Monthly Archives: August 2012

BMW Team RLL — Road America ALMS Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 17, 2012… BMW Team RLL qualified its two BMW M3 GT racing cars in the fourth and seventh starting positions for tomorrow’s four-hour American Le Mans Series Road America Road Race Showcase. The defending ALMS GT class champions have taken the race win at the classic Road America circuit twice in the past three seasons.
 
Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 M3 GT fourth with a time of 2:04.913 minutes around the 4.048-mile Road America circuit, .498 seconds from the polesitter. Auberlen and his co-driver Jörg Müller finished third at the most recent ALMS race at Mid-Ohio and stand sixth in GT class driver points.
 
Dirk Müller will share the No. 56 M3 GT with Jonathan Summerton in tomorrow’s race as Joey Hand is racing in Germany with BMW’s DTM program. Müller, last year’s polesitter at this race, qualified the car in the seventh starting spot with a time of 2:05.098 minutes. Müller and Hand stand second in GT driver points.
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “This morning in Practice, we were quite far down in the field, but our engineers came up with a setup that at least puts us up in the second row. We are in the hunt. We split the Corvettes and have some others ahead that we will try to dispatch. We qualified on a harder-compound set of Dunlops and we are hoping that will pay dividends in the race.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “We have been running behind all week. I cannot believe how much we came back from the second practice, but we are not quite there yet.”
 
The Road America Road Race Showcase will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 18th. Live streaming coverage is available starting at 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com. ESPN2 will broadcast the race at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 19th.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

About BMW Team RLL:

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for nearly two decades, compiling 22 victories, 31 poles and two series championships (1992, 2010) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.
 

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Sato Completed 57 Laps of Testing at Sonoma Before Contact Ended the Test Mid-Afternoon

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
IZOD IndyCar Series – Sonoma Raceway
TESTING NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, August 17, 2012

TAKUMA SATO COMPLETED 57 LAPS OF TESTING AT SONOMA RACEWAY BEFORE CONTACT BROUGHT AN END TO THE TEST MID-AFTERNOON
 
Takuma Sato, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We were going through our test program for the road course package that we weren’t very satisfied with and were making progress. It was a good test and we were getting more of an understanding for these cars with the road course package and tires. It was a good session in the morning and then we continued testing in the afternoon, trying to find a little bit more speed but then by the end something happened under braking and I lost control and the car was damaged so we stopped earlier which is a shame. We couldn’t complete the testing items but we were able to get more experience and collect valuable data today.  It was good to test here before the race, especially with the changes to the track. The area after the high speed Turn 6 and braking into Turn 7 is much tighter than last year and it seems that a good braking battle can go on there.  Turn 11, which is the very last corner can still be improved a bit. There was a question whether the corner was too tight and they already got rid of some rumble strips today during the test so the track changed from this morning to the afternoon.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato completed 57 laps of testing on the 2.31-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway before he lost control of the race car under braking in Turn 9 at approx. 3:45 p.m. PT.  He hit the outside wall which damaged the left front of the race car and was uninjured other than bruising the top of his left hand when it hit the cockpit during contact… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is second in Edmonton this year… Sato led two street races this season (St. Pete & Long Beach) and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles (Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.

NEXT UP:  The team will test at Auto Club Speedway on Tuesday before returning to Sonoma for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma August 24-26.
 
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BMW Team RLL – Road America ALMS Preview

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 13, 2012… BMW Team RLL heads to the August 18th Road America Road Race Showcase for the seventh round the 2012 American Le Mans Series ready to extend its record of excellent finishes at the longest road course in North America.
 
Road America’s fast 4.048-miles has been the stage for many BMW Team RLL triumphs. Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand took the checkered flag in 2009 for the team’s very first victory. Tommy Milner and Dirk Müller finished second to make it the team’s first 1-2 finish as well. The next year Joey and Dirk, now co-drivers, took the win again. Last year the team was denied the victory, but finished with both cars on the podium in second and third.
 
With five podium finishes in the first six races of the season, including a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, BMW stands second in the GT Class Manufacturer points and BMW Team RLL is second in Team points. Joey Hand and Dirk Müller stand second in Driver points. Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller are sixth.
 
This year marks the first time BMW Team RLL will race without Joey Hand because of a conflict with his DTM program. Jonathan Summerton, who co-drove with Hand and Müller to the 12 Hours of Sebring victory this year, will substitute for Hand.
 
“Elkhart Lake is, without a doubt, the best circuit in North America and one of the top five in the world. It’s a great circuit with long straights, fast corners, tight corners, heavy braking – it’s a very demanding circuit for the driver and car”, said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Dunlop has done a great job for us over the course of our relationship and we’re going to really need to rely on their help at Road America. We have gotten our cars to handle better so hopefully again that can help negate the disadvantage we have in straight line speed to Ferrari, Corvette and Porsche.  Generally we are pretty good under braking at Elkhart Lake, but the big thing is the amount of speed you can carry through the corners and that comes down to handling and aerodynamics.”
 
Commenting on his time as a driver at Road America, he said, “I was on pole in an Indy car a couple of times (1986, 1991) but I never won an Indy car race there even though it was my favorite circuit.  I won the Road America 500 in a 962 Porsche in 1985 so that was very special for me. Elkhart Lake is the circuit I kind of grew up at in a lot of respects; I just love everything about it. If you do well there, you really feel like you’ve done something.”
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “Road America is one of my favorite tracks in North America. It’s fast and fun and it brings out the best in the best drivers and it brings out the best in the best cars. This year we are down on top speed to the competition, but you should never count us out – especially at Road America.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I am taking my first visit to Road America very seriously. I have been hearing stories from my teammates as well as other drivers that the up and down hills and different types of corners are difficult to learn.  They also say the track is wonderful to drive. It will be hard work to perform well, and I look forward to the whole thing.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “The second half of the season has started and we are in the hunt for the championship. Road America is very special place for me and BMW Team RLL has had a lot of success there.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “Road America is my favorite track in North America. I raced from 9th to 1st there in the 2008 Atlantic Championship. I'm very excited to be back in the BMW M3 GT again. I learned a lot at Sebring about GT racing and I hope I can continue to help BMW win the championship again this season.”
 
The Road America Road Race Showcase will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 18th. Live streaming coverage is available starting at 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com. ESPN2 will broadcast the race at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 19th.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
 
About BMW Team RLL:
 
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for nearly two decades, compiling 22 victories, 31 poles and two series championships (1992, 2010) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.
 

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Sato Finished 13th in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy 200 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES — Sunday, August 5, 2012
 
SATO FINISHED 13TH IN THE HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a tough race. It was a big weekend for us and everyone really worked hard but unfortunately we didn’t have the pace that we needed. We started with the balance in the stint. It looks like such a narrow window for the sweet spot. It was a little better in the middle stint but we lost the grip in the end. We overtook a couple of people but also lost some places. In the end we got a couple of positions which was good but it was not enough. I look forward to the Sonoma test so we can get a better understanding of the road course configuration.”

  • FAST FACTS: This was Sato’s third race at Mid-Ohio. Some teams, like RLL, chose a three stop strategy while others chose a two-stop. Sato started 17th and moved into 13th for the checkered flag after a caution-free race… Prior to his second (Edmonton) and third place (Brazil) finishes this year, his previous best series finish was fourth at Mid-Ohio in 2011 after he started ninth.  He started third in 2010 but retired in 25th due to contact.  Both with KV Racing Technology… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is second in Edmonton this year… Sato led two street races this season (St. Pete & Long Beach) and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles (Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.

JAY O’CONNELL, Technical Director:  “Takuma did a good job today. We elected to use a three stop strategy because of our starting position and that worked out fairly well; we did move up in the end.  We need to work on our performance coming out of the pits on new tires and try and get down to that quick pace right away. Once we got going o each set of tires, Takuma was very competitive running quicker than the leaders and closing on them but there weren’t any yellows today to help us with that strategy so in the end we moved up just four spots but Takuma had a nice drive. We look forward to testing some alternate setups at Sonoma to try to improve our road course car for the next race.”
 
15TH INDYCAR RACE AT MID-OHIO FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING: The Honda Indy 200 marked the 15th Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and first since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 15th and finished 10th for the team. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race here in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009-2011.  The highest IndyCar finish for the team here is two third place finishes (Rahal 1997, 1998) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997).  Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd).  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008). The team also prepared a Toyota Atlantic entry (Danica Patrick 2003).  The team has earned TWO podiums (3rd – Rahal 1997, 1998), 9 top-five’s and 13 top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato brought the Indy car total to 24 entries in 2012.
 
BOBBY RAHAL AT MID-OHIO: Team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in 16 IndyCar races here (9 as driver; 7 as owner/driver).  He won two races (1985 from pole, 1986), two poles (1983, 1985), made three front row starts (2nd in 1987), finished on the podium eight of his 16 races (including his final Indy car podium) and earned 9 top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.  He was the Grand Marshall for the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday.
 
NEXT UP:   The next IndyCar Series race will be the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 26. Before then, the team will test at Sonoma Raceway on August 17 and at Auto Club Speedway on August 21.  

BMW Team RLL Finish Third and Fifth at Mid-Ohio; No. 55 BMW M3 GT wins Michelin Green X Challenge

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 4, 2012… Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drove the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT to a third place GT class finish in today’s 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge after starting the race from the pole position. The finish also netted the No. 55 M3 GT its second Michelin Green X Challenge trophy of the season. BMW Team RLL teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fifth in the No. 56 M3 GT after starting from seventh.
 
The team’s fourth podium finish of the season keeps BMW second in Manufacturer points, 20 points behind Chevrolet. Hand and Müller, the 2011 class driver co-champions, move back to second in Driver points. Auberlen and Jörg Müller hold onto sixth place.
 
“With all the restrictions the series has placed upon us, and the freedoms they have given to the competition, we are just not fast enough, “said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “There is an obvious imbalance evident in the last few races and I hope that the ALMS will do the right thing. When you know you don’t have the pace you have to rely on strategy and luck. This week the Corvette had an incident and we got lucky again. We need to get back to fair and equal footing and give these guys a run for their money.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): “Really, despite the pole, we were out of contention from the first pit stop. The pit speed limit penalty put a fork in it. We were prepared, but just not fast enough over an entire stint.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): “A podium finish is always good, but I am not happy with the stop and go penalty due to pit lane speeding. There is one button to push for the pit speed limiter. I pushed the button and I got a speed violation. We need to look into that data. We are all working very hard, but we need to be able to fight for better results.”
 
Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT (fifth):  “I had to be aggressive from the green flag because we were starting from quite far back. I gave it everything I had and tried to make some waves. I gained some positions, but we just don’t have the speed on the straights. It is just too easy for everyone to get past us.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT (fifth): “Obviously, it was not our day – again. To add insult to injury, when I got in the car the tear-off glue stayed on the windscreen and I could hardly see anything in front of me. I had a view to left and right, but it was very difficult to drive one hour almost blind. It was a tough day at the office.”

The next round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 18th. The four-hour race will be streamed live on ESPN3 at 3:15 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2 on August 19th beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
 
About BMW Team RLL:
 
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for nearly two decades, compiling 22 victories, 31 poles and two series championships (1992, 2010) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.
 

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Sato Qualified 18th in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy 200 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES — Saturday, August 4, 2012

 
SATO QUALIFIED 18TH IN THE HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
 
POLE:   Will Power         1:05.6474 / 123.825 mph            (Group 2; Round 3)
18th:     Takuma Sato     1:06.4404 / 122.347 mph            (Group 2; Round 1)                                
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I’m disappointed in the qualifying result especially since I like the circuit and had a good record the past two years here.  It’s a shame that we didn’t have good speed to go to the next stage of qualifying. The field is very competitive as usual in Mid-Ohio. We made good progress so we made a big improvement from the practice session. Our lap time delta is really ramping up but it wasn’t enough to progress to the next stage. It was only a couple of tenths but we needed a little bit more. We will take the experience from qualifying and the practice sessions and continue to work on it tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: This will be Sato’s third race at Mid-Ohio. Prior to his second (Edmonton) and third place (Brazil) finishes this year, his previous best series finish was fourth at Mid-Ohio in 2011 after he started ninth.  He started third in 2010 but retired in 25th due to contact.  Both with KV Racing Technology… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is second in Edmonton this year… Sato led two street races this season (St. Pete & Long Beach) and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles (Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.

GERRY HUGHES, Race Engineer for Sato:  “Whilst it was disappointing not to progress into the second qualifying session, for ourselves I think this weekend illustrates to us that clearly we have a better race car than a qualifying car. We need to take something away from the first two practice sessions and qualifying itself and learn from that. We need to ensure that we give Takuma a good car tomorrow for the race. We will build on what we have learned in the two practice sessions and hopefully we’ll have a better result for the end of the race than we have seen in qualifying today. I think that whilst it was an improvement in terms of what we’ve been able to achieve so far this weekend, clearly there is much further to go in terms of being able to progress from Round 2 into Round 3. Tomorrow will be another learning experience for us in terms of giving him a good race car and learning more about the tires on these road courses.”
 
15TH INDYCAR RACE AT MID-OHIO FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING: The Honda Indy 200 will mark the 15th Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and first since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 15th and finished 10th for the team. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race here in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009-2011.  The highest IndyCar finish for the team here is two third place finishes (Rahal 1997, 1998) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997).  Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd).  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008). The team also prepared a Toyota Atlantic entry (Danica Patrick 2003).  The team has earned TWO podiums (3rd – Rahal 1997, 1998), 9 top-five’s and 13 top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring the Indy car total to 24 entries in 2012.
 
BOBBY RAHAL AT MID-OHIO: Team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in 16 IndyCar races here (9 as driver; 7 as owner/driver).  He won two races (1985 from pole, 1986), two poles (1983, 1985), made three front row starts (2nd in 1987), finished on the podium eight of his 16 races (including his final Indy car podium) and earned 9 top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.  He is the Grand Marshall for the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday.
 
NEXT UP:  Warm-up will take place tomorrow from 8:05-8:35 a.m. ET and the Honda Indy 200 will take the Green Flag at 1:00 p.m. with coverage on ABC beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, August 5.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  

BMW Team RLL – Mid-Ohio ALMS Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 3, 2012… Jörg Müller qualified the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT on the class pole for tomorrow’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. His time of 1:19.298 minutes around the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road course bested the competitive 12-car GT field in a 15-minute qualifying session that saw the first eight cars in the class post times less than one second off Müller’s pole time. Müller will co-drive with Bill Auberlen. Auberlen scored the first pole of the season for the No. 55 M3 GT at Lime Rock Park on July 6.
 
Only .456 seconds off the pole, Joey Hand qualified the No. 56 M3 GT in the seventh starting position with a time of 1:19.754 minutes. Hand will co-drive with Dirk Müller.
 
“I am very pleased for Jörg and Bill,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “They have been our hard luck pair this year. I felt bad for Joey. He was not too happy with his car, but he is not that far off. We tested here a month ago and hopefully that will benefit us tomorrow when it counts.”

Following a streak of three consecutive podium finishes in the first three races of the season, including a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, BMW Team RLL had two difficult races at Lime Rock Park and Mosport. Only fifth and sixth place finishes were netted at Lime Rock Park and the post race disqualification of the winner gave the team a third and seventh place finish at Mosport. Trailing Chevrolet by 13 points in Manufacturer standings and 18 points behind in the Team standings, BMW Team RLL is looking for a strong result at Mid-Ohio to move closer to the top. Joey Hand and Dirk Müller stand third in driver points. Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller stand sixth.
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “Our championship is so tough and so close – especially at the top of the GT class – that we needed to have everything perfect for this one lap. I am very happy. The crew did a brilliant job and our Dunlop tires were fantastic. The qualifying position is important but the race result is the most important. We have had the pole before let’s see what happens. The car needs to be consistent for the duration of the race. I am confident we will have the speed.”
 
Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “From practice to qualifying we had an entirely different car. Something changed and we are going to look into it. For now I’m confused. It was very loose. Our other car is on the pole so it’s a matter of figuring what changed. We will fix it and fight our way back to the front.”
 
The 2.45-hour Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is the sixth round of the 2012 ALMS championship. The race will take the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 4th. ABC television will air the race same-day beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
 
About BMW Team RLL:

BMW Group in America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for nearly two decades, compiling 22 victories, 31 poles and two series championships (1992, 2010) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.
 

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Sato Completed 33 Laps in Practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and Was 19th Overall

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy 200 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES — Friday, August 3, 2012
 
SATO COMPLETED 33 LAPS IN PRACTICE FOR THE HONDA INDY 200 AND WAS 19TH OVERALL
 
FASTEST:         Will Power         1:06.8632 / 121.574 mph                       
19th:                 Takuma Sato     1:07.7677 / 119.951 mph                                   
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We continued our work list from last week’s test. So many things were left due to the weather. We came here with some changes and over the course of the practice we tried a number of things. The track was a bit different. Initially it was quite greasy, low grip which is typical Mid-Ohio. And it was quite rapidly rubbered down so after the first half of the season the track was getting pretty good. We couldn’t make the most of our potential. We tried different things but I was struggling with the balance a bit. We will go through the data and continue to work on that.”

  • FAST FACTS: This will be Sato’s third race at Mid-Ohio. Prior to his second (Edmonton) and third place (Brazil) finishes this year, his previous best series finish was fourth at Mid-Ohio in 2011 after he started ninth.  He started third in 2010 but retired in 25th due to contact.  Both with KV Racing Technology… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is second in Edmonton this year… Sato led two street races this season (St. Pete & Long Beach) and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles (Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.

JAY O’CONNELL, Technical Director:  “We were able to back up our times from the test last week and we completed 33 laps.  Takuma felt the balance of the car was similar and the track improved during the session. Since we did our new tire runs a little bit earlier than some of the guys we didn’t get the maximum time out of the car but it’s a good foundation for tomorrow.”
 
15TH INDYCAR RACE AT MID-OHIO FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING: The Honda Indy 200 will mark the 15th Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and first since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 15th and finished 10th for the team. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race here in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009-2011.  The highest IndyCar finish for the team here is two third place finishes (Rahal 1997, 1998) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997).  Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd).  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008). The team also prepared a Toyota Atlantic entry (Danica Patrick 2003).  The team has earned TWO podiums (3rd – Rahal 1997, 1998), 9 top-five’s and 13 top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring the Indy car total to 24 entries in 2012.
 
BOBBY RAHAL AT MID-OHIO: Team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in 16 IndyCar races here (9 as driver; 7 as owner/driver).  He won two races (1985 from pole, 1986), two poles (1983, 1985), made three front row starts (2nd in 1987), finished on the podium eight of his 16 races (including his final Indy car podium) and earned 9 top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.  He is the Grand Marshall for the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday.
 
NEXT UP:  Practice will take place tomorrow from 8:00-9:00 a.m. ET and qualifying will take place from 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  The Honda Indy 200 will be televised live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, August 5.

BMW Team RLL – Mid-Ohio ALMS Preview

  
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 1, 2012… The August 4th Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge
is next on the 2012 American Le Mans Series calendar for BMW Team RLL. Now standing second in the GT Class Manufacturer point standings, Mid-Ohio marks the beginning of the season half of the ALMS season for the 2010 and 2011 class champions as well as a special homecoming for team principal Bobby Rahal who attended the very first sports car race at the circuit in 1962.
 
Following a streak of three consecutive podium finishes in the first three races of the season, including a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, BMW Team RLL had two difficult races at Lime Rock Park and Mosport. Only fifth and sixth place finishes were netted at Lime Rock Park and the post race disqualification of the winner gave the team a third and seventh place finish at Mosport. Trailing Chevrolet by 13 points in Manufacturer standings and 18 points behind in the Team standings, BMW Team RLL is looking for a strong result at Mid-Ohio to move closer to the top. Joey Hand and Dirk Müller stand third in driver points. Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg M üller stand sixth.

 
“We had a very productive test at Mid-Ohio about a month ago”, said Bobby Rahal, Team
Principal. “I’m hopeful that will give us the insight that we need to win. It’s a good track for the BMW M3 GT. We’ve shown in past years that we can manage the pace – just not for enough time. Hopefully Dunlop and our team can produce a good handling car that will figure strongly in the race. Mid-Ohio is a handling course not a horsepower track like Mosport.  I feel confidentthat from a handling perspective we're better than anyone out there.” Commenting on the team he continued, “This is a mature team.  We've been racing a long time. We've seen it all. Some days you get a little good luck and some days you get a little bad luck, but you hate to rely on that. Frankly we got lucky in Mosport when the winner did not pass tech. All of our guys have been around and yes we have had some really tough races but I don’t see any hand wringing. We can win this championship. It’s still wide open. We closed in on the Corvette a little bit at Mosport. We’ll just keep our heads down and focus on what we can do to make our car better every lap.”
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “Mid Ohio here we come. At Canadian Tire
Motorsport Park we had a fast car, but we had a bit of drama. Now we're all about fighting back. We tested at Mid-Ohio earlier this year and feel like we have a pretty good car, but the competition will continue to be extremely tough.”
  
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT –“After the bad result at Mosport I'm really looking
forward to the race in Mid-Ohio. Not only is it BMW Team RLL's home track, but our test went very well. Mid-Ohio is a very nice circuit and it definitely has a lot more possibilities to overtake than Mosport.”
  
Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “I like to drive Mid Ohio. Of all the tracks in the US
this one gives an advantage if you have the knowledge of the circuit and some tricks learned from experience. I lived in Ohio so in some ways it is my home track. We had a good test there a month ago and that's always a good thing.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “Mid-Ohio is like Lime Rock because there are
always a lot of fans, friends and family around. Our Dunlops always work well there and I am looking forward to put even more pressure on our competition and regain the lead in the championship.”

The 2.45-hour Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is the sixth round of the 2012 ALMS championship. The race will take the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 4th. ABC television will air the race same-day beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. Live streaming coverage is available starting at 12:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com. The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
 
About BMW Team RLL:

 
BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls- Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for nearly two decades, compiling 22 victories, 31 poles and two series championships (1992, 2010) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.

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