Monthly Archives: August 2011

BMW Team RLL Baltimore ALMS Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – August 30, 2011… This Labor Day Weekend, GT class leading BMW Team RLL travels to the inau­gural Balti­more Grand Prix for the second street race of the 2011 Amer­ican Le Mans Series season.  The long estab­lished race on the streets of Long Beach, Cali­fornia has been part of the series for years, but the newly constructed tempo­rary 2.0-mile circuit winding through the streets of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area will be brand new to teams, drivers and fans alike.

The No. 56 BMW Team RLL M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller won this April’s Long Beach race from the pole – the victory part of a three race win streak to start off the nine-race season. With two fourth place finishes and a return to the podium at the most recent race at Road America, the duo continues to lead the GT driver stand­ings by a margin of 22 points.

Team­mates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand third in GT driver stand­ings – only 6 points from second – after a run of three consec­u­tive podium finishes in the No. 55 M3 GT.

With two-thirds of the season now complete, BMW Team RLL stands at the top of every GT cham­pi­onship cate­gory and looks to add the driver title to the Manu­fac­turer and Team cham­pi­onships won in 2010.

 “We have three races left in the season and there are some very good cars and great drivers that are trying to knock BMW Team RLL out of the top spot in the stand­ings. We have to be ready to deal with the best efforts that these teams have to offer, because time is running short,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “Balti­more is the only wild card left on the schedule, and we will all be starting from scratch on this new road-course layout. We are expecting a good turnout and great support from the fans in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area and we hope to give all the BMW fans a reason to cheer on Saturday.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We have all looked at the track sketches for the new circuit and prepared as best we can, but at the end of the day it’s a mystery for all of us. Our advan­tage will be BMW Team RLL’s ability to analyze the first data collected and make the right changes fast. Dirk and I are gaining in points every race so we’ll keep our heads down and try to gain more.”

Dirk Werner, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I hope that the upward trend we had at the last races – espe­cially with our car – will continue. After three consec­u­tive podiums we are heading in a good direc­tion in the cham­pi­onship. We are close to the second place in the overall clas­si­fi­ca­tion. And we aim to get this second posi­tion with a good result at Balti­more. The track itself is new for everyone. So it will be crucial who can adapt quickest to the new condi­tions. We already raced on a street course this year, at Long Beach. There, our car was fast, and that makes me confi­dent that this will be the case at Balti­more as well.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “This new race in Balti­more comes at a great time for us. We’re leading the cham­pi­onship, we’re on top of our game and ready for a new chal­lenge.  I have always been an outspoken lover of a street race. The limits are tighter. The margins are inches, not feet. I’m looking forward to the same success we had at Long Beach. In Balti­more every­thing will be new except how BMW Team RLL prepares. Top to bottom this is the talent a driver wants behind him. From the gear stacks to set ups they get it right faster. This race will be about who is the quickest — the quickest. We will be those guys.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT — “I am still smiling about the great weekend BMW Team RLL had at Road America. At this stage of the season we do not neces­sarily need to win every race, but we need to try and get good points. And what happened in that four hour race – that was motor racing at its best. I am glad to be a part of it. Now I am really looking forward to Balti­more, as I like the chal­lenge of new tracks and am a big fan of street racing. Balti­more combines both. There are not many possi­bil­i­ties to prepare for this race, but the team gave us draw­ings of the track which I studied intensely. At first sight, the track looks quite easy, but there can be tricky blind corners. As this circuit does not exist anywhere, you cannot drive it in a simu­lator. I am really opti­mistic about this weekend. Joey, me and the whole team are absolutely on our toes. We have one target — to extend our lead in the championship.”

Prac­tice and qual­i­fying for the Balti­more Grand Prix will be held on Friday, Sept. 2. The two-hour race is sched­uled to take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 3. The race will be broad­cast live on ESPN3.com and rebroad­cast on ABC at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 4.

 

Double Podium for BMW Team RLL at Road America

Elkhart Lake, Wis. – Aug. 20, 2011… Although a third consec­u­tive GT victory at Road America was not to be, BMW Team RLL ended today’s Amer­ican Le Mans Series Road Race Show­case with a double podium finish.

In what was a very exciting race both M3 GTs took their turn leading the four hour contest. At the end, the No. 55 of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner finished second for the duos third consec­u­tive podium finish. The No. 56 of Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller came home third to extend their lead at the top of the GT driver points. BMW Team RLL main­tains its lead in the team points and BMW stays at the front of the Manu­fac­turers standings.

The race was slowed and ulti­mately deter­mined by four caution periods that brought both good luck and a bit of bad luck to all four BMW team RLL drivers. At the green flag Hand, from the pole, led the 15-car GT field into turn one, holding the lead until lap 23 when he fell to third after being held up by a slower class car. Auberlen pitted during the first yellow on lap seven to begin a different fuel strategy for the No. 55 M3 GT. Hand pitted under green on lap 28 and a fast pit stop gained him one posi­tion. Auberlen handed off to Werner on lap 36 during the second caution period drop­ping the car to the rear of the field.

As the race reached the half-way point the battle at the front of the GT field inten­si­fied with Hand holding second place. All the lead pack of cars, including the No. 56 machine pitted on lap 58. As the cars exited the pit lane,  Mϋller had regained the lead of the pack thanks to excel­lent work by the BMW Team RLL pit crew. After being slowed by another caution period, the third hour of the race saw the No. 55 M3 GT dive for the pits for its final pit stop and the No. 56 M3 GT circu­lating in second.

Five minutes later the races final yellow flag slowed the field and put the No. 55 machine in the cat bird seat. As the balance of the field pitted Werner stayed out and went to the front. Mϋller pitted on lap 81 and returned to the race in fifth. Werner was passed for the lead with 30 minutes remaining, ulti­mately finishing second. With two strong passes in the final laps of the race Mϋller moved up two spots to finish third and return the No. 56 M3 GT to the podium.

“We come to win every race,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “We tried hard and looked really good, but got unlucky in traffic a few times. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had excel­lent pit stops– best all year I believe.  We beat everyone in the pits. The 55 car gambled and it went their way. Bill and Dirk did a great job. The 56 car got caught up in some traffic with the Lizards and Corvette, but we kept hunting. We like to win, but we will take a second and third finish. We beat our chief competi­tors and added to the gap with Corvette in Team, Driver and Manu­fac­turer points. Our BMWs are fast and reli­able. We have a street fight on our hands next in Balti­more. Let’s see what happens.”

Round Seven of the Amer­ican Le Mans Series will be held on September 3 at the Balti­more Grand Prix.

Video:

Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner — second place

Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller – third place

BMW Team RLL Wins GT Pole at Road America

Elkhart Lake, Wis. – August, 19, 2011… BMW Team RLL driver Dirk Mϋller needed only two laps to score the team’s fifth consec­u­tive GT class pole of the season in today’s Amer­ican Le Mans Series Road Race Show­case qual­i­fying session. Mϋller, who also led the 15-car class in this afternoon’s one hour prac­tice session, set a new qual­i­fying record with his lap of 2:05.447 minutes around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit. With three wins in the first five races of the season, Mϋller and co-driver Joey Hand lead the ALMS driver standings.

Bill Auberlen qual­i­fied the No. 55 M3 GT in the fourth posi­tion for tomorrow’s four-hour race with a lap of 2:06.245 minutes. Auberlen and team­mate Dirk Werner have scored two consec­u­tive podium finishes (third) in the last two races and stand third in GT driver points.

Video: Dirk Mϋller, driver No. 56 M3 GT (pole)

Video: A lap of Road America with Dirk Mϋller

The four-hour race is sched­uled to take the green flag at 3:00 p.m. CT Saturday, Aug. 20. The race will be broad­cast live on ESPN3.com and rebroad­cast on ABC at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 21.

BMW Team RLL Road America ALMS GT Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – August 17, 2011… With three wins and two podium finishes in the first five races of the 2011 Amer­ican Le Mans Series season, BMW Team RLL has proven that to get to the cham­pi­onship you’ll first have to get past two very fast BMW M3 GTs.

The team certainly won’t make it easy at this weekend’s Road Race Show­case at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis. BMW Team RLL has not been beaten at Road America in ALMS compe­ti­tion, winning the GT class in both 2009 and 2010. Not only did point leading team­mates Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller win last year, but Hand also scored the win in 2009 from the pole, co-driving with Bill Auberlen.

Hand and Mϋller have recorded three wins this season, but it has been Auberlen and Dirk Werner in the No. 55 M3 GT that have finished third in the last two races – one posi­tion ahead of Hand and Mϋller.

Both pair of drivers has the poten­tial to win the four-hour race at the classic 4.048-mile road course and every crew member is highly moti­vated to prove why he is part of one of the best teams in all of motorsport.

“We have won each of the last two races at Road America so obvi­ously we are opti­mistic, but the last two races have proven that if you don’t put your best effort out there, you aren’t going to win,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “If we can reduce our mistakes this weekend, it will increase our chances.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I’m glad to be going to Road America where all the success began for BMW Team RLL. We return with better cars so we all are cautiously opti­mistic. Road America is a beau­tiful race track. It is fast and has a little bit of every­thing. Many of the corners are long and chal­lenging — exactly what a driver looks for.”

Dirk Werner, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I would say that Bill and I are on an upward trend, espe­cially at the last two races. With two consec­u­tive podiums I am highly moti­vated for the next race, as Road America seems to suit our car. The team won there in the last two years so I think that we have a very good chance to be successful this year. Road America is a great race track, and is — compared to the other circuits we race on — more of Euro­pean stan­dard. It is quite a fast track with a lot of chal­lenging fast corners. I really enjoy racing there.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “Before this season we had won two races in the ALMS and they both came at Road America. One in 2009, one in 2010 and I was in the winning M3 both times. Road America is defi­nitely a special place for me, a favorite of mine and the team, and it has a lot of different things to love. The different types of corners – ninety degree, long dura­tion and what I call a man-attack corner in the kink. I have been close to flat out there, but I don’t think anyone has gone flat through the kink. I think this may be the year.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT — “Road America is always a high­light of my Amer­ican tour. This race track is like a combi­na­tion of the Nord­schleife and Spa on Amer­ican soil. It is an extremely chal­lenging and a very tech­nical circuit. You also need a very good handling car, so it suits us very well. We expe­ri­enced some bad luck in the last two races, but we still scored good points. It is time to score maximum points again. Joey and I are hungry. We have already cele­brated three victo­ries this year, but we just cannot get enough.”

Following a test session on Thursday, August 18, prac­tice and qual­i­fying for the Amer­ican Le Mans Series Road Race Show­case will be held on Friday, Aug. 19. The four-hour race is sched­uled to take the green flag at 3:00 p.m. CT Saturday, Aug. 20. The race will be broad­cast live on ESPN3.com and rebroad­cast on ABC at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 21.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Withdraws From This Weekend’s Indy Car Event at Loudon

LOUDON, New Hamp­shire (August 13, 2011) — Rahal Letterman Lanigan will with­draw the #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone driven by Pippa Mann from this weekend’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 IZOD Indy Car Series race at New Hamp­shire Motor Speedway.

The entry was with­drawn Saturday after­noon after a crash during Saturday’s prac­tice session resulted in Mann being removed from compe­ti­tion by Indy Car Series Medical Staff. Mann suffered a heavy impact in the crash and the young British driver will not be cleared to drive by the Indy Car medical staff until she under­goes a final test in Indi­anapolis on Monday. Precau­tionary x-rays of her neck and a CT scan were both nega­tive and she is being released from Concord Hospital in Concord, New Hampshire.

“Pippa worked very hard this weekend and we are hoping for a speedy recovery and a return to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy Car,” said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal.

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy Car Rookie Pippa Mann Runs 75 Laps in Loudon Test

LOUDON, New Hamp­shire (August 11, 2011) – The learning curve for Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s IZOD Indy Car Series rookie Pippa Mann was quadru­pled on Thursday as the young driver had four tough corners to nego­tiate in trying to find the fast way around the tricky one-mile New Hamp­shire Motor Speedway oval.

Of the quartet of curves, it was the second that gave the Brit an unwel­come birthday present as she had a pair of spins in Turn Two as part of her 75-lap test effort, the last of which resulted in slight contact with the wall and minimal wing and suspen­sion damage. Mann was unhurt in the inci­dent and will be able to continue competing over the rest of the weekend in the #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone Indy Car.

The day saw the RLL squad use a pair of test sessions to get Mann ready for this weekend’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225, logging 75 laps over the two sessions. The former Indy Lights racewinner carded a quick time of 23.2442 seconds (158.749 mph) on the 50th of her 75 laps.

“We worked very hard throughout the morning on making the car better and the RLL guys made some really good changes to the car that felt like they were going to help us,” Mann reported. “We found some grip and some stability and were working on gath­ering speed over the bumps when we had our inci­dent. I am disap­pointed but I know that the whole team will work very hard to get every­thing where we need it to be for Saturday’s qualifying!”

The team conducted the session in 10-lap incre­ments throughout the early part of the day, letting Mann test each of the changes that were made on the car — while also allowing her more time to gather feed­back on subse­quent improve­ments. The pace was picking up and both the car and the driver were showing good pace before the day ended.

“We didn’t have the day we wanted today, but racing is like that and I know that Pippa will be even more deter­mined to do great things when we getting running again on Saturday,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “She worked hard today and pushed the car hard, which is what you have to do in order to get the most out of it. Our Rahal Letterman Lanigan guys will work hard to put a good car under her and Pippa will do her best to move it up the grid.”

Mann will have two more prac­tice sessions prior to Saturday’s qual­i­fying to get back up to speed before single-car qual­i­fying takes place at 3:00 p.m.. Sunday’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 will get underway at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time and can be seen live on ABC. Fans can follow all of the action in every session live via their computer by visiting www.indycar.com

 

National Tire and Battery Joins RLL to Sponsor Pippa Mann’s Indy Effort

HILLIARD, Ohio (August 9, 2011) – IZOD Indy Car Series rookie Pippa Mann knew she would have Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s top-flight mechanics and tech­ni­cians working on her car in her debut with the team this weekend, but the British driver today gained the support of thou­sands more qual­i­fied auto­mo­tive profes­sionals through a part­ner­ship with NTB — National Tire and Battery®.

NTB will be on the #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry for this weekend’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hamp­shire Motor Speedway, while Big O Tires® will be featured on the RLL car at Kentucky and Las Vegas. NTB, which is part of the TBC Retail Group, has spon­sored Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy Car efforts in the recent past with Graham Rahal and Jay Howard with not only NTB, but fellow TBC Retail Group part­ners Big O Tires and Service Central®.

“We are thrilled to have Pippa repre­sent the NTB brand in New Hamp­shire. Not only is she a fine young lady with outstanding skills behind the wheel, she is building a solid repu­ta­tion as being a go-getter,” said Orland Wolford, Pres­i­dent and CEO of TBC Retail Group. “We look forward to watching her climb the ranks of racing.”

NTB and all of TBC Retail Group have been great part­ners to work with in the past, and we are pleased to continue our rela­tion­ship with this program,” said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal. “We have high expec­ta­tions for this program and we antic­i­pate that Pippa will work very hard to repre­sent NTB and the TBC Retail Group as profes­sion­ally as possible.”

Pippa will be making her maiden voyage with RLL this weekend at Loudon’s one-mile oval, although the former Fire­stone Indy Lights fron­trunner tested there with the team last month. A winner last year at Kentucky in the Lights series, Mann is looking forward to making her debut with a new team and a new sponsor.

“Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing intro­duced me Orland Wolford of TBC just under a week ago now. As we were admiring my new car, I think we both thought that the National Tire & Battery Red #30 was already looking pretty racy in her new color scheme, but that there was a little some­thing lacking! Luckily, Orland agreed with me, and I can’t thank him, TBC Corpo­ra­tion and Service Central enough for coming on board! I am extremely excited to be added to the roster of Indy Car drivers whom they have supported and I am looking forwards to repre­senting National Tire & Battery and Big O Tires out on track for the remainder of this season!”

The MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hamp­shire Motor Speedway gets underway Thursday after­noon with a pair of prac­tice session on the Loudon oval. The cars will prac­tice and qualify on Saturday after­noon, setting the grid for Sunday’s 225-lap event. The race can be seen live on ABC begin­ning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

About NTB-National Tire and battery

National Tire and Battery (NTB) tire and auto­mo­tive service centers provide a variety of services performed by trained and certi­fied ASE tech­ni­cians using state-of-the-art equip­ment. There are more than 380 NTB retail loca­tions throughout the U.S. It is one of four brands oper­ated by the TBC Retail Group (TBC). Head­quar­tered in Juno Beach, Florida, TBC Retail Group, Inc., a subsidiary of TBC Corpo­ra­tion, oper­ates more than 770 tire and auto­mo­tive service centers under the brands: Tire Kingdom, NTB — National Tire and Battery, and Merchant’s Tire and Auto Centers, along with over 400 fran­chised Big O Tires loca­tions. The contin­gent of more than 1200 stores has trained and certi­fied ASE tech­ni­cians who use state-of-the-art equip­ment to provide quality service on cars and trucks. The nation­wide warranty provides peace of mind while it protects consumers and their invest­ment in over 40 states. TBC Retail Group employs more than 300 asso­ciates at its Juno Beach, Fla. head­quar­ters and approx­i­mately 10,000 asso­ciates nation­ally. To locate a store near you, call 800-NEW-TIRE.

 

BMW Team RLL Takes Third and Fourth at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, Ohio – Aug. 6, 2011… It was rain won and BMW Team RLL three and four as rain proved to be the ulti­mate winner of the Amer­ican Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge. A torren­tial down­pour stopped the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute contest with 13 minutes remaining with Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner finishing third in the No. 55 M3 GT. Team­mates Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller came home fourth in the No. 56 M3 GT for a second consec­u­tive race.

The finish keeps BMW on top in the GT Manu­fac­turer point stand­ings, BMW Team RLL in the Team points lead and Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller at the top of the driver standing.

“It was a tough day for us”, said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “We had a bad first pit stop with the No. 56 M3 GT and that ulti­mately forced our hand with a strategy call which may have worked if it had not rained. Third and fourth is not a bad way to end today, but we always come to finish one-two.”

The team elected to start Mϋller in the No. 56 M3 GT after Hand qual­i­fied the car on the pole and he led the GT field across the line on the opening lap. Dirk Werner started the No. 55 M3 GT from the second spot, but was slowed by a LMPC car in the first turn and dropped to fifth. Mϋller dropped to third on lap two, but the two BMW Motor­sport drivers quickly recov­ered to hold the third and fifth posi­tions as the race began to develop. Mϋller moved up to second before both drivers pitted under green on lap 40.

Bill Auberlen replaced Werner in the No. 55 M3 GT and was able to jump Mϋller, who remained in the No. 56 car, in the pits. Unfor­tu­nately, the two tangled a few turns later and Auberlen was spun around. Mϋller continued on in third place with Auberlen drop­ping back to fourth.

As a few rain drops began to fall Mϋller pitted under green just past the 1:30 hour mark (lap 64) for Hand. With Dunlop rain tires ready if the rain inten­si­fied, the team elected to send Hand out on slicks.

The rain did begin only 22 minutes later with Hand pitting for rain tires on lap 76 and Auberlen following has team­mate in on lap 77. Yellow flags waved for a second time in the race just before the 2:00 hour mark slowing the field with Auberlen circu­lating in sixth and Hand in eighth.

When the green flag waved Hand had contact with the Ferrari to bring out the race’s third caution period. Hand was able to continue, but the rain inten­si­fied, making the track treach­erous when the green flag waved on lap 88.

Auberlen and Hand charged forward as competitor after competitor slid off the track reaching the third and fourth posi­tions before the fourth yellow flag waved. A red flag brought all the cars to the pits and ulti­mately an end to the race.

Round Six of the Amer­ican Le Mans Series, the Road Race Show­case, will be held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on Saturday, August 20.

BMW Team RLL Qualifies 1 – 2 At Mid-Ohio

Lexington, Ohio – August, 5, 2011… BMW Team RLL will start 1 – 2 in tomorrow’s Amer­ican Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge following the team’s third consec­u­tive GT class front row qual­i­fying effort.

Joey Hand drove the No. 56 BMW M3 GT to his third pole of the year (four total: Hand: Long Beach, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio. Mϋller: Mosport) with a lap of 1:20.539 minutes around the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road course.

Only 0.116 seconds slower, Dirk Werner qual­i­fied the No. 55 M3 GT with a 1:20.655 minute lap to sew up the third 1 – 2 BMW Team RLL start. The duo of Werner and Auberlen has qual­i­fied second to team­mates Hand and Mϋller in the last three races.

Hand along with co-drivers Dirk Müller and Andy Priaulx, won the opening round of the 2011 ALMS season, leading a 1 – 2 BMW Team RLL GT class finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Hand and Mϋller scored a second and third consec­u­tive victory at Long Beach and Lime Rock Park. The duo finished fourth at Mosport to extend their lead in the driver point standings.

Auberlen and Werner stand third in GT driver points with two podium finishes this season (Sebring – second, Mosport – third).

The two-hour-and-forty-five-minute Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge is sched­uled to take the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday. The race will be broad­cast live on ESPN3.com and rebroad­cast on ESPN2 from 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, August 7.

BMW Team RLL Mid-Ohio ALMS Preview

 

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – August 2, 2011… BMW Team RLL is looking forward to its home race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend. Based in Hilliard, Ohio the team will be competing less than fifty miles from their work­shops and head­quar­ters. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge marks the mid-point of the 2011 Amer­ican Le Mans Series season and is expected to be a chal­lenging race for the team following a compe­ti­tion adjust­ment to both M3 GTs by the series sanc­tioning body.

Following three wins in the first three races and a third-place finish at the Grand Prix of Mosport, Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller currently lead the GT Driver stand­ings with team­mates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner holding the third spot. As we approach the middle of the season, BMW Team RLL leads the GT Team points stand­ings and BMW leads the GT Manufacturer’s standings.

BMW Team RLL will arrive at Mid-Ohio hand­i­capped by a compe­ti­tion adjust­ment from the Inter­na­tional Motor Sports Asso­ci­a­tion (IMSA).  Following the team’s third consec­u­tive win at the North­east Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 9th, IMSA released bulletin #11 – 14 requiring a reduc­tion of 0.4mm in the M3 GT intake restrictor begin­ning at Mid-Ohio. The new restrictor will reduce the volume of air entering the 4.0-liter V8 engine by some three percent with an equiv­a­lent loss of horsepower.

“Mid-Ohio is obvi­ously a track that our team circles on the calendar every year, and person­ally it is a track that holds a lot of memo­ries for myself and my family,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “The BMW Team RLL M3 GTs were strong at Mosport but the strongest car doesn’t always win, which is one of the great things about racing. We had a great start to the season, but our advan­tages can be erased fairly rapidly if we don’t come to the track every weekend ready to compete. I promise that we will be ready to compete this weekend at Mid-Ohio.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We had amazing cars at Mosport and were the team to beat. After some trouble for both cars we finished on the podium and that’s great for the team. Now we are going to BMW Team RLL’s home track. The cars were really good last year at Mid-Ohio. The track has great fast straights and the tech­nical aspects of the track are handled really well by our cars on Dunlop tires. Add in our deep track knowl­edge and I think we should look really good.”

Dirk Werner, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “Bill and I are still within striking distance of second place in the cham­pi­onship. Thanks to the good results they have enjoyed recently, our team­mates Dirk and Joey have opened up a bit of a gap at the top of the table. Never­the­less, we want to go on the offen­sive at Mid-Ohio. It is the home circuit for BMW Team RLL and we all want to get a good result there. I think the circuit suits our car and I know the circuit very well having already raced there a few times. My team­mate Bill also knows it very well, so it is all set up for us to get a good result there.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “Every­body knows Mid-Ohio has had its ups and downs for me, but I really like the track.  Its home track for BMW Team RLL and the friends and family of team will be there. I lived in Cleve­land, Ohio for three years and Mid-Ohio was my home track back then. It’s one of those tracks that you need to have some tricks up your sleeve and I know a few of them. So far this year the team brings out a great race car every time and I don’t expect anything different at Mid-Ohio. Mosport did not end up as we wished, but the M3 GT was really quick the whole time. This has been a career year for me and I am looking for more.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT — “At Mosport we were unfor­tu­nate to pick up the drive-through penalty that prevented us finishing anywhere higher than fourth place. However, we still have a very solid lead in the cham­pi­onship. So, with the battle for the title in mind, our goal for Mid-Ohio is to extend our lead. Mid-Ohio is a very tech­nical circuit with many different surfaces and some very slow corners. Person­ally, I like it a lot and am really looking forward to it. It will be another hard fought battle in the GT class. We are gener­ally under a lot of pres­sure there, as it is the home race for BMW Team RLL, which is based in Hilliard, Ohio. There will be a lot of family members and friends there, all cheering for us.”

Following a Promoter’s Test Day on Thursday, August 4, prac­tice and qual­i­fying for the Amer­ican Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge will be held on Friday, Aug. 5. The two-hour-and-forty-five-minute race is sched­uled to take the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 6. The race will be broad­cast live on ESPN3.com and rebroad­cast on ESPN2 begin­ning at 10:00 PM ET Sunday, Aug. 7.