BMW Team RLL — Laguna Seca ALMS Qualifying Report


Wood­cliff Lake
, N.J.
 – May11, 2012… BMW Team RLL will line up in the third and seventh GT class starting posi­tions for tomor­rows six-hour Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey race at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Jörg Müller posted a 1:22.905 minute lap in the No. 55 BMW M3 GT for the third fastest time in the 12-car GT class. This weekend is Müller’s first time back at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit since 2001 when he co-drove to a victory with JJ Lehto in the No. 42 BMW M3 GTR. He will co-drive this weekend with Bill Auberlen.

Joey Hand set the seventh fastest time in today’s 15-minute qual­i­fying session. He drove the No. 56 BMW M3 to a 1:22.939 minute lap. Hand and co-driver Dirk Müller sit atop the GT class driver points after a win at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring and a second place finish four weeks ago at Long Beach. The duo has finished second in this race in the previous two seasons.

BMW has shared a signif­i­cant history with the classic Laguna Seca circuit, begin­ning with a win by Hans Joachim Stuck and Dieter Quester in a BMW CSL in 1975. BMW Team RLL arrives to Laguna Seca tied for the lead in GT Manu­fac­turer point stand­ings and is looking for the team’s first victory at Laguna Seca.

“I don’t know why but six hours here seems harder than twelve hours at Sebring,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “Tomorrow will be diffi­cult, but we have good handling cars and I have no doubt that there will be lots of yellows. We have been here before and gotten close. We would like to finish the job tomorrow and get the win.”

Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): It was 11 yrs ago that I raced here and I was surprised how quickly I got back into the rhythm of the circuit even though there was quite a bit of traffic. I am quite happy with my perfor­mance so far. Laguna Seca is one of the nicest circuits in North America.  I walked up to the corkscrew yesterday just to watch at such a unique turn.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT (seventh): We had a decent qual­i­fying session today. We made a lot of changes through prac­tice and the car got better and better. We are still working on getting rid of a little bit of under­steer, but I know Chris Yanchar (car chief) has a few good ideas about that.”

The Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey race will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 12. ESPN2 will air the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is avail­able starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

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, 113 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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Jour­nalist note:

Infor­ma­tion about the BMW and its prod­ucts is avail­able to jour­nal­ists on-line at www.bmwusanews.com.  

Video inter­views and on-board clips are avail­able at www.youtube.com/BMWNAMotorsport.

 

Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing and on Face­book at BMWUSA.

Infor­ma­tion about Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is avail­able via at: www.rahal.com.