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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