Monthly Archives: October 2012

BMW Team RLL Finish Third and Fourth at Petit Le Mans

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 21, 2012… BMW Team RLL finished its fourth season of American Le Mans Series competition with third and fourth place GT class finishes at the 15th annual 1000-mile Petit Le Mans. The team’s seventh podium finish of the year, that included victories at Sebring and Road America, gave BMW third place in the GT class Manufacturer’s Championship. BMW Team RLL finished second in the Team Championship.
 
Bill Auberlen, Jörg Müller and Jonathan Summerton co-drove the No. 55 BMW M3 GT to a third place finish in today’s race completing 374 laps of the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. The result was the fourth podium finish of the season for the No. 55 machine. Auberlen and Müller shared the win at Road America.
 
The No. 56 machine was shared by Dirk Müller, Uwe Alzen and Summerton. The trio finished fourth, completing 373 laps to make it three podium finishes for the No. 56 M3 GT this season, including the victory at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring.
 
All three of the season-long drivers finished in the top half of the GT Driver Championship. Dirk Müller, last season’s co-champion with Joey Hand, finished fourth. Auberlen and Jörg Müller share the sixth position.
 
The race began with qualifying drivers Jörg Müller, in the No. 55 M3 GT, and Dirk Müller, in the No. 56 M3 GT, starting from the second and seventh positions respectively. The day quickly went sideways – literally – for the No. 56 car when it was hit by a prototype car on lap 12 and, after sliding through the gravel trap in turn 10, was forced to the pits to change a broken right front brake caliper. The repair took three laps and the No. 56 car crew, led by Bobby Rahal, began the long fight back from the rear of the field.
 
As the race passed the half-way point, the No. 55 M3 GT was in fifth and the No. 56 machine in 10th. The No. 55 machine, with Jonathan Summerton behind the wheel at the time, had completed 200 laps or 508 miles – one lap behind the GT class leader. In the No. 56 M3 GT Dirk Müller was scored in the 10th spot with 198 laps completed, three laps behind the class leader.
 
Continuing its strong performance, the No. 55 car, with Bill Auberlen now behind the wheel, inherited the GT class lead on lap 296, and would continue to race in the top-three spots for the remainder of the contest. Auberlen would make his final stop for new Dunlop tires only eight laps from the checkered flag to bring the No. 55 M3 GT home third.
 
Uwe Alzen ran a strong double-stint as the race entered darkness to continue to move the No. 56 car forward. He would eventually hand off to Dirk Müller who would bring the car across the finish line in fourth.
 
“It was a tough day for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We lost a brake line early in the race on the 56 car and dropped three laps. A couple of times the yellow came out and could have given us a chance to catch up again and everyone else got all the good luck. We kept being caught in the wrong spot. The 55 guys did a good job today. They went from being a lap down to leading the race. We ran right with the Corvette and Ferrari and if you get that close to the win, it is disappointing not to be able to close the deal.”
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We had some troubles early this weekend, but RLL always keeps their focus forward and they got the best result that we could. Third is a great result. Thanks to everyone for making my 17th season racing for BMW such a fast one. I hope my 18th is even faster.”
 
 Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I didn’t expect today’s result because at the beginning of the race we were struggling with lots of little problems. The team did a brilliant job to get us back on to the lead lap. This has been a great year. Definitely my pole at Mid-Ohio, our win at Road America and today’s podium are highlights.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “We wanted to fight back for another championship, but we had tough luck this year. A really a big thank you to everyone. Today could have ended badly, but we came back to finish fourth. Third and fourth is a great way to finish the season.”
 
Uwe Alzen, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “This is a very tough race. We had trouble in the beginning with the brake caliper. That cost us three laps, but we finished fourth. Road Atlanta is a great circuit. The people and the atmosphere are great.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 55/56 M3 GT – “With the win at Sebring to start the season and a podium to finish up makes this a great season for me.  It was definitely very exciting to drive both cars in the same race. It was a unique experience and something I will always remember.”
 
ABC will broadcast a review and highlight show of the race at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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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BMW Team RLL – Petit Le Mans Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 19, 2012… BMW Team RLL will start the 15th annual American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans from third and eighth on the GT grid. Jörg Müller, driving the No. 55 BMW M3 GT, posted the third fastest time of the 13-car class during the 15 minute qualifying session. His 1:18.972 minute lap around the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit was only .295 seconds slower than the pole sitting No. 02 Ferrari. He will share the No. 55 machine with Bill Auberlen in tomorrow’s 1000-mile race. 
 
Dirk Müller qualified the No. 56 M3 GT in the eighth starting position with a lap of 1:19.261 minutes, .584 seconds from the front of the grid. He will co-drive with Uwe Alzen. Jonathan Summerton will be the third driver in both cars.
 
Tomorrow’s race will be the fourth time BMW Team RLL has contested the Petit Le Mans. A third place finish last year and a fourth place finish in 2010 secured BMW consecutive GT class manufacturer’s titles. The team’s best Petit Le Mans finish of second came in 2009 when the event was shortened before the mid-point by torrential rains.
 
With two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first nine races of the season, BMW stands third in Manufacturer points, only three points behind Porsche. Dirk Müller stands fifth in driver points, only three points from second. Joey Hand will miss the race due to his DTM commitments, but presently holds sixth place in the driver standings. Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller stand seventh. They are only eleven points from second so all three of the season-long drivers have a chance to finish as high as second with a good result at the 15th annual Petit Le Mans.
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (third) – “We qualified better than we expected. So far we have had quite a good car but during last free practice the Ferrari was four to five tenths ahead. We are now just three tenths behind, so I’m pleased with our effort. We will need to work hard on our race set-up. This is a long race.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (eighth) – “We decided not to fight for the pole, but eighth is definitely not what I was looking for. Personally I always want to fight for pole position. Most importantly, the car feels ready for the race.”
 
The 15th Annual Petit Le Mans will take the green flag at 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 20 with live streaming coverage available on ESPN3.com starting at 11:15 p.m. ET. ABC will broadcast a review and highlight show of the race at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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. Follow the action from the BMW Team RLL pit box on Twitter @BMWUSARacing.
 
 
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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BMW Team RLL – Petit Le Mans ALMS Preview

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 15, 2012… BMW Team RLL will contest its fourth Petit Le Mans race this weekend with only one goal – a victory. The two previous season’s American Le Mans Series season-ending 1000-mile race was run with championships at stake. A fourth place finish in 2010 and a third place finish in 2011 secured BMW consecutive GT class manufacturer’s titles. The team’s best Petit Le Mans finish of second came in 2009 when the event was shortened before the mid-point by torrential rains. This year, with the class championship’s decided, the only goal is the top of the podium.
 
With two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first nine races of the season, BMW stands third in Manufacturer points, only three points behind Porsche. Dirk Müller stands fifth in driver points, only three points from second. Joey Hand will miss the race due to his DTM commitments, but presently holds sixth place in the driver standings. Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller stand seventh. They are only eleven points from second so all three of the season-long drivers have a chance to finish as high as second with a good result at the 15th annual Petit Le Mans.
 
BMW Motorsport driver Uwe Alzen will substitute for Joey Hand and join Dirk Müller in the No. 56 M3 GT. Jonathan Summerton is entered as the third driver in both cars.
 
“We have generally been quick at Road Atlanta but we haven’t quite been able to get to the top of the podium,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “It’s a tough race, probably in some ways tougher than Sebring.  There are a lot of cars on a very narrow, fast track so it is very easy to run into problems which happened to us last year; one car got hit.  It’s a really hard race, in part because it gets dark so early and it gets cold generally.  It’s very easy to make mistakes, or to get involved in someone else’s mistakes. Last year Dirk Müller ran over a guy’s car that had no tail lights, no nothing, coming underneath the bridge, and it really took us out of the race. We have had some good cars there over the years and I anticipate that once again we will have a strong run. I thought Jonathan Summerton did a very good job at VIR and he will be doing double duty driving both cars as we need. Everybody wants to end the year on a high note again and win this race.”
           
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “My favorite race in my favorite car. Now I just need to do my favorite thing – win!!”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I'm really looking forward for Petit Le Mans. It has been a long season and I hope to finish with a good result. I have very good memories of Road Atlanta. That was where I won the championship in 2001.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “The short break before Petit has been great to get my batteries charged. Unfortunately with two incidents caused by the competition we are out of the championship hunt, but we are fighting for second. Petit is a very intense race. We are really focused to finish on a high note.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 55/56 M3 GT – “Petit has always been a race I have wanted to drive in. I am looking forward to driving both the No. 55 and No. 56 car. Hopefully we bring one across the finish line first.”
 
The 15th Annual Petit Le Mans will take the green flag at 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 20 with live streaming coverage available on ESPN3.com starting at 11:15 p.m. ET. ABC will broadcast a review and highlight show of the race at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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. Follow the action from the BMW Team RLL pit box on Twitter @BMWUSARacing.
 
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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