BMW Team RLL Earns Seventh Consecutive ALMS GT Pole

Monterey, CA. – September 16, 2011… BMW Team RLL driver Joey Hand recorded the sixth pole of the season for the No. 56 M3 GT in this afternoon’s qual­i­fying session for the Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey to extend the BMW Team RLL qual­i­fying streak to a total of seven consec­u­tive poles in 2011. His lap of 1:22.226 minutes around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit bested the 12-car GT field by a margin of .898 seconds. Hand and co-driver Dirk Mϋller lead the GT driver point stand­ings with a total of five podium finishes that include three consec­u­tive victo­ries to start off the season.

Team­mate Bill Auberlen qual­i­fied the No. 55 M3 GT in the third posi­tion with a 1:23.132 minute lap. Auberlen and co-driver Dirk Werner have finished on the podium in three of the last four races, including a second at Road America and stand third in GT driver points.

“Well, this is another great perfor­mance by BMW and the team,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal.  “Joey nailed the laps. It’s a big margin to be ahead. Like Dirk Werner did at Baltimore…Joey found a shortcut.  I am really pleased the cars have been up front all weekend long, we just need to stay there tomorrow. We just hope for a problem free race”.

“On the pole again! It’s great!” said Joey Hand. “I have a cold and haven’t been feeling great this week but didn’t want that to be an excuse. So I gave it every­thing I had. It’s a testa­ment to our team how the car came out of the trailer, we were on the money from the begin­ning. We kept fine tuning through the prac­tice sessions and the guys really nailed it. The No. 56 BMW M3 GT has led every session and we have one more very impor­tant session to lead: the race. My wife and kids are here, we have a lot of Crown Plaza and Avnet friends here and we want to give them a great race at my home racetrack.”

With only two races to go, BMW, BMW Team RLL and Dunlop lead the GT Manu­fac­turer, Team and Tire cham­pi­onship stand­ings respectively.

The six-hour Modspace Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey is sched­uled to take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. PDT Saturday. The race will be broad­cast live on ESPN3.com and rebroad­cast on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 18.