BMW Team RLL Finish Third and Fifth at Mid-Ohio; No. 55 BMW M3 GT wins Michelin Green X Challenge

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – August 4, 2012… Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drove the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT to a third place GT class finish in today’s 2.45-hour Amer­ican Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge after starting the race from the pole posi­tion. The finish also netted the No. 55 M3 GT its second Michelin Green X Chal­lenge trophy of the season. BMW Team RLL team­mates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fifth in the No. 56 M3 GT after starting from seventh.
 
The team’s fourth podium finish of the season keeps BMW second in Manu­fac­turer points, 20 points behind Chevrolet. Hand and Müller, the 2011 class driver co-champions, move back to second in Driver points. Auberlen and Jörg Müller hold onto sixth place.
 
“With all the restric­tions the series has placed upon us, and the free­doms they have given to the compe­ti­tion, we are just not fast enough, “said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “There is an obvious imbal­ance evident in the last few races and I hope that the ALMS will do the right thing. When you know you don’t have the pace you have to rely on strategy and luck. This week the Corvette had an inci­dent and we got lucky again. We need to get back to fair and equal footing and give these guys a run for their money.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): “Really, despite the pole, we were out of contention from the first pit stop. The pit speed limit penalty put a fork in it. We were prepared, but just not fast enough over an entire stint.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): “A podium finish is always good, but I am not happy with the stop and go penalty due to pit lane speeding. There is one button to push for the pit speed limiter. I pushed the button and I got a speed viola­tion. We need to look into that data. We are all working very hard, but we need to be able to fight for better results.”
 
Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT (fifth):  “I had to be aggres­sive from the green flag because we were starting from quite far back. I gave it every­thing I had and tried to make some waves. I gained some posi­tions, but we just don’t have the speed on the straights. It is just too easy for everyone to get past us.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT (fifth): “Obvi­ously, it was not our day – again. To add insult to injury, when I got in the car the tear-off glue stayed on the wind­screen and I could hardly see anything in front of me. I had a view to left and right, but it was very diffi­cult to drive one hour almost blind. It was a tough day at the office.”

The next round of the 2012 Amer­ican Le Mans Series will be held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 18th. The four-hour race will be streamed live on ESPN3 at 3:15 p.m. ET and will be tele­vised on ESPN2 on August 19th begin­ning at 2 p.m. ET.

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, 114 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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