Road Atlanta has been rescheduled for Monday, June 22, from 9-11 p.m. EDT on Speedvision. Tomorrow's race here at Mid-Ohio, set to start at 2 p.m. EDT, will first be shown on a same-day, tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.