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 UPThe 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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