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.”
 
1 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.

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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:
 
1 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 TO A FUEL 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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