Who is PTG Racing and Why Does Their BMW Connection Matter?

A Jalopnik article today mentioned a “hilariously overpriced 1988 BMW M3" “owned by a founder of a racing company tangentially involved with BMW in the 1990s.”

That founder was Tom Milner, and the racing company was PTG - Prototype Technology Group.


But Milner was considerably more than “tangentially” involved with BMW.

Tom Milner ran PTG, and PTG was the factory racing effort for BMW NA - BMW’s Pratt & Miller.


You’ve likely seen this E36 M3 race car - now part of BMW NA’s collection. They won the GTS-2 championship in 1996, were moved to GTS-3 and won again in 1997 and 1998.

There’s a great story on the whole racing program over on stanceworks.

Illustration for article titled Who is PTG Racing and Why Does Their BMW Connection Matter?


Their success put BMW back on the sports car racing map in the US.

PTG also assisted BMW NA with the E36 LTW cars in 1995.

Actually, this isn’t quite fair to say.

The truth is that the E36 M3 LTW exists BECAUSE of PTG.

PTG struggled in their first season (1995) with several different things because of the limitations of the street car. They told BMW what they needed and got the LTW.


Because of the race car’s foundation as a street car, they were heavy. The LTW’s parts package dropped the car’s weight by 200 pounds, added aero, chassis bracing, and a dual-pickup oil tube and special oil pan. PTG did the final prep on the cars before they were shipped out to dealers. The special parts (wing risers, oil pan and pickup tube, X-brace, other things I don’t remember) were shipped to buyers not from BMW North America, but from PTG in Virginia.

It was no coincidence PTG just happened to handle the final prep of the LTWs for BMW.


I would not call this a tangential relationship.

I get it - prices on anything even remotely collectible are just stupid these days. But if people are willing to pay, it’s hard to argue they’re not worth it.


And if prior ownership makes any difference, there is likely not a more significant prior owner for any US-market BMW.

Just because you don’t know the story doesn’t mean it isn’t a good story.

Just ask Kristin...

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