BMW Team RLL — Lime Rock Park ALMS Preview; Bill Auberlen Set to Make 100th ALMS Start

BMW Team RLL –  Lime Rock Park ALMS Preview; Bill Auberlen Set to Make 100th ALMS Start

 

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – July 2nd, 2012… BMW Team RLL will bring a streak of three consec­u­tive podium finishes in the first three races of the 2012 season, including a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, to the July 7th Amer­ican Le Mans Series North­east Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn. Since the team’s 2009 season debut at least one BMW Team RLL M3 has finished on the podium at BMW of North America’s home track. A third place finish in 2009 led to a double podium 2 – 3 result in 2010. Last year even­tual GT driver co-champions Joey Hand and Dirk Müller won the race after starting from the pole and leading every lap.

Often described as a “bull ring”, Lime Rock Park’s 1.5 miles is a fast ride through just seven corners. Only turn three is left-handed. In fact, it will take longer to read this release than Joey Hand’s record setting pole time last year of 50.925 seconds.

Hand and Müller currently stand second in GT driver points following a win (with Jonathan Summerton) at Sebring, a second place finish at Long Beach and a fourth place finish at Laguna Seca in the No. 56 BMW Team RLL M3.

Team­mates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller are coming off a season’s –best finish of third at Laguna Seca in the No. 55 M3. A fourth place finish at Sebring (with Uwe Alzen) and a disap­pointing 11th at Long Beach has the duo standing fourth in driver points. This will be Müller’s first visit to Lime Rock Park, but he can count on Auberlen who has years of expe­ri­ence and many wins at the North­west Connecticut circuit. Auberlen is also set to make his 100th ALMS start at the North­east Grand Prix.

BMW Team RLL completed two test programs in conjunc­tion with tire partner Dunlop during the seven-week break in the ALMS season for teams partic­i­pating at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first was held at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway, the site of the four-hour Sept. 15 ALMS at VIR race. A second test was held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, host to the round six Mid-Ohio Sports Car Chal­lenge on Aug. 4.

“Last year’s race was a great one for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “It’s a shame that Bill got hit and delayed as a result, but Joey and Dirk drove a great race and won. It was an impor­tant race for us because it was the first race without Scott Roembke in the pits. We missed him, but vowed to get a good result for him and a win was the best possible result. It was also an impor­tant victory on our path to winning the cham­pi­onship again. If you look at the results you would have to say there has been a lot of success at Lime Rock either for me as a driver or as an owner and we certainly hope that it remains that way.

Commenting on Bill Auberlen’s 100th ALMS start, he continued, “It’s a great mile­stone for Bill and shows his compet­i­tive­ness and longevity. That is a lot of seasons in the ALMS because there are only 9 or 10 races a year. It’s not like there are 35 a season. I really wish him a lot of success this season because he has worked hard for it. The No. 55 car has been singu­larly unlucky in a lot of races over the last couple of years through no fault of the drivers. I would be really happy to see him win his 100th race.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT –“I’m excited to have the oppor­tu­nity to get my 100th ALMS start at Lime Rock Park in a BMW M3 for Bobby Rahal. All have played an impor­tant role in my career. I think the top of the podium would be the best place to celebrate.”

Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “ Lime Rock Park will be a new circuit for me, but I could not be in a better posi­tion than to have my co-driver show me around. I am a fast learner and no one knows Lime Rock better than Bill.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “Last season nothing could stop the No. 56 BMW Team RLL M3 at Lime Rock Park. The compe­ti­tion has certainly stepped up their game this season, but we (BMW) still have home field advantage.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “I am looking forward to racing at BMW’s home track again. We are expecting a lot of BMW, Crowne Plaza and Dunlop guests which always gives us special moti­va­tion. We won last year’s race and I believe that our BMW Team RLL M3 is going to be strong there again. It’s time to start the second part of our cham­pi­onship run and we are perfectly prepared for it.” The 2.45-hour Amer­ican Le Mans North­east Grand Prix race is the fourth round of the 2012 ALMS cham­pi­onship. The race will take the green flag at 3:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 7. ESPN2 will air the race same-day begin­ning at 4:00 p.m. ET. Live streaming coverage is avail­able starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com. 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.

 

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