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Privateer BMW Finishes 5th in Rolex 24

31 January 1999

Privateer BMW M3 Finishes Fifth

Rolex 24 at Daytona - Daytona International Speedway -
Daytona Beach, Fla. 


FIFTH The Nos. 10 and 6 Yokohama/Flextronics Int'l/Level One BMW M3
four-doors of Tom Milner's Prototype Technology Group both fell victim to
terminal problems before the race was 15 hours old, but the No. 17 T.C.
Kline Racing BMW M3 perservered with a fifth-place finish in the 37th
annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.  

Shane Lewis, Bob Mazzuoccola, Randy Pobst and Mark Raccaro co-drove the
No. 17 BMW M3, which completed 622 laps of the 3.56-mile oval/road course
at Daytona International Speedway and was the highest-finishing of five
BMW M3s in the race. The No. 23 Aled Job Racing Porsche took first place
in GT3, completing 639 laps and finishing sixth overall. The No. 10
PTG BMW M3s saw its race come to a premature end when the left-front
suspension broke on track just short of the 15-hour mark. It completed
238 laps before retiring, and placed 25th in GT3 and 60th overall. The
No. 6 PTG BMW M3. The No. 6 PTG BMW M3, which spent some five hours
in the garage after the second hour making engine repairs, and lost
another hour making transmission repairs during the 10th and 11th hours,
succumbed to engine problems during the 12th hour completing 247 laps
and placed 24th in GT3, 60th overall.

Two other BMW M3s, the Nos. 54 and 45 Bell Motorsports entries, also
made it to the end of this grueling season opener. The No. 54 M3 was
eighth in GT3, 17th overall, and completed 602 laps. The No. 45 M3 was
14th in GT3, 36th overall, and completed 467 laps.

With the retirements, the PTG team's streak of two consecutive Rolex
24 victories and four consecutive Daytona/Sebring endurance classics
was ended.

BILL AUBERLEN, No. 10 Yokohama/Flextronics Int'l/Level One BMW M3
Four-Door - Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don't. It's not
for lack of trying by the crew and everyone involved with this program,
but we were the victims of plain, old bad luck."  

SCOTT DONIGER, M Brand Manager, BMW of North America, Inc. - "I guess the
law of averages is catching up with us. We've enjoyed so much success that
it was bound to catch up with us, and this weekend, it came in spades. But
now, Daytona owes us one, and we're that much more determined to come
back strong for the American Le Mans Series opener at Sebring next month."

TOM MILNER, PTG Team Owner - "There are two ways to approach this
race. You can come here just to say you finish, and you can come
here to win it. We won this race two years in a row (in 1997-98), but
regardless of that, we are here to win no matter what the case. But,
unfortunately, we paid the price for our success over the last few
years this weekend. The rulesmakers have us running much heavier, with
narrower rear tires, and with a rev limit compared to the Porsches we're
supposed to compete against. But trying to keep up with them under those
circumstances for a 24-hour race ...  well, you saw that both of our
cars were packed away in the garage before the sun came up. The rules
took their toll on our cars. It's unfortunate for everyone on our team
who has worked so hard to become successful."

T.C. KLINE, Team Owner, T.C. Kline Racing - "Tom Milner and his PTG
organization certainly build a good car and a good motor. This is one
owe bought from them last year before the Petit Le Mans. The M3 was
virtually flawless. We did lose some time with a problem with a brake
caliper during the last three hours. And one of the Vipers spun in front
of us early on, forcing us to run into a curb with our right front and
damaging the splitter. But, other than that, it's a thrill to be standing
here at the finish in our very first time racing here in GT3. It's a
credit to the crew, many of whom have been with us for 10 years, and
our drivers and sponsors (Aspen Knolls). I can't wait for Sebring!"