Monthly Archives: September 2012

Scott Roembke Service and Contribution Information

A Memo­rial Gath­ering will take place for Scott Roembke on Tuesday, September 25th at Flanner and Buchanan Commu­nity Life Center from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET.

Flanner and Buchanan – Wash­ington Park East Commu­nity Life Center
10612 E. Wash­ington Street
Indi­anapolis, IN 46229

A Memo­rial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, September 26th at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Our Lady of Lourdes
5333 E. Wash­ington Street
Indi­anapolis, IN 46219

Intern­ment will take place in Wash­ington Park East Ceme­tery and a Cele­bra­tion of Life Recep­tion will take place after the service at the Commu­nity Life Center.

In lieu of flowers, contri­bu­tions can be made to the following:

Pulmonary Hyper­ten­sion Research Foun­da­tion
www.phassociation.org/donate/summer2012

The Harmony Foun­da­tion
110 Seventh Avenue North, Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37203

Christo­pher Roembke College Fund
Make checks payable to Ohio Tuition Trust Authority and include Christopher’s name and account number 607637564 in the memo line.  Checks can be sent to RLL (4601 Lyman Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026) and will be forwarded to Ohio Tuition Trust Authority.

Sato Ran in the Top-Five The Majority of the MAVTV 500 Including Leading Six Laps But Contact While Fourth on the Final Lap Dropped Him to Seventh

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
MAVTV 500 – Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
IZOD IndyCar Series – Season Finale
RACE NOTES/QUOTES — Saturday, September 15, 2012

 
SATO RAN IN THE TOP FIVE THE MAJORITY OF THE MAVTV 500 SEASON FINALE INCLUDING LEADING SIX LAPS BUT CONTACT WHILE FOURTH ON THE FINAL LAP DROPPED HIM TO SEVENTH
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was an exciting race really; a long one.  We were working on the car during the race and it was getting better most of the time but after the sun set the track speed increased and I was strug­gling a little bit on the top speed and the balance. We were close to leading the race at one stage but we had an over-boost on a late restart and the engine started coughing and there was no accel­er­a­tion at that time which was a real shame; I lost some posi­tions.  The end of the race was a real shame. I was side-by-side with Ryan through Turns 1 and 2 and I suddenly lost the back end on the final lap. I feel sorry for the guys who have done a great job over the course of the weekend and also the whole year really. It was a fantastic season so it is a real shame to finish this way.  It was an exciting race.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato climbed through the field from his 21st place start and into the lead for Laps 38 – 39, 150 – 152 and  228 and ran in the top five the majority of the race. He was in fourth place when he lost control of the race car and crashed exiting Turn 2 on the final lap… He ended the 2012 season ranked 15th with a total of 281 points… His best oval qual­i­fying is pole at Iowa Speedway in 2011 and his best finish is fifth at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011… Sato led three street races this season (St. Pete, Long Beach & Balti­more) and at Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. Has led 70 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…

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director Motor­sports Oper­a­tions: “The finale turned into a repeat perfor­mance of our exciting finish at Indi­anapolis unfor­tu­nately.  It was a great run for 499 miles though. We are obvi­ously disap­pointed in our finish but fortu­nately no one was hurt. Our congrat­u­la­tions go out to Ed Carpenter for winning the race and to Ryan Hunter-Reay for winning the cham­pi­onship. It’s been an exciting season for the IndyCar Series and it was a very exciting race for the fans.  It was a good call to bring out the red flag so the race and season didn’t end under caution.”

BMW Team RLL Finish 4th and 9th at Virginia International Raceway

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – September 15, 2012… BMW Team RLL finished the inau­gural Amer­ican Le Mans Series race at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway with the No. 55 M3 GT of Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller in fourth place and the No. 56 M3 GT of Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton in ninth place. The disap­pointing result ended the team’s drive for a third consec­u­tive GT class cham­pi­onship as Corvette Racing clinched the 2012 GT titles.
 
For the second consec­u­tive race, a first turn alter­ca­tion after the race start between proto­type cars brought out the yellow flag and caused the balance of the field to scramble behind them. Müller, starting from the outside of the GT class front row, was forced onto the grass on driver’s left and fell back to the tenth posi­tion. Auberlen, who had started from the seventh spot, had a bit more time to react and took to the grass on the inside of the corner, moving up to fourth. The two M3 GTs raced mid-field before pitting just before the races second yellow flag waved. Auberlen came in on lap 28 to hand off to Jörg Müller. Four laps later and just past the one hour mark Müller entered the pits and Jonathan Summerton took over. With one-and-one-half hours complete, Summerton held the third spot. Müller was two posi­tions back in fifth. As the clock ticked past the mid-point of the race Summerton continued to hold the third spot. Müller was sixth.
 
Jörg Müller pitted the No. 56 M3 GT on lap 63 for fuel and new Dunlop tires. He remained in the car for a second stint. Summerton pitted five laps later to hand the No. 56 back to Dirk Müller. With one-and-one-half hours remaining the No. 56 held onto second, only some seven seconds behind the leader. The No. 55 moved up to fifth.
 
Just before the three hour mark the No. 55 pitted and Bill Auberlen got back behind the wheel. Unfor­tu­nately, at almost the same time it all went wrong for the No. 56. Müller was hit by a proto­type car and forced to the pits to change a broken right front wheel. He returned to the race, but pitted on the next lap and the crew went to work on the damaged suspen­sion. Unable to fix the bent toe link, Müller continued to circu­late to collect points. He ulti­mately finished ninth.
 
Auberlen continued a strong run, moving up to third in the final stages of the race. A deflating tire lost him the podium as he was passed before having to pit for a tire change in the closing minutes of the race.
 
“Today certainly was a chal­lenging day for BMW Team RLL,” said Jay O’Connell, RLL VP Tech­nology. “The No. 56 M3 GT was running in P2 before being hit by a proto­type effec­tively ending any chance for a good finish. The No. 55 didn’t quite have the pace of the other car, but Bill and Jörg drove a good race to almost realize the podium. Unfor­tu­nately, we could not hold the posi­tion.”
           
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (fourth) – “It is so clear that we need straight line speed. The car was good, the team was good. We just don’t have the top speed. The longer the tracks, the more we are at a disad­van­tage.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (fourth) – “That was a very tough race. We made some changes that made the car better in my second stint and we were able to collect points.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (ninth) – “It is so disap­pointing to end the day like this. I was chasing down the leader and – wham – I was hit off the circuit. This is the second time this season that I have been taken out of the race. The proto­type that hit me lost 60 seconds for a penalty, but we lost any chance to decide the cham­pi­onship at Petit Le Mans.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 56 M3 GT (ninth) – “The race was going very well for us and it is a shame that it ended like this.”
 
The final round of the 2012 ALMS season, the Petit Le Mans, will be held on Saturday, October 20th. Live streaming coverage will be avail­able on ESPN3.com starting at 11:15 a.m. ET. ABC tele­vi­sion will broad­cast a race review show at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 21st.

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.
 

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Sato Qualified 16th for the MAVTV 500 IndyCar Series Season Finale; Team Hopes for Strong Finish After Winning Previous 500-Miler Here

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
MAVTV 500 – Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
IZOD IndyCar Series – Season Finale
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES — Friday, September 14, 2012

 
SATO QUALIFIED 16TH FOR THE MAVTV 500 INDYCAR SERIES SEASON FINALE AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY; TEAM HOPES FOR STRONG FINISH AFTER WINNING THE PREVIOUS 500-MILER HERE
 
POLE:   Marco Andretti  2-lap avg. speed of 216.069 mph           (L1: 217.934, L2: 214.235)
16th:     Takuma Sato     2-lap avg. speed of 213.222 mph           (L1: 213.433, L2: 213.010)  
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The morning prac­tice session was a little frus­trating. We did very little running and we wanted to do a lot because we had many things we wanted to try that we carried over from the test in August but we just couldn’t do it. Still I think we got every­thing together for qual­i­fying and we are satis­fied with the speed that we achieved which was the best we did in all of the laps, including the prac­tice sessions and the test before. The condi­tions were not easy; very high temper­a­tures and a little less grip overall.  But I was reason­ably happy with the balance so I could commit.  There is still a lot of work to do in the final prac­tice tonight.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato is among 11 drivers (to date) that will be assessed a 10-grid penalty for an unap­proved engine change. IndyCar Series offi­cials will release the starting grid after final prac­tice tonight… Sato is one of 19 drivers who will compete in their first Indy car race at Auto Club Speedway… His best oval qual­i­fying is pole at Iowa Speedway in 2011 and his best finish is fifth at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011… Sato led three street races this season (St. Pete, Long Beach & Balti­more) and at Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. Has led 70 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.

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director Motor­sports Oper­a­tions: “We are starting in the back part of the grid tomorrow and I’m not disap­pointed at all given the fact that a lot of the teams tested here on Wednesday and we did our test here last month, we only had an hour prac­tice session this morning and the fact that we really only got about 30 minutes of that due to track yellows and soft­ware upgrades to our engine. In actu­ality I am very pleased. We are moving forward from where we were, progress-wise, when we tested and we are really looking forward to tonight’s cooler prac­tice which will be more rele­vant to race condi­tions tomorrow night.  Anybody, anywhere on this grid can win from any posi­tion so qual­i­fying is basi­cally irrel­e­vant. The focus is more about the prac­tice and how the car reacts over the course of long runs.”
 
WIN, 4 PODIUMS & 400 LAPS LED FOR RLL RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: The MAVTV 500 will mark the 11th IndyCar race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here.  The team was entered in seven CART/Champ Car races from 1997 – 2003 but the 2003 event was cancelled due to wild­fires. In total, the team competed in six CART/Champ Car races (all sched­uled as 500-mile races; five run as such) and four Indy Racing League events (2002 – 2005).  The team won ONE RACE (Jimmy Vasser 2002; the previous 500-mile race run here), made TWO front row starts (2nd: Max Papis 1999, Kenny Brack 2003), earned FOUR podiums (2nd- Papis 1999 & 2001; 3rd — Vitor Meira 2005), and led 400 laps (chart avail­able).  The team entered cars for Bobby Rahal (1997 – 1998), Bryan Herta (1997 – 1999), Max Papis (1999 – 2001), Kenny Brack (2000 – 2001, 2003), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – both CCWS & IRL), Michel Jour­dain (2002 – 2003), Buddy Rice (2004 – 2005), Vitor Meira (2004 – 2005), and Danica Patrick (2005).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will be the 20th Indy car entry in this race.
 
NEXT UP: The 250-lap MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway will be broad­cast live on NBC Sports Network begin­ning at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 15.  NBC Sports Network will pay their respects to COO Scott Roembke, who passed away September 9, on their pre-race show.

BMW Team RLL — Virginia International Raceway Qualifying

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – September 14, 2012… BMW Team RLL drivers Dirk Müller and Bill Auberlen ended today’s qual­i­fying session for the four-hour Amer­ican Le Mans Series VIR240 with mixed results.
 
Müller, driving the No. 56 M3 GT, posted the second fastest time in the 15-minute session, only .371 seconds from the GT class pole. His fastest lap — 1:46.359 minutes — was set on his fourth lap of the 3.27-mile circuit. Jonathan Summerton, who is substi­tuting for Joey Hand this weekend, will co-drive with Müller.
 
Since the fourth round of the season, the No. 55 M3 GT has been setting the qual­i­fying pace for the team, but today was different. Auberlen strug­gled with grip throughout the session. His third lap time of 1:46.680 minutes was his best, .692 seconds from the pole, but it was only good enough for the seventh starting posi­tion. He will co-drive with Jörg Müller.
 
With two wins and an addi­tional four podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, Dirk Müller stands third in driver points. Joey Hand stands fourth. Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller are seventh.
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (second) -“In today’s second prac­tice we were not as good as we should be, but Chris (Yancher) and the guys made changes that gave me a great car for qual­i­fying. The car was perfect up through the esses and that is crit­ical to a fast lap here. I know Scott is watching and I hope we can do even better tomorrow.”
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (seventh) – “We have been strug­gling since we unloaded which is very unchar­ac­ter­istic of the No. 55 car of late. I believe we can race better than we qual­i­fied, but I’m sure we will be making quite a few changes this evening.”
 
The VIR 240 race will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET tomorrow with live streaming coverage avail­able on ESPN3.com starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will broad­cast the race at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 16th.

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, 115 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.

# # #

 

RLL Hopes to Carry Over Competitiveness from Indy 500 to MAVTV 500 Season-Finale at Auto Club Speedway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – 21st Season
Pre-Race Notes
MAVTV 500 – Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
Season Finale for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series
 
DATE:                                       September 14 – 15, 2012
QUALIFYING BROADCAST:  September 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. LIVE on www.indycar.com
                                                  (timing & scoring with audio commen­tary)
RACE BROADCAST:              Live on Saturday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
RADIO BROADCAST:             The race will air on IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM (XM 94 & Sirius 212)
TRACK LAYOUT:                    2-mile D-shaped oval
RACE LENGTH:                      250 laps / 500 miles
SATO’S HIGHEST
OVAL START:                          Pole at Iowa Speedway in 2011
SATO’S HIGHEST
OVAL FINISH:                         5th at Texas 2011 (almost won the 2012 Indy 500 with a last lap pass attempt)
SATO AT AC SPEEDWAY:    Will be his first race here.
RLL’S TOP START/
FINISH AT AC SPEEDWAY:  2nd – Max Papis 1999 & Kenny Brack 2003 / 1st — Jimmy Vasser 2002
 
 
NEWS & NOTES:
 
WIN, 4 PODIUMS & 400 LAPS LED FOR RLL RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY:
The MAVTV 500 will mark the 11th IndyCar race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here.  The team was entered in seven CART/Champ Car races from 1997 – 2003 but the 2003 event was cancelled due to wild­fires. In total, the team competed in six CART/Champ Car races (all sched­uled as 500-mile races; five run as such) and four Indy Racing League events (2002 – 2005).  The team won ONE RACE (Jimmy Vasser 2002), made TWO front row starts (2nd: Max Papis 1999, Kenny Brack 2003), earned FOUR podiums (2nd- Papis 1999 & 2001; 3rd — Vitor Meira 2005), and led 400 laps (chart avail­able).  The team entered cars for Bobby Rahal (1997 – 1998), Bryan Herta (1997 – 1999), Max Papis (1999 – 2001), Kenny Brack (2000 – 2001, 2003), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – both CCWS & IRL), Michel Jour­dain (2002 – 2003), Buddy Rice (2004 – 2005), Vitor Meira (2004 – 2005), and Danica Patrick (2005).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will be the 20th Indy car entry in this race.
 
FIRST RACE SINCE COO SCOTT ROEMBKE’S PASSING
The team embarks on the 2012 season-finale with heavy hearts as it will be the first time to race since the passing of long­time Chief Oper­ating Officer Scott Roembke. Our prayers and sympa­thies continue to be with his wife Darcy, son Chris and the entire Roembke family. In the words of team founder Bobby Rahal “Scott will always be a part of our team, now and in the future.”  The team will honor Scott by placing decals with his initials on the race cars and by wearing black armbands at both their IndyCar Series event and their Amer­ican Le Mans Series event at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway on Saturday, September 15. Services are pending.
 
FIRST 500-MILE OPEN WHEEL RACE AT FONTANA SINCE RLL WON
The MAVTV 500 is the 15th and final race of the 2012 IndyCar Series season. The finale also marks the first race other than Indi­anapolis under IndyCar/IRL sanc­tion that will be a 500-mile race. The last 500-mile race Fontana hosted was a decade ago in 2002, won by Jimmy Vasser and then-named Team Rahal in CART with an average speed of 197.995 mph. There have been 10 open-wheel races held at the track under CART and the IndyCar Series sanc­tion and RLL is one of the few teams to have partic­i­pated in all of them.
 
SATO ON HIS FIRST RACE AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
Sato will be one of 19 drivers in the field to race at Fontana for the first time.  Only six drivers have raced in at least one event here before.  The team tested here on Tuesday, August 21 prior to the Sonoma race. 
“Testing here was bene­fi­cial because the track is very different from others so there was a lot to learn. We eval­u­ated a number of the test item and found a basic, initial setup that would work for this unique speedway. We wouldn’t be able to race compet­i­tively without this test because the amount of the work was big and I’m very happy that we completed a good test there. Compared to the number of prac­tice days for the Indy 500, it was a very little amount of testing so we would like to have much more but still it was a very valu­able day for us.”
 
SATO ON THE CHALLENGES OF AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
“It is a big, ultra high-speed two mile oval and I think it is a very chal­lenging speedway. Given that we have very little down­force based on tech­nical regu­la­tions which haven’t fully been confirmed for the specific aero package for the weekend, it’s going to be a very tough race. I am assuming the aero package is likely to have a similar philos­ophy — very light down­force. We had a test there and I was never able to go around flat even on a new tire run plus there are very bumpy sections at the back stretch and into Turn 3. It will be a big chal­lenge to get good stability and good mechan­ical grip as well as reduce the drag.  For drivers, we need to keep the concen­tra­tion level really high for a long race with bumpy, high-speed banking. It will be very chal­lenging and I look forward to it but it will be a tense night.”
 
SATO ON TESTING BEFORE THE AERO PACKAGE IS DETERMINED
A test will take place at Auto Club Speedway on Wednesday, September 12 that will deter­mine the aero package that will be utilized this weekend.  Sato and RLL tested at AC Speedway on September 21 with two other teams and ran setups options based on calcu­lated guesses as to what aero package the series would decide upon for race weekend. Sato is confi­dent the knowl­edge gained at the test was bene­fi­cial.
“It will affect us some but at least we ran the package that was possibly the least down­force at the test so it will mini­mize an impact for the changes. We still have to adapt the setup to opti­mize the revised aero package but usually adding more down­force is easier than the other way around.”
 
SATO ON A 500-MILE SEASON FINALE
“It is a great thing to have a special race to end the season. A 500-mile race is long it will bring many dramatic situ­a­tions, excite­ment, chance for success and etc. so there will be a poten­tial for inter­esting stories and for sure it will be a great race.”
 
SATO ON TRANSFERING THE COMPETITIVENESS FROM THE INDY 500 TO FONTANA
In the “other 500 mile race” run this season, Takuma was along­side even­tual Indy 500 winner Dario Fran­chitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but limited trac­tion and possible tire contact cata­pulted him into a spin and the wall and he ulti­mately finished 17th after starting 19th.  He led the third most race laps at 31 and had a car capable of winning the Indy 500.  He is hoping to carry that compet­i­tive­ness over to the 500-mile season finale.
“Since the track is very different, I think the way you race is different but having said that, a long race with 500-miles means there are some simi­lar­i­ties. I think the way we raced at Indy helps a lot to under­stand how I should drive and build up the good confi­dence and momentum as well as we need to keep tuning the car to adapt to the changing condi­tions during the long race. Having expe­ri­enced a good race at Indy is defi­nitely good help phys­i­cally and mentally.”
 
SATO ON EXPECTATIONS FOR COMPETIVENESS
“Its never easy thing to predict but I expect we should be very compet­i­tive at Fontana. We didn’t have the speed to encourage us at the test but that was because we were collecting a lot of different types of data care­fully so that was more impor­tant. I’m confi­dent that the engi­neers analyzed the data and we are as prepared as we can be. We were strong on the big oval so I am very much looking forward to the weekend.”
 
SATO’S SEASON TO DATE
The season-finale will be the last oppor­tu­nity to improve the team’s season-ending rank. Sato is currently ranked 16th with a total of 255 points.  He is 50 points from a top-10 rank (10th: G. Rahal, 305 pts).  He led four races to date and ran as high as second, fourth and sixth in five others.  His top finish to date this season is a career-best finish of second and he is ranked eighth overall in Laps Led with a total of 70 for leading at St. Pete, Long Beach, Indy and Balti­more.
 

 – RLL -

BMW Team RLL — Virginia International Raceway ALMS Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – September 11, 2012… BMW Team RLL will contest its first race at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway (VIR), in Alton, Va., on Sept. 15. The four-hour VIR 240 is the penul­ti­mate round of the 2012 Amer­ican Le Mans Series season and only a strong finish will keep the team in the hunt for a third consec­u­tive GT class cham­pi­onship.
 
The team will face the weekend with heavy hearts following the death of Scott Roembke. Despite being away from most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons to battle his illness, Scott remained an inte­gral part of the RLL orga­ni­za­tion. Offi­cially he was Chief Oper­ating Officer, but everyone who was part of the first years of the BMW Team RLL program will never forget his reas­suring, “Okay, babe.” or continue to be amazed by the strategy calls he made. The team’s 2010 ALMS cham­pi­onship is a testa­ment to what Scott brought to the team and the sport.
 
Still standing second in GT class manu­fac­turer points, the team has shown it poten­tial to win in the most recent rounds. However, several setbacks have, despite excel­lent efforts, resulted in less than maximum results. A contro­ver­sial call for “avoid­able contact” by the series’ steward at the most recent race in Balti­more took the No. 55 M3 GT of Jörg Müller from the race lead to serve a one minute penalty and ulti­mately a eighth place finish. In the prior race at Road America, close compe­ti­tion resulted in contact that put the No. 56 M3 GT into the wall, ruining what would have been most certainly a 1 – 2 finish for the team. At Lime Rock, Bill Auberlen qual­i­fied the No. 55 M3 GT on the GT class pole, but unfor­tu­nately the BMW ace had to start his 100th ALMS race one lap done from the pit lane after a fuel cell issue on the instal­la­tion lap.
 
With two wins and an addi­tional four podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, Dirk Müller stands third in driver points. Joey Hand stands fourth, but will miss the race at VIR as well as Petit Le Mans due to conflicts with his DTM schedule.  Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller are seventh. Jonathan Summerton will substi­tute for Joey at VIR.
 
“The race at VIR is a first time event for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal.
“It’s a very fast circuit which, I believe, actu­ally works to our strengths. Like at Elkhart Lake, our car seems to like fast corners.  It will be a new expe­ri­ence, so gearing and other areas of the setup are still a little bit of an explo­ration.  We did have a good test there in June so I expect good things.  It’s a diffi­cult place to pass but it should make for a great race.”
           
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “VIR is my other favorite race­track in North America. Fast turns make it fun to drive. We have a great and tested team. I think good things will happen.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “This track is bril­liant. I am fortu­nate that we tested there two months ago. I enjoyed the track and I am glad I have a few laps of expe­ri­ence for this race coming up. My team­mates like the track a lot so this will be posi­tive for everyone.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “I so enjoy this track. It is beau­tiful like Spa with uphills and blind corners. I think our car will do very well there. Since testing there in June I have been excited to go back again.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 56 M3 GT - I really can’t wait to get back in the car and do what­ever I can to help the team. We had a test at VIR a while back and we learned a lot that will help us.”
 
The four-hour VIR 240 race will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 15 with live streaming coverage avail­able on ESPN3.com starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will broad­cast the race at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 16th.

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, 115 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 Held an 8-Second Lead in Baltimore At One Point But Retired in 21st Due to a Fuel Pressure Problem

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Balti­more Grand Prix – Balti­more, Mary­land
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES — Sunday, September 2, 2012

 
SATO HELD AN EIGHT SECOND LEAD AT ONE POINT IN THE GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE BUT RETIRED IN 21ST PLACE DUE TOFUEL PRESSURE PROBLEM
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The start of the race was a tough one due to the chicane.  Where I started, which was basi­cally at the back of the grid, it was already green for me before the chicane, around Turn 12. After a few laps I settled into a rhythm as it was diffi­cult to over­take at that point.  But then the weather really helped me a lot. It started raining and I was grin­ning a little bit of course.  It was strange weather. On the main straight it was quite wet, more than damp, and on the back straight it was dry.  We just stayed on our program. It was diffi­cult condi­tions and a lot of people came in to change to wet tires but we decided to stay on dry tires and I made a huge jump and was in fifth. We over­took on the restarts and led the race, and we led comfort­ably.  But then unfor­tu­nately the problem started – I think a fuel pres­sure problem. The engine started coughing and I started to lose power; espe­cially on the restart, there was just no power and a bunch of the drivers over­took me. Every restart was diffi­cult and in the end it was diffi­cult to select the gears due to some engine response I think.  In the end we had to stop which is a big shame. The boys did a tremen­dous job and some really hard work over the course of the weekend with changing the engine twice. We worked through it and had a really compet­i­tive race and I am really proud of that so it’s just a shame that we couldn’t bring home a good result today.”

  • FAST FACTS: Started 23rd, and with the help of strategy that took into consid­er­a­tion inter­mit­tent rain that differed around the track, he moved into fifth then on into the lead from Laps 24 – 35. He ulti­mately retired in 21st place due to a fuel pres­sure problem after completing 50 of 75 laps… This was Sato’s second race at Balti­more. He qual­i­fied 26th and finished 18th here in 2011 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.

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director Motor­sports Oper­a­tions: “The Bobby Rahal School of Strategy was working magic today. Takuma was able to come from 23rd to first and was running strong. Our engi­neer Gerry Hughes and Takuma put together a good handling car today and it was great to be back on pace. During the restart where Takuma lost four or five posi­tions, we started to incur a fuel pres­sure drop from the engine. Right now we’re not sure, without inspecting the fuel cell, on whether it’s a fuel pump, fuel pres­sure valve, loose line or any of the other possi­bil­i­ties. As we were losing pres­sure during that run, we pitted a bit early to refuel the tank but the problem continued and wors­ened until he was 10-seconds slower. From a safety stand­point we made the deci­sion to park the car.  It was a great run by Takuma, a great job by the engi­neers and Bobby and the team. Unfor­tu­nately we didn’t see the result today.”
 
NEXT UP:  The series will take next weekend off before recon­vening for the 2012 IndyCar Series Season finale at Auto Club Speedway on September 15.

BMW Team RLL Finishes Fourth and Eight in Baltimore

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – September 1, 2012… BMW Team RLL expe­ri­enced a disap­pointing day at the Balti­more Sports Car Chal­lenge after a contro­ver­sial call by the race steward took the lead of the race away from the No. 55 M3 GT on lap 21 with a one minute penalty for avoid­able contact. Ulti­mately finishing in eighth place, the call ended what could have been a great day for Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller.
 
The No. 56 M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fourth after starting from the rear of the field. The move was required after the team elected to change to a new set of Dunlop tires for the race. Hand started the car and by lap 15 had moved up to sixth. Pitting from fourth on lap 26 he handed off to Müller. Müller chal­lenged for third a number of times but was unable to make it stick, finishing fourth at the check­ered flag.
 
The first 20 laps of Jörg Muller’s race was outstanding. He started the No. 55 M3 GT on the outside of the front row and made it through a first turn of spin­ning proto­type class cars with only minor damage. He moved to second as the race went back to green and on lap nine he took the lead with a quick thinking inside move in turn one after the leader was held up. Twelve laps later he was forced to the pits to serve the penalty that was deter­mined to occur in the front straight chicane.
 
Auberlen entered the car on lap 24, returning at the rear of the field. He pitted once more from the tenth spot during the next caution period for softer tires. He made up two more posi­tions to take the check­ered flag in eighth.
 
This race is only the second time this season where at least one of the team cars did not finish on the podium. Now with two wins and four addi­tional podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, BMW continues to stand second in the GT Class Manu­fac­turer points. Dirk Müller holds onto the third spot in Driver points. Hand stands fourth. Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drop to seventh.
 
“It’s very disap­pointing for Jörg and Bill,” said Team Prin­cipal Bobby Rahal. “Jörg didn’t touch the car that crashed. Frankly it was close and someone is looking for any kind of infrac­tion. We paid the price. It’s just a shame because we were leading the race pretty handily and ahead of the car that ended up winning the race. The No. 56 car had a good strong race. It’s clear that the Ferrari is faster than us on the long straights, so we couldn’t pass it there. It is the same with the Corvettes. We try and make it up in the corners, but there are just not enough of them. We scored points, but we were certainly hurt in the cham­pi­onship.”
 
Round 9 of the 2012 Amer­ican Le Mans Series will be held at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway, in Danville, Virginia, on September 15. The four-hour race will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET with live streaming coverage avail­able on ESPN3.com starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will broad­cast the race at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 16th.

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, 115 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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