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Old 01-31-2005, 06:34 PM
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PTG 10th & BMWNA's 30th Anniversary

BMW Team PTG M3s Mark Important BMW Anniversaries at Daytona;
Defending Rolex GT Champions Begin 10th Season of Competition

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - January 31, 2005… When the two BMW Team PTG M3s begin testing for the weekend’s 43rd Rolex 24 at Daytona the team will be marking two very significant milestones in BMW motorsports history. The Rolex 24 at Daytona will begin the tenth season of competition for BMW M3s of BMW Team PTG and 30th anniversary of BMW of North America’s motorsport

Beginning with two BMW CSLs in 1975 emblazoned with BAVARIAN MOTOR WORKS across the tops of their windshields, BMW of North America’s racing programs have continued to prove the brand in competition for three decades. The BMW Team PTG M3 program has been the longest lived and the most successful racing program for BMW of North America. BMW Team PTG has won 46 races in both sprint and endurance racing series and 14 sports car racing championships between 1995 and 2004. In 2004, BMW Team PTG swept the Rolex Sports Car Series GT class Manufacturer, Driver and Team Points championships, winning 10 of
12 races.

In 1995, the Rolex 24 at Daytona was the very first race for the new BMW M3 effort and a BMW Team PTG M3 qualified on the GT class pole. The feat was repeated the following year as both Team PTG M3s sat on the front of the GT class grid with the M3 of David Donohue, Javier Quiros, John Paul Jr. and Peter Halsmer finishing third in class and ninth overall. BMW Team PTG
posted back-to-back wins at the 24-hour race in 1997 and 1998. The 1999 season marked the last year a Team PTG M3 competed at the Rolex 24, before returning in 2004, giving the team and the BMW M3 a very credible two wins in six attempts.

BMW has one overall victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, winning in 1976 with a 3.5 CSL driven by Peter Gregg, Brian Redman and John Fitzpatrick. In addition to the two class wins by BMW Team PTG, a BMW M1driven by Hans Stuck, Walter Brun and Rudi Walch took the GTO class win in 1981.

This year, the No. 21 BMW Team PTG M3 will be driven at Daytona by Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand, Chris Gleason and Ian James. 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series GT Driver Champion Auberlen is the most successful BMW Team PTG driver with 24 total victories and he was a co-driver on both the 1997 and 1998 Rolex 24 class winning M3s. Hand, also returning from 2004, finished sixth in
Driver Points last season. Gleason and James are successful road racing veterans and are beginning their first season with BMW Team PTG.

Justin Marks, Tom Milner, Kelly Collins and R.J. Valentine will share the No. 22 BMW Team PTG M3 in the Rolex 24. Marks will begin his third season with BMW Team PTG. He finished third in 2004 GT Driver Points, winning four races with Auberlen. Milner, son of BMW Team PTG owner Tom Milner, had three starts with BMW Team PTG in 2004, scoring a pole at Virginia International
Raceway and a second pole and the win (with Collins) at the season’s final event at California Speedway. Veteran Kelly Collins drove two races with BMW Team PTG in 2004. RJ Valentine will make his first start in a BMW Team PTG M3 at Daytona.

“The realignment of the rules this season to combine the GT and SGS classes into one GT class means all-new M3s for 2005 and retirement for our 2004 Championship cars,” said BMW Team PTG owner Tom Milner. “Building new M3s is certainly not new to PTG. If you think about it, we have been building new M3s continuously since 1995 and I believe our new M3s will prove as
capable as those in past years.”

“BMW of North America is proud to begin our fourth decade of motorsport at Daytona and our 10th season of competition with the BMW M3 and BMW Team PTG,” said Hernando Carvajal, BMW of North America Motorsports Manager. “One of the foundations of BMW and the M Brand is competition and there is no harder test in racing than the Rolex 24 at Daytona.” A special internet link has been arranged on to give media and BMW fans updates on BMW Team PTG during the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Practice and qualifying for the 43rd Rolex 24 at Daytona begins on Thursday, February 3 and continues on Friday. The race is scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM EST on Saturday with more than 14 hours of the endurance classic televised live on Speed Channel.

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