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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