The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

BMW Team PTG M3 GTR On Track

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
June 15, 2001

PTG M3 GTR Testing is On Track and On Course

BMW Team PTG successfully completed a three-day test of its new 4.0-liter V8-powered BMW M3 GTR at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., this week. In very hot and humid conditions the testing team of PTG and BMW Motorsport engineers and technicians ran the newest M3 racer approximately 500 miles around the 3.7-mile circuit with very positive results. Boris Said established benchmark times with the No. 6 M3 CSL (6-cylinder) that he and Hans Stuck drove to fourth place at this year's 12 Hours of Sebring while Yokohama tire technicians mounted new test tires on the equally-new GTR-specification BBS wheels. Following the replacement of one faulty part after its first lap, the GTR performed flawlessly, producing so much data the CD burner in the trailer was working overtime as four laptop screens glowed with the good news. Bill Auberlen, Niclas Jonsson and Hans Stuck each spent time behind the wheel, the honor of taking the first lap going to the veteran Stuck. Testing will continue next week at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, W. Va., as PTG prepares to debut two BMW M3 GTRs at the X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point International Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on July 22, the third round of the 2001 American Le Mans Series.

Tom Milner, Prototype Technology Group team owner:

"We expected to go a little faster than the times set during the 12 Hours in March even though the conditions were not perfect. We were able to test the GTR directly against the six-cylinder CSL and we saw the expected performance increase - not only because of the GTR's added power, but the handling and braking capabilities are improved due to the car's lighter weight. We are quite happy."

Hans Stuck, driver:

"The GTR has a great throttle response which makes it easier to drive and it has a very nice development of torque - exactly what a driver wants. It is more than I expected. I am really impressed with what this engine can do."

Bill Auberlen, driver:

"Once again BMW has built a race car with a heart. The M3 GTR will definitely connect with fans because when they hear it go by the sound it makes is unbelievable. Right out of the box it is the best GT car I have ever driven."

Niclas Jonsson, driver:

"The GTR is a completely different animal. From the second the tires touched the ground you could feel that this was a race car. So crisp, so responsive, so precise, so balanced. We are all very happy."

Tom Salkowsky, Motorsport Manager, BMW of North America, LLC:

"It is a very exciting time for our motorsports program in the U.S., and this marks the culmination of a lot of long hours and hard work. The entire PTG team has done an outstanding job of building its first GTR in less than two months to prepare for this test. For us this is an important milestone in terms of race-car development and allowing the drivers to become accustomed to their new car. In addition, PTG's engineers can now take this data, analyze it and apply any modifications to the construction of their second GTR. We have less than five weeks before Sears Point so there is little room for error, but we have tremendous confidence in PTG and the team's proven abilities."

BMW is Featured Marque at Pennsylvania Concours d'Elegance

On June 16, Niclas Jonsson, Hans Stuck and Tom Milner will represent Team PTG at the 12th Concours d'Elegance of the Eastern United States in Bethlehem, Pa., to help celebrate BMW's selection as this year's featured marque. In addition to showcasing rare and unique road-going BMW cars and motorcycles, BMW of North America will transform a section of the show field into a paddock worthy of any of the world's great road-racing circuits with 25 years of BMW sports-racing cars represented. Along with two PTG M3s other significant racing BMWs will include the 1999 Sebring-winning V12 LMR, a 1996 McLaren F1, a 1980 M1 Procar and a 1977 320 Turbo. The Concours D'Elegance of the Eastern United States is held at Lehigh University's Mountaintop campus and benefits the Burn Prevention Foundation.

Text provided by Bill Cobb

Editors Note: To view hundreds of hot racing photos and art, visit The Racing Photo Museum and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.