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BMW Wins Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring
The closest race in the 47 years of the Florida classic was won by the brand spanking new number 42 BMW V12 LMR with a margin of victory of just 9.29 seconds over the Dyson Racing Racing Riley & Scott/Ford, driven in the final minutes by ace James Weaver.  The BMW debuted by winning the pole position, under the talented hands of J.J. Lehto.  Tom Kristensen drove a double stint at the end of the race to take over the lead from the Dyson car and keep it.  "On the last pit stop, the crew let me know that, 'Tom, it's up to you now. You have to deliver,' " Kristensen said.  "They said to just go for it and that was good enough for me."  Kristensen stretched his lead to more than 22 seconds before Weaver made his charge in the closing minutes.

BMW V12 LMR
BMW V12 LMR.

The day wasn't so rosy for the second factory entered BMW V12 LMR, the number 43 car.  Driven by Joachim Winkelhock, Pierluigi Martini and Yannick Dalmas, the car retired early with 135 laps completed and finished 40th.  The car had qualified third fastest and was leading when it spun in Turn 17, ending its run.

Also entered was last year's factory BMW LeMans entry, the number 26 BMW V12 LM, driven by former PTG driver Bill Auberlen, Steve Soper, and Thomas Bscher. The car didn't fare well in the race dropping out after 127 laps and finishing 41st.

Also singing the blues were the Prototype Technology Group BMW M3s racing in the GT class (formerly GT3).  After a disappointing run at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, where both cars suffered engine failure, the team had high hopes for Sebring, after winning their class at that race for the last two years.  The number 10 and number 7 PTG cars qualified second and third in class, respectively, and battled with the Jobst Racing Porsche RSR in the early running.  The number 10 car went out with engine trouble, much to the dismay of team driver Hans Stuck.  "It's very unusual for these cars to have engine problems.  But we're adding more revs, we have better-sticking Yokohama tires and we're pushing closer to the edge now," he said.  The number 7 M3, lost its left-front wheel just past the half way point.  Van Overbeek was able to drive back to the pits on three wheels, where repairs were made and the car returned to the race only to have the differential fail with about an hour to go before the finish. The the number 7 car finished 9th in class and 26th overall while the number 10 car was credited with 11th place in class and 31st overall.

Sebring winning GT-3 BMW
Prototype Technology Group BMW M3.

For an inside look at PTG, visit iSPEED.

A bright spot for BMW M3 fans was the number 54 Bell Motorsports car.  Drivers Stu Hayner, Scott Neuman, Matt Drendel, and Tony Kester brought the car home 5th in class and 20th overall and after starting 50th.

Supercup Victory
Rounding out the weekend, the supporting Motorola Cup race was run on Friday.  The number 14 BMW 328 won the sports class and placed 7th overall.  The car was piloted to victory by Howard Liebengood and Scott Harrington.



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