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Old 04-11-2004, 06:25 PM
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SteveT SteveT is offline
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PTG Phoenix Result - ***Real Spoiler***

BMW Team PTG Capture’s Second Rolex Series GT Victory at Food City 250

Phoenix, Ariz. (April 10, 2004) – Bill Auberlen and Boris Said drove the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3 to the GT class victory in today’s Food City 250 at Phoenix International Raceway. In a race marked by seven caution periods for numerous accidents, BMW Team PTG persevered and made smart pit decisions to win its second consecutive Rolex Sports Car Series race of the season. The duo completed 129 laps of the 1.51-mile circuit, finishing one lap ahead of the second place car.

BMW stands second in the GT Manufacturer Point Standings and the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3 moves up to third in GT Team Owner Points. Said is tied for second in the GT Driver Point Standings and Auberlen moves to third.

Auberlen and Said also captured their second Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge Bonus of the season after winning the race from the pole. Auberlen recorded the fastest lap of the race (1:01.338).

Auberlen took the green flag from the GT pole and he consolidated his lead as the 40-car field began to stretch out. On lap 26, the race’s second caution period, Auberlen had the chance to pit. He came in for tires and fuel and rejoined the race in third. He moved quickly back to the front and continued to lead until pitting for fuel on lap 42 when the race was slowed for a fourth yellow flag. The second place Porsche was forced to stop under green on lap 68 and lost two laps to the No. 21 M3. BMW Team PTG’s decision to pit Auberlen at the right time gave the No. 21 car the advantage to claim their second victory in a row.

Boris Said entered the car on lap 87 during the fifth caution period of the race. He rejoined the race with fresh tires and enough fuel to make it to the end.

While Auberlen and Said enjoyed good fortune at the front, BMW Team PTG teammate Justin Mark’s race was interrupted in the worst way. His race ended early on lap 11 after moving up to second from his fourth starting spot. Two cars spun ahead of him in turn four and blocked the track. With nowhere to go, Marks impacted the No. 9 Daytona Prototype. The heavily damaged No. 22 M3 was retired from the race.

BMW Team PTG will travel to Canada and its first visit to Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant for Round Four on May 21-23.

BORIS SAID, DRIVER NO. 21 BMW TEAM PTG M3: “We had great pit strategy today. Tom called a great race. Once the No. 45 Porsche lost two laps, we just coasted home. This track does not have a lot of room and there was not much give and take out there. Luckily the pack had thinned out quite a bit by the time I got into the car.”

BILL AUBERLEN, DRIVER NO. 21 BMW TEAM PTG M3: “It was really, really crazy out there. On a tight track like this, everyone’s speed is closer than you would think. The Daytona Prototypes can’t just blow past us on the straights so you have to be very careful when they pass you. At the start of the race I was in fourth entering turn one, but they all bunched up and I was able to go around all of them. I moved ahead and stayed out of trouble. No problems at all. The M3 was running perfectly.”

JUSTIN MARKS, DRIVER NO. 22 BMW TEAM PTG M3: “Racing is full of highs and lows and today was a low for the No. 22 car. I am very sorry for Joey and all the guys on the team. We clearly had a great BMW today. The start was a little mad, but it settled down and I moved up. Unfortunately, I was a victim of circumstance. The track was blocked in front of me and I had nowhere to go.”

TOM MILNER, OWNER BMW TEAM PTG: “We timed all the stops just right. We got in under the yellows twice and that gained us the laps. It is too bad about the No. 22 car. Justin was just an innocent by-stander.”

HERNANDO CARVAJAL, MOTORSPORT MANAGER, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC: “Congratulations again to the team. We had excellent pit strategy and everyone did a great job. We will hope for better luck for Justin and Joey next time.”
The race was a demolition derby because of the tight track and speed of the cars. Too bad PTG lost the Marks/Hand car to contact, but lucky they had a driver pair like Auberlen and Said in other car. To top it off, the G&W DP car made the podium in 3rd. Kelly Collins and Cort Wagner were very good. With Turner doing well in GAC it's going to be interesting in Grand Am for BMW.

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Old 04-12-2004, 09:33 AM
christy98M3 christy98M3 is offline
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Congratulations to Bill and Boris for another great finish, and an overall great weekend for BMW. Hopefully things will go better for Justin and Joey at the next race. It would be awesome to see them get 1st!
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:42 AM
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Demolition derby!? Those DP's were divebombing everyone like a war was on. No wonder there was 7 full-course yellows. I'm surprised there were not more.
Eric (the Obsessed)

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Old 04-12-2004, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by OBS3SSION
Demolition derby!? Those DP's were divebombing everyone like a war was on. No wonder there was 7 full-course yellows. I'm surprised there were not more.
I noticed that too...the traffic was really tight in places and they were hacking and slashing their way through...

I couldn't believe when the top two DP's split around that Ferrari 360 going INTO a turn near the end of the race. I don't see how no one ended up in the dirt
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from the responsibility...I welcome it!" - JFK
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Old 04-12-2004, 10:27 AM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Hm...Was that this past weekend? I think B.A. was doing some extra duty as tester for SCTS Retroracer as well.
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:25 PM
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scottn2retro scottn2retro is offline
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Originally Posted by The HACK
Hm...Was that this past weekend? I think B.A. was doing some extra duty as tester for SCTS Retroracer as well.
Unfortunately, we never got Bill in our car, but that was a great effort by PTG. There had been a problem with the car earlier in the weekend. (I ran into Bill's mom in the paddock right before the race and she was pretty worried still). But whatever it was, looks like they got it straightened out.

I was looking at another spot on the track when the 22 car had the incident with a DP car, so I can't give a witness account.

The infield portion of PIR is really tight and even with the oval, lap times around 1 minute. The drivers were saying there's just no place to rest on that track.

The racing action in DP is so much better this year over last year. Lots of interesting chassis/engine combinations and more teams that are competitive.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:25 PM
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:57 PM
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Wagner and Collins, drivers in the BMW Doran took over the drivers points lead:


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Old 04-22-2004, 05:51 PM
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Tough luck for the TC Kline Z4s at Phoenix Below is a write up from one of the Z4 drivers, Donn Vickrey (touches on our club racing):

I haven't felt inspired enough to write a race report in about four years. But, the last six months racing the M3 and this weekend's combined BMWCCA/Grand Am weekend finally succeeded in reigniting the fire that had almost been extinguished a few years ago after I burned out in Spec RX7 and couldn't find the right series to transition to. With this weekend marking my first pro race - something I've wanted to do now since I first
started racing eight years ago - I think it's time to take out the pen again.

Grand Am Cup Race

The GAC race marked the first pro race for both me and my co-driver, John Tecce. I've raced since 1997, in Spec RX7, ITS (Datsun 240Z), SSB (Acura Integra) and more recently in an I-Stock M3. John started racing about three years ago in a T2 M-Coupe and is currently racing in the NASA Honda Challenge series. He also is in charge of pit strategy for the DGB Team that runs two Porsche 996s in the Grand Am Cup GS class (the same team that raced the Z3 coupes last year in GAC).

The transition to the GAC car (Z4 no. 12) was more difficult than I had expected. For some reason I thought I'd be able to jump in and get up to speed right away. After all, it was a track I'd driven many times before and it was a RWD BMW. So how hard could it be? Well, the two cars proved to be completely different animals. My I-Stock car has great power, relatively tall gearing, a very precise feeling UUC shifter, mushy stock-class
handling and Toyo RA1s with a very consistent feel to them (for hours upon hours). The Z4 had less power, much shorter gearing, a shifter that felt more like a stock 996 than any BMW I'd ever driven, much better grip during the first half hour or so of track time, and absolutely no grip after about 40 minutes on the Hoosier spec tire. And then there are those intangibles that make two racecars very, very different. In the end, there were enough differences that my rhythm was seriously disrupted and my lap times were a good
second off of what I had expected in the first practice session.

If I had one strike against me (unfamiliarity with the GAC car), my co-driver John Tecce had at least two and a half strikes against him. Not only had he never driven the Z4, but he had no seat time at PIR. And, something I didn't realize at the time, he had a further disadvantage by being the second driver in both of our Thursday practice sessions. In
short, the car that I turned over to him in each of the first two sessions was on the backside of the tire's peak grip, with grip falling off in each successive lap.

While we had trouble getting used to the car, the weekend started out bad, and just got worse, for teammates Will Scott and Neal Sapp (driving the 71 car). Will drove first and got about 20 minutes in during practice session 1. Neal jumped in to finish off session 1. He turned in a nice 1:10.9, then an 11 something, then... an eerie quiet came over both over the radio and on the computerized lap chart that we were watching from pit lane.
Unfortunately the engine had lost power, leaving Neal stranded on course...
and the team's troubles were just about to begin. As it turned out, the engine had dropped at least one cylinder and the car was unable to qualify on Friday.

With John's lack of PIR seat time, we'd made arrangements ahead of time with the BMWCCA officials to put John in my M3 for several sessions. (Thanks very much to the Club, Joe Cantaneo, Jim Fluckey, Jim McCashin and crew for allowing John to run my car in two sessions!) So John took practice session 2 (Thurs) and race no. 2 (Sat) in my car, and I think in the end that paid huge dividends. In the second GAC practice session both John and I were able to take another few seconds off of our respective lap times. By the end of the session, we'd put in a 1:11.4 and were looking reasonably competitive.

Friday morning rolled around and it was time to make a tough decision...which driver should qualify the car. With fewer strikes against me, we decided to have John qualify and start the car, so that John could start the race on fresh tires. I'd then take over with suboptimal tires, but with more experience at PIR to hopefully compensate. Having John qualify the car would also give him more seat time at PIR. So, the decision was made, and I think in the end it worked out for the best.

Saturday's race proved to be a real learning experience for me. I'd raced in two enduros before, driving solo both times. Since these were amateur races, there was a mandatory 5 minute pit stop that we'd used just to refuel the car. Running on Toyo RA1s, there was never any need to change tires as they are just as good on lap two as they are on the final lap, assuming you don't abuse them. Also, I'd driven both events solo, so driver changes were not an issue. To make matters even simpler, the pits were closed during any
full course caution, so you could not pit under yellow. The biggest challenge
therefore was finding a funnel that could flow 10 gallons of fuel in about 3
minutes - a problem we solved with about $5 worth of tubing and miscellaneous bits from Home Depot, and a little McGuyver-like modification to my Racer Wholesale funnel. Things would prove far more complex in Grand Am.

The race day started off with two near calamities. The 71 car was not running right after receiving an engine transplant overnight. T.C. was confident that it was water in the fuel line. Still, the car stalled on grid and ultimately had to start from the pits one lap down. Our car also had a near fatal flaw which I won't get into. But, T.C. diagnosed the problem
quickly and had it corrected with 5 minutes to spare.

The race started out reasonably well for us. John was going faster and faster with each lap as he continued to learn PIR and the Z4 which he'd only spent a total of about 35 minutes in prior to the race. Meanwhile, Neal started the 71 car a lap down on what sounded like 5 cylinders. Despite thelack of power, he was able to turn in reasonable lap times and the carappeared to be getting stronger and stronger. Eventually, as T.C.
surmised,the water that had somehow entered the fuel system was purged/burned-off
and the car began running strong. At one point Neal turned another 1:10.9,
whichwas one of the faster laps of the race.

One of the lessons of the weekend for me was the fact that standing in the pits watching your co-driver on the track is far harder than driving the car yourself. The pre-race jitters multiply by a factor of ten. And while you want to somehow will the car to go faster, you can't do a thing to influence the outcome.

John soldiered on for about 50 minutes gaining a number of positions as attrition started to set in. As far as I could tell, he only made one mistake; a mistake that I'd repeat just after getting in the car... and one that I hope the Speed Channel cameras didn't pick up.

At the 50 minute mark, John pulled in and cranked the wheels to the right (to make pit exit easier), shoved the seat back (to make the driver change easier) and hopped out through the top of the roll cage (no roof) and over the jungle gym structure. I then climbed up and dropped straight down through the jungle gym into the driver's seat and let T.C.'s guys do their magic - belting me in, moving the seat and refueling the car. In a space of time that was too short to think about/worry about much of anything, the
guys were done and I was out on the track.

While I'd found the Hoosiers to have really good grip in my 30 minutes or so of seat time in the Z4 on Thursday, by the time I got in the car on Saturday afternoon they had degraded to an extent that I'd never considered possible. This necessitated a change to my approach in a few areas. For example, I short shifted to fifth just before entering Nascar turn 3 rather than shifting at the exit to the turn as I approached the rev limiter. I also took Neal's advice to tighten up my line in the infield.

Things seemed to be going relatively well, yet at the same time the tires continued to lose grip. Over the radio we continued to discuss fuel loads and a possible right rear tire change. Meanwhile, the attrition continued and we picked up a few more spots here and there, although lap times continued to degrade as the grip fell off.

My greatest mistake - call it a rookie mistake - was misunderstanding T.C. regarding the tire situation. I was waiting for him to make the call on when to come in. He was waiting for me to make the call. Ultimately, we waited too long to make the switch as grip pretty much fell off a cliff with about 25 minutes left to go. Despite the poor timing, we decided to go ahead and make the tire change - after the car slid so wide on the oval that I got
off in the marbles and headed in the direction of the wall, just narrowly
missing it.

With the new right rear (the only tire we changed during the entire race), we began turning our fastest laps of the day. I'm relatively certain we were the fastest car on the track at the time. Slowly but surely we began to reel in Mario Rigoli who held the 10 spot.

As I was chasing Mario, the 71 car met its final fate for the weekend. Will had been admonished by race control a few times for letting his car exit over the curbing at the exit to turn 5. With the threat of a stop and go looming, he tried to pinch the exit tight one last time and the backend stepped out. He attempted to correct, but shot across the track and
tagged the inside wall. A bad end to a bad weekend for the guys in the 71 car.

With about 4 laps to go, I caught up to Mario and began to look for a way around him. Unfortunately, on my first attempt to make a move on Mario, I made a bobble coming up on the oval and lost some ground. But I caught up with one and a half laps to go and was on Mario's backside as we approached the starter stand to begin the last lap. He took a low line forcing me around the outside. I took a late entry to turn one and tried to dive
down to the inside. Mario kept tight and gave me virtually no room to work
with. I stayed on his rear through turns 2 and 3 and tried to make a dive
under him at turn 4. But he'd have nothing of it and left me insufficient room
to make a reasonable pass. Basically, he gave me enough room for a 50%
chance of success. But, the flip side of the coin was that if I failed and
tagged him in the side, neither of us would take the 10th spot at the checker.
So, I harassed him through 5, 6, 7 and 8. At the entry to 9, he took the
inside line and I again took a wide entry in the hopes of jumping along side.
He had a good launch onto the oval, however, and I was only able to pull up
just behind him, allowing him to again take a low line around the oval.
I followed right on his bumper, but was unable to pull along side through
the final turn as Mario left less than a car width between himself and the
lower apron where grip falls off. As the flag stand approached I jumped out of
his slip stream and attempted to pull along side, but there just wasn't
enough momentum to make the pass by start-finish and Mario finished less than
1/100th of a second ahead of me to take 10th.

In hindsight, the best strategy would have been for us to take two new
tires at our driver change, as the second place Turner Motorsport team did.
Better yet, we should have taken on four new tires like the winning RX-8 did.
But, I don't think the team realized that we'd get such good fuel mileage and
they expected to have to make another fuel stop. As it turns out, it would
not have been necessary. With that slight change in tactics, I think
that we could have finished somewhere in the top 8 or so. Higher if we'd had a
little more seat time in the car (and at PIR for John). Given our chosen
strategy, we also probably could have finished at least 9th had I realized
that T.C. wanted me to make the call on when to make the tire change.
Call it a rookie mistake that I will never make again. Regardless, John and I
had a blast and look forward to our next GAC event. I'm not sure what John's
plans are, but I'd like to run the GAC races at Watkins Glen and Fontana
assuming I can get a kitchen pass.


The BMWCCA race provided a nice low key, relaxing escape from the otherwise
hectic weekend. The first practice session was useful in showing me that the
setup which worked well at the Firebird East track two weeks ago was pretty
much worthless at PIR, costing me about a second a lap versus the last time I visited PIR in February. The fix (a quick sway bar adjustment) was easy enough and I picked up about a second and a half in Friday's practice session. (John Tecce drove my car in the second practice session on Thursday.)

Friday morning qualifying also went reasonably well, although the track seemed to lack grip compared to the morning session. So I pushed the car hard for 10 laps or so and came in when it was clear that there wasn't much more to be gained during the session. I ended up qualifying with a 1:12.4, which was about all that the car had in it that afternoon.

The first race started in the late afternoon sun, which can sometimes be nearly disabling due to the angle of the sun and its impact on the entry to turn 1 (coming down off the oval onto the road course section). I recall a race back in 1999 when the glare was so bad that we were entering turn 1 based solely on timing and peripheral vision - the entry to the turn could not actually be seen. This was one of those races that sticks in your head
due to the adversity that somehow actually makes the experience more memorable. In that race my car was down on power and I was battling another hard charging Spec RX7 driver for the remaining podium spot. Lap after lap I'd take a low line around the entire oval section of the track, minimizing the distance and forcing him to enter turn 1 from the outside. (The same trick Mario Rigoli used on me in the GAC race...) Lap after lap we dove
down side by side, although neither of us could actually see the entry to the
turn. It was an awesome battle. But I digress... back to 2004.

The race started off clean and I retained my starting position (P5) just behind Bits Fajardo in his HP E46 M3. Ahead of Bits was Gabor Jilly in an ex-PTG M3 GTR, Mario "Wide Body" Rigoli in a DM M3, and Andrew Sanchez in another DM M3. Around lap two Gabor spun off course but it appeared that everyone made it through cleanly. I was now in P4, but the handwriting was on the wall. Gabor's SM car would eventually catch back up and pass me.
And Jason Bredeis was hooked up in his IP M3, turning laps about a second quicker than his qualifying time. My only hope was that he'd make a mistake and fall back. In the meantime, I pushed the car harder than I wanted. It worked for a while as I kept Jason behind me, while hoping he'd make a mistake. But, the mistake never happened and my tires were beginning to overheat. About that time he sneaked underneath at the entry to turn 2 and, with the race only about half over, there wasn't much point in
contesting a position that I really couldn't hold. So I backed off and let the tires
cool and made sure that Drew Maloney's E46 HP car didn't catch me from
behind. Meanwhile, Gabor made his way back through the field and I think back up
to third. But Mario had long since checked out and he cruised to a solid
win, with Andrew Sanchez not too far behind.

That was it for me in the BMWCCA sessions. I let John start my car in race 2 (Saturday morning) to get a little more seat time, and he ran the first half of the race before we had to head over to the GAC pit area. I watched the first half of the race from the BMWCCA viewing area and it was pretty entertaining. Mario checked out again and seemed to be en route to another win. John Tecce (in my I-Stock car), Geoff Auberlin (in Scott's H-Stock car) and a nice looking white J-Stock car were running together and seemed to be turning similar times. Meanwhile, Jim Edmunds was turning some surprisingly fast laps (low 13s) in his J-Stock car, just up the track from the other stockers. I didn't think a J-Stock car could do 13s at PIR. The battle between Bob Rittel, Brett Creaser, James Fluckey and PeterGooding was also highly entertaining as all four seemed pretty evenly matched.

Donn Vickrey
Scottsdale, AZ
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Last edited by scottn2retro; 04-22-2004 at 06:22 PM.
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