Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sato Set the Fourth Fastest Time in Practice But a Red Flag Limited His Qualifying Attempt; Ten-Spot PenaltyDictates A 23rd Place Start

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Baltimore Grand Prix – Baltimore, Maryland
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 1, 2012
FASTEST:         Will Power         1:17.9750 / 94.184 mph              (set in Round 3)
19th:                  Takuma Sato     1:24.5395 / 86.871 mph              (set in Round 1)
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a very frustrating qualifying session. We had a positive morning in the practice session. It started with rain and then in the end we had a few laps in the dry which gave me a very positive feeling compared to yesterday. We made good progress so we were happy with the balance and were looking forward to qualifying.  I was on a warm up lap and the difference between driver (in rank) was only a half lap.  I was in the middle of my second lap and other drivers had completed their second lap when the red came out and I was only warming up.  I didn’t even have a chance to go which is a big shame.  I guess the positive that we take away is that we are back on a good pace. Hopefully in the morning warm-up we make another small step and have a strong afternoon.”

  • FAST FACTS: Set the fourth fastest time in the morning practice. Was only on his second timed lap when the red flag came out that ultimately ended the session. The drivers who took to the track early in the session benefitted and easily progressed to Round 2 while Sato was 10th in his group when the red flag came out… This will be 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.

GERRY HUGHES, Race Engineer for Sato: “Given that we spent a lot of time last night analyzing data from both practice sessions on Friday and made some wholesale changes to the car setup overnight I think our pace in the third practice this morning reflected how far we have moved forward with the setup specific to the circuit. We felt reasonably happy with our performance this morning although we know there was more time to come from the car and also from Takuma getting a clean lap.  It’s a shame to have what essentially would have been a good run in qualifying thwarted by a red flag. We certainly haven’t shown our true pace in qualifying today. Clearly we need to make sure we give Takuma a good car for tomorrow’s race. That just sums up our season so far.”
FIRST INDYCAR RACE AT BALTIMORE FOR RLL RACING: The Baltimore Grand Prix will mark the first IndyCar race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and SECOND overall after competing in the ALMS race last year. Last year at Baltimore, the team’s ALMS GT program – BMW Team RLL — qualified on pole (No. 55) and in third (No. 56). The No. 55 car was taken out of the lead by contact from a Corvette and the team finished fifth (No. 55) and second (No. 56).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will be the first Indy car entry in this race.
NEXT UP:  Warm up will take place tomorrow from 9:45-10:15 a.m. ET.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from  The qualifying show for the Baltimore Grand Prix will be televised tonight on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET and the 75-lap race will air live on the same network at 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday, September 2.

BMW Team RLL – Baltimore ALMS Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 31, 2012… BMW Team RLL qualified its two BMW M3 GT racing cars in the second and fifth GT class starting positions for tomorrow’s two-hour American Le Mans Series Baltimore Sports Car Challenge.
Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 M3 GT on the outside of the front row with a time of 1:30.327 minutes around the 2-mile, 12-turn temporary road course that winds around Baltimore’s Camden Yards stadium complex. Auberlen and co-driver Jörg Müller won the most recent ALMS race at Road America and stand fifth in GT class driver points.
Dirk Müller qualified the No. 56 M3 GT in the fifth starting position with a time of 1:30.838 minutes. Unfortunately he lost control of the car through the front straight chicane on his fifth lap while challenging for the pole and hit the wall. The car will be repaired for tomorrow’s race.  Müller, who stands third in GT driver points, will share the car with Joey Hand. Hand stands fourth in GT driver points after missing the Road America round because of a conflict with his DTM schedule.

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We built on what we learned here last year and demonstrated improvement. In the corners the Dunlop tires and the engineering comes to play. The handling and braking performance allow us to push our car to the absolute limit, which sometimes can be pushed over the limit and that’s when mistakes can happen. Today we made no mistakes and we are on the front row. At Baltimore, you want to start at the front and stay at the front.”
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT –  “We made a couple of very good changes between practice and qualifying. Lap by lap I was coming up on a very good time. On my fifth lap I had quite a time going and just had to get through that last chicane. I put a lot of risk into it, got into the air and just lost it over the train rails. I’m really sorry for the guys that we have some work to do tonight, but I know that we have a really good car for the race.”
The Baltimore Sports Car Challenge will take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 1st. Live streaming coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m. ET on ABC television will broadcast the race at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 2.

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
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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