ALMS News

Debut for the BMW Z4 GTE and the Newly Structured BMW Team RLL – Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts on Board as Premium Partner Again in 2013

DAYTONA (US), 12th February 2013. BMW is embarking on a new chapter of its motorsport commitment in North America: after four successful years with the BMW M3 GT, the new BMW Z4 GTE will take over at the head of the manufacturer’s campaign in the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). On Tuesday, BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL presented the car and drivers for the new season at the “Daytona International Speedway” (US).
 
Supported by Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, guests from around the world were given the opportunity to inspect the BMW Z4 GTE at close hand, talk to those responsible for the team, and experience the iconic racetrack in Florida from the cockpit, courtesy of taxi rides with the BMW ALMS drivers.
 
“As we approach the start of the ALMS season in mid-March, so the anticipation is gradually rising,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “All of us at BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL are very curious to see how the first few races pan out with the new BMW Z4 GTE. We are setting out on a development year, but are very confident we have once again developed a car that has the potential to win races and titles in the form of the BMW Z4 GTE. Seeing our drivers at this event, you could tell how much they are looking forward to the first race in Sebring. I would also like to say a big thank you to our Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts for its fantastic support here in Daytona.”
 
Team Principal Bobby Rahal added: “Obviously I am very excited to enter this new year with the BMW Z4 GTE. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the team for the new car. Certainly there will be a development period involved but ultimately I see no reason why we can’t be competitive with the great competition that exists in the GT category in the ALMS. Although this might be a development year in many respects, the level of driver talent we have on the team – including the two new exciting additions with Maxime Martin and John Edwards – I think that ultimately we can have success and do much as we did in 2009, the first year of the BMW M3 GT, and work hard toward achieving maximum results in its first year. One aspect of the launch that is very exciting is not just the introduction of the BMW Z4 GTE and our drivers, but also the collection of historic cars that were the cars that began the success story of BMW in North American racing.”


The guests had travelled to Orlando (US) on Monday, and were welcomed that evening at a dinner in the Crowne Plaza Universal Orlando by Jens Marquardt, Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America, BMW Team RLL Team Principal Bobby Rahal and BMW NA Motorsport Manager Gordon McDonnell. On Tuesday, the ALMS drivers took them on a series of taxi rides in historic BMW racing cars. This was followed by the unveiling of the BMW Z4 GTE.
 
BMW Motorsport also announced the driving pairs for the coming season. Car number 55 will be driven by Bill Auberlen (US) and ALMS rookie Maxime Martin (BE). Dirk Müller (DE) will contest all the races in the number 56 car. Joey Hand (US) and John Edwards (US) will alternate as the two-time ALMS GT champion’s driving partner. Edwards will stand in for Hand when he is unavailable due to his parallel commitment in the DTM. Jörg Müller (DE, #55) and Uwe Alzen (DE, #56) will bolster the squad at the endurance races at Sebring (US) and Road Atlanta (US).
 
The BMW Z4 GTE will contest its first season in 2013. In July 2012, BMW Motorsport engineers in Munich (DE) began work on developing a GTE version of the BMW Z4 GT3, which would comply with ACO regulations. The BMW Z4 GT3 itself has enjoyed many years of success in high-class GT series around the world. The regulations stipulate that electronic aids that may be used on the BMW Z4 GT3, such as ABS and DSC, are not permitted on a GTE car.
 
The BMW Z4 GTE is considerably more compact than its successful predecessor, the BMW M3 GT. All the dimensions of the BMW Z4 GTE have been modified to comply with ACO regulations. The new car took to the racetrack for its maiden test outing in the second half of January. BMW Team RLL was integrated in the process throughout the entire development period. Engineers from the USA travelled to Munich in December to play their part in the assembly of the BMW Z4 GTE.
 
The car is not the only important new thing BMW Team RLL can look forward to in the coming season: Michelin is the new Tyre Partner of BMW Motorsport in the ALMS. In contrast, Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is something of a constant. The successful cooperation will continue in 2013. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts belongs to the InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG maintains, runs and owns over 4,400 hotels and more than 658,000 rooms in approaching 100 countries.


 
Technical Specifications BMW Z4 GT3.
 
Length:                       4,395mm (excl. rear wing)
Width:                         2,010mm
Height:                        1,205mm (depending on set-up)
Weight:                       1,245kg (according to ACO regulations)
Tank capacity:           110 litres (according to IMSA classification)
 
Chassis/body: Steel body with welded safety cell
 
Transmission: six-speed sequential sport transmission, operated via shifting paddles mounted on the steering wheel, multiple ZF Sachs clutch
 
Front axle: McPherson axle with pushrods and wishbone, additionally with adjustable shock absorbers, H&R coil springs
 
Rear axle: Longitudinal links with wishbone, adjustable shock absorbers, H&R coil springs
 
Brake system: hydraulic dual circuit brake; monobloc multi-piston light alloy brake callipers, innver-vented steel brake discs, seamless brake balance adjustment (front and rear) by the driver
 
Wheels: BBS forged aluminum wheels, front axle: 12,5×18“, rear axle: 13×18“)
 
Tyres: Michelin, front axle: 300-680-18, rear axle: 310-710-18
 
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration, four valves per cylindre, mandatory air restrictor (2×29.4mm)
 
Capacity:                    4,400cc
Max. output:              approx. 480bhp (with mandatory air restrictor)
Max. torque:              approx. 480Nm
 
Cylinder block: Aluminum cylinder block construction
 
Engine management: BMW Motorsport ECU 408, without fuses, central display
 
 
Note to the editors: The 2013 BMW Motorsport ALMS press kit is now available online at: www.press.bmwgroup-sport.com

BMW Team RLL Returns to 2013 ALMS with New BMW Z4 GTE; New Cars, Drivers and Management to Launch Fifth Season at Sebring

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 14,  2013 . . . BMW of North America and BMW Motorsport today announced that BMW Team RLL will again campaign BMW’s American Le Mans Series entries in 2013. The two car team will do battle with the best of North American GT class sports car racing with the newly designed BMW Z4 GTE starting with the season-opening 12 hours of Sebring on March 16.
 
“We are really looking forward to this new chapter of BMW racing in North America,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. “After two Manufacturer’s championships, two Team championships, one Driver championship, and the Michelin Green-X championship for BMW Team RLL with the M3 GT, we now entrust the same strong team to deliver more trophies with our new Z4 GTE. We are absolutely convinced that BMW fans will again see great ALMS GT class racing in 2013.”
 
“With the BMW Z4 GTE, we are starting a new chapter in North America alongside BMW Team RLL,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We have celebrated magnificent victories and titles with the BMW M3 GT and BMW Team RLL over the past four years. The BMW Z4 GTE has everything it needs to continue this success story.”
 
The BMW Z4 GTE was developed for the ALMS regulations, based on the BMW Z4 GT3, which has celebrated multiple championship wins in Europe and Asia in the capable hands of professional and privateer BMW drivers. This year’s ten-race ALMS season will also be used as a development year for the new car in order to lay the best foundation for the all-new face of North American sports car racing in 2014.
 
“All of us at BMW Team RLL are very excited about the 2013 season with the new BMW Z4 GTE,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We had four great years with the BMW M3 GT and now want to compete on a par with our rivals with the BMW Z4 GTE as soon as possible.  With any new car there is going to be a period of development, but we are excited about the upcoming season. This will be our fifth year with BMW and it’s obvious we have a great working relationship. In fact, some of the members of the team are in Munich working side-by-side with BMW Motorsport building the cars. We share the same approach in terms of our desire to be successful and it’s a real honor and privilege to represent BMW in motorsport.”
 
This year, the BMW Team RLL driver line-up will feature a strong mix of experience and youth. Returning drivers Bill Auberlen (US), Joey Hand (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) will anchor the effort. Due to his full-time commitment to BMW in the DTM series, for a second consecutive season, Hand will contest only some ALMS races in 2013. Twenty-one-year old New Yorker John Edwards (US) will join the team, replacing Hand for the races that don’t fit into Hand’s DTM schedule. Beginning his career in open-wheel racing, Edwards won the Star Mazda title in 2008 and the Atlantic series championship in 2009. Since 2010 he has focused on GT and GS class racing in the GRAND-AM series.
 
The newest BMW Motorsport driver, Maxime Martin (BE), will join BMW Team RLL for the full 2013 season. The 26-year old finished second in the 2012 BMW Sport Trophy after a strong season racing a BMW Z4 GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series and a BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters. For the long-distance races at Sebring and the Petit Le Mans, Uwe Alzen (DE) and Jörg Müller (DE) will return to the team.
 
Long-time BMW employee Gordon McDonnell has been named the dedicated BMW NA Motorsport Manager, responsible to lead the program from concept to the finish line. McDonnell’s diverse experience includes North American management of BMW Motorsport Parts, M Performance Parts, and BMW NA’s current GRAND-AM programs. Given the merger between ALMS and GRAND-AM, McDonnell is well-positioned to maximize BMW’s racing successes in the USA.
 
More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.
 
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 34 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.
 
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:  www.bmwgroupna.com
 
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 over two decades, compiling 28 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) 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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BMW Team RLL Finish Third and Fourth at Petit Le Mans

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 21, 2012… BMW Team RLL finished its fourth season of American Le Mans Series competition with third and fourth place GT class finishes at the 15th annual 1000-mile Petit Le Mans. The team’s seventh podium finish of the year, that included victories at Sebring and Road America, gave BMW third place in the GT class Manufacturer’s Championship. BMW Team RLL finished second in the Team Championship.
 
Bill Auberlen, Jörg Müller and Jonathan Summerton co-drove the No. 55 BMW M3 GT to a third place finish in today’s race completing 374 laps of the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. The result was the fourth podium finish of the season for the No. 55 machine. Auberlen and Müller shared the win at Road America.
 
The No. 56 machine was shared by Dirk Müller, Uwe Alzen and Summerton. The trio finished fourth, completing 373 laps to make it three podium finishes for the No. 56 M3 GT this season, including the victory at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring.
 
All three of the season-long drivers finished in the top half of the GT Driver Championship. Dirk Müller, last season’s co-champion with Joey Hand, finished fourth. Auberlen and Jörg Müller share the sixth position.
 
The race began with qualifying drivers Jörg Müller, in the No. 55 M3 GT, and Dirk Müller, in the No. 56 M3 GT, starting from the second and seventh positions respectively. The day quickly went sideways – literally – for the No. 56 car when it was hit by a prototype car on lap 12 and, after sliding through the gravel trap in turn 10, was forced to the pits to change a broken right front brake caliper. The repair took three laps and the No. 56 car crew, led by Bobby Rahal, began the long fight back from the rear of the field.
 
As the race passed the half-way point, the No. 55 M3 GT was in fifth and the No. 56 machine in 10th. The No. 55 machine, with Jonathan Summerton behind the wheel at the time, had completed 200 laps or 508 miles – one lap behind the GT class leader. In the No. 56 M3 GT Dirk Müller was scored in the 10th spot with 198 laps completed, three laps behind the class leader.
 
Continuing its strong performance, the No. 55 car, with Bill Auberlen now behind the wheel, inherited the GT class lead on lap 296, and would continue to race in the top-three spots for the remainder of the contest. Auberlen would make his final stop for new Dunlop tires only eight laps from the checkered flag to bring the No. 55 M3 GT home third.
 
Uwe Alzen ran a strong double-stint as the race entered darkness to continue to move the No. 56 car forward. He would eventually hand off to Dirk Müller who would bring the car across the finish line in fourth.
 
“It was a tough day for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We lost a brake line early in the race on the 56 car and dropped three laps. A couple of times the yellow came out and could have given us a chance to catch up again and everyone else got all the good luck. We kept being caught in the wrong spot. The 55 guys did a good job today. They went from being a lap down to leading the race. We ran right with the Corvette and Ferrari and if you get that close to the win, it is disappointing not to be able to close the deal.”
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We had some troubles early this weekend, but RLL always keeps their focus forward and they got the best result that we could. Third is a great result. Thanks to everyone for making my 17th season racing for BMW such a fast one. I hope my 18th is even faster.”
 
 Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I didn’t expect today’s result because at the beginning of the race we were struggling with lots of little problems. The team did a brilliant job to get us back on to the lead lap. This has been a great year. Definitely my pole at Mid-Ohio, our win at Road America and today’s podium are highlights.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “We wanted to fight back for another championship, but we had tough luck this year. A really a big thank you to everyone. Today could have ended badly, but we came back to finish fourth. Third and fourth is a great way to finish the season.”
 
Uwe Alzen, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “This is a very tough race. We had trouble in the beginning with the brake caliper. That cost us three laps, but we finished fourth. Road Atlanta is a great circuit. The people and the atmosphere are great.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 55/56 M3 GT – “With the win at Sebring to start the season and a podium to finish up makes this a great season for me.  It was definitely very exciting to drive both cars in the same race. It was a unique experience and something I will always remember.”
 
ABC will broadcast a review and highlight show of the race at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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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BMW Team RLL – Petit Le Mans Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 19, 2012… BMW Team RLL will start the 15th annual American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans from third and eighth on the GT grid. Jörg Müller, driving the No. 55 BMW M3 GT, posted the third fastest time of the 13-car class during the 15 minute qualifying session. His 1:18.972 minute lap around the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit was only .295 seconds slower than the pole sitting No. 02 Ferrari. He will share the No. 55 machine with Bill Auberlen in tomorrow’s 1000-mile race. 
 
Dirk Müller qualified the No. 56 M3 GT in the eighth starting position with a lap of 1:19.261 minutes, .584 seconds from the front of the grid. He will co-drive with Uwe Alzen. Jonathan Summerton will be the third driver in both cars.
 
Tomorrow’s race will be the fourth time BMW Team RLL has contested the Petit Le Mans. A third place finish last year and a fourth place finish in 2010 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.
 
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.
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (third) – “We qualified better than we expected. So far we have had quite a good car but during last free practice the Ferrari was four to five tenths ahead. We are now just three tenths behind, so I’m pleased with our effort. We will need to work hard on our race set-up. This is a long race.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (eighth) – “We decided not to fight for the pole, but eighth is definitely not what I was looking for. Personally I always want to fight for pole position. Most importantly, the car feels ready for the race.”
 
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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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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BMW Team RLL Finish 4th and 9th at Virginia International Raceway

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 15, 2012… BMW Team RLL finished the inaugural American Le Mans Series race at Virginia International Raceway with the No. 55 M3 GT of Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller in fourth place and the No. 56 M3 GT of Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton in ninth place. The disappointing result ended the team’s drive for a third consecutive GT class championship as Corvette Racing clinched the 2012 GT titles.
 
For the second consecutive race, a first turn altercation after the race start between prototype cars brought out the yellow flag and caused the balance of the field to scramble behind them. Müller, starting from the outside of the GT class front row, was forced onto the grass on driver’s left and fell back to the tenth position. Auberlen, who had started from the seventh spot, had a bit more time to react and took to the grass on the inside of the corner, moving up to fourth. The two M3 GTs raced mid-field before pitting just before the races second yellow flag waved. Auberlen came in on lap 28 to hand off to Jörg Müller. Four laps later and just past the one hour mark Müller entered the pits and Jonathan Summerton took over. With one-and-one-half hours complete, Summerton held the third spot. Müller was two positions back in fifth. As the clock ticked past the mid-point of the race Summerton continued to hold the third spot. Müller was sixth.
 
Jörg Müller pitted the No. 56 M3 GT on lap 63 for fuel and new Dunlop tires. He remained in the car for a second stint. Summerton pitted five laps later to hand the No. 56 back to Dirk Müller. With one-and-one-half hours remaining the No. 56 held onto second, only some seven seconds behind the leader. The No. 55 moved up to fifth.
 
Just before the three hour mark the No. 55 pitted and Bill Auberlen got back behind the wheel. Unfortunately, at almost the same time it all went wrong for the No. 56. Müller was hit by a prototype car and forced to the pits to change a broken right front wheel. He returned to the race, but pitted on the next lap and the crew went to work on the damaged suspension. Unable to fix the bent toe link, Müller continued to circulate to collect points. He ultimately finished ninth.
 
Auberlen continued a strong run, moving up to third in the final stages of the race. A deflating tire lost him the podium as he was passed before having to pit for a tire change in the closing minutes of the race.
 
“Today certainly was a challenging day for BMW Team RLL,” said Jay O’Connell, RLL VP Technology. “The No. 56 M3 GT was running in P2 before being hit by a prototype effectively ending any chance for a good finish. The No. 55 didn’t quite have the pace of the other car, but Bill and Jörg drove a good race to almost realize the podium. Unfortunately, we could not hold the position.”
           
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (fourth) – “It is so clear that we need straight line speed. The car was good, the team was good. We just don’t have the top speed. The longer the tracks, the more we are at a disadvantage.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (fourth) – “That was a very tough race. We made some changes that made the car better in my second stint and we were able to collect points.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (ninth) – “It is so disappointing to end the day like this. I was chasing down the leader and – wham – I was hit off the circuit. This is the second time this season that I have been taken out of the race. The prototype that hit me lost 60 seconds for a penalty, but we lost any chance to decide the championship at Petit Le Mans.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (ninth) – “The race was going very well for us and it is a shame that it ended like this.”
 
The final round of the 2012 ALMS season, the Petit Le Mans, will be held on Saturday, October 20th. Live streaming coverage will be available on ESPN3.com starting at 11:15 a.m. ET. ABC television will broadcast a race review show at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 21st.

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.
 

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BMW Team RLL – Virginia International Raceway Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 14, 2012… BMW Team RLL drivers Dirk Müller and Bill Auberlen ended today’s qualifying session for the four-hour American Le Mans Series VIR240 with mixed results.
 
Müller, driving the No. 56 M3 GT, posted the second fastest time in the 15-minute session, only .371 seconds from the GT class pole. His fastest lap – 1:46.359 minutes – was set on his fourth lap of the 3.27-mile circuit. Jonathan Summerton, who is substituting for Joey Hand this weekend, will co-drive with Müller.
 
Since the fourth round of the season, the No. 55 M3 GT has been setting the qualifying pace for the team, but today was different. Auberlen struggled with grip throughout the session. His third lap time of 1:46.680 minutes was his best, .692 seconds from the pole, but it was only good enough for the seventh starting position. He will co-drive with Jörg Müller.
 
With two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, Dirk Müller stands third in driver points. Joey Hand stands fourth. Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller are seventh.
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – (second) -“In today’s second practice we were not as good as we should be, but Chris (Yancher) and the guys made changes that gave me a great car for qualifying. The car was perfect up through the esses and that is critical to a fast lap here. I know Scott is watching and I hope we can do even better tomorrow.”
 
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – (seventh) – “We have been struggling since we unloaded which is very uncharacteristic of the No. 55 car of late. I believe we can race better than we qualified, but I’m sure we will be making quite a few changes this evening.”
 
The VIR 240 race will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET tomorrow with live streaming coverage available on ESPN3.com starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will broadcast the race at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 16th.

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, 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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BMW Team RLL – Virginia International Raceway ALMS Preview

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 11, 2012… BMW Team RLL will contest its first race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), in Alton, Va., on Sept. 15. The four-hour VIR 240 is the penultimate round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series season and only a strong finish will keep the team in the hunt for a third consecutive GT class championship.
 
The team will face the weekend with heavy hearts following the death of Scott Roembke. Despite being away from most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons to battle his illness, Scott remained an integral part of the RLL organization. Officially he was Chief Operating Officer, but everyone who was part of the first years of the BMW Team RLL program will never forget his reassuring, “Okay, babe.” or continue to be amazed by the strategy calls he made. The team’s 2010 ALMS championship is a testament to what Scott brought to the team and the sport.
 
Still standing second in GT class manufacturer points, the team has shown it potential to win in the most recent rounds. However, several setbacks have, despite excellent efforts, resulted in less than maximum results. A controversial call for “avoidable contact” by the series’ steward at the most recent race in Baltimore took the No. 55 M3 GT of Jörg Müller from the race lead to serve a one minute penalty and ultimately a eighth place finish. In the prior race at Road America, close competition resulted in contact that put the No. 56 M3 GT into the wall, ruining what would have been most certainly a 1-2 finish for the team. At Lime Rock, Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 M3 GT on the GT class pole, but unfortunately the BMW ace had to start his 100th ALMS race one lap done from the pit lane after a fuel cell issue on the installation lap.
 
With two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, Dirk Müller stands third in driver points. Joey Hand stands fourth, but will miss the race at VIR as well as Petit Le Mans due to conflicts with his DTM schedule.  Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller are seventh. Jonathan Summerton will substitute for Joey at VIR.
 
“The race at VIR is a first time event for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal.
“It’s a very fast circuit which, I believe, actually works to our strengths. Like at Elkhart Lake, our car seems to like fast corners.  It will be a new experience, so gearing and other areas of the setup are still a little bit of an exploration.  We did have a good test there in June so I expect good things.  It’s a difficult place to pass but it should make for a great race.”
           
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “VIR is my other favorite racetrack in North America. Fast turns make it fun to drive. We have a great and tested team. I think good things will happen.”
 
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “This track is brilliant. I am fortunate that we tested there two months ago. I enjoyed the track and I am glad I have a few laps of experience for this race coming up. My teammates like the track a lot so this will be positive for everyone.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “I so enjoy this track. It is beautiful like Spa with uphills and blind corners. I think our car will do very well there. Since testing there in June I have been excited to go back again.”
 
Jonathan Summerton, driver No. 56 M3 GT – I really can’t wait to get back in the car and do whatever I can to help the team. We had a test at VIR a while back and we learned a lot that will help us.”
 
The four-hour VIR 240 race will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 15 with live streaming coverage available on ESPN3.com starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will broadcast the race at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 16th.

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, 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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BMW Team RLL Finishes Fourth and Eight in Baltimore

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 1, 2012… BMW Team RLL experienced a disappointing day at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge after a controversial call by the race steward took the lead of the race away from the No. 55 M3 GT on lap 21 with a one minute penalty for avoidable contact. Ultimately finishing in eighth place, the call ended what could have been a great day for Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller.
 
The No. 56 M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fourth after starting from the rear of the field. The move was required after the team elected to change to a new set of Dunlop tires for the race. Hand started the car and by lap 15 had moved up to sixth. Pitting from fourth on lap 26 he handed off to Müller. Müller challenged for third a number of times but was unable to make it stick, finishing fourth at the checkered flag.
 
The first 20 laps of Jörg Muller’s race was outstanding. He started the No. 55 M3 GT on the outside of the front row and made it through a first turn of spinning prototype class cars with only minor damage. He moved to second as the race went back to green and on lap nine he took the lead with a quick thinking inside move in turn one after the leader was held up. Twelve laps later he was forced to the pits to serve the penalty that was determined to occur in the front straight chicane.
 
Auberlen entered the car on lap 24, returning at the rear of the field. He pitted once more from the tenth spot during the next caution period for softer tires. He made up two more positions to take the checkered flag in eighth.
 
This race is only the second time this season where at least one of the team cars did not finish on the podium. Now with two wins and four additional podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, BMW continues to stand second in the GT Class Manufacturer points. Dirk Müller holds onto the third spot in Driver points. Hand stands fourth. Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drop to seventh.
 
“It's very disappointing for Jörg and Bill,” said Team Principal Bobby Rahal. “Jörg didn't touch the car that crashed. Frankly it was close and someone is looking for any kind of infraction. We paid the price. It's just a shame because we were leading the race pretty handily and ahead of the car that ended up winning the race. The No. 56 car had a good strong race. It's clear that the Ferrari is faster than us on the long straights, so we couldn't pass it there. It is the same with the Corvettes. We try and make it up in the corners, but there are just not enough of them. We scored points, but we were certainly hurt in the championship.”
 
Round 9 of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Virginia International Raceway, in Danville, Virginia, on September 15. The four-hour race will take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET with live streaming coverage available on ESPN3.com starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will broadcast the race at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 16th.

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, 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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BMW Team RLL – Baltimore ALMS Qualifying

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 31, 2012… BMW Team RLL qualified its two BMW M3 GT racing cars in the second and fifth GT class starting positions for tomorrow’s two-hour American Le Mans Series Baltimore Sports Car Challenge.
 
Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 M3 GT on the outside of the front row with a time of 1:30.327 minutes around the 2-mile, 12-turn temporary road course that winds around Baltimore’s Camden Yards stadium complex. Auberlen and co-driver Jörg Müller won the most recent ALMS race at Road America and stand fifth in GT class driver points.
 
Dirk Müller qualified the No. 56 M3 GT in the fifth starting position with a time of 1:30.838 minutes. Unfortunately he lost control of the car through the front straight chicane on his fifth lap while challenging for the pole and hit the wall. The car will be repaired for tomorrow’s race.  Müller, who stands third in GT driver points, will share the car with Joey Hand. Hand stands fourth in GT driver points after missing the Road America round because of a conflict with his DTM schedule.

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We built on what we learned here last year and demonstrated improvement. In the corners the Dunlop tires and the engineering comes to play. The handling and braking performance allow us to push our car to the absolute limit, which sometimes can be pushed over the limit and that’s when mistakes can happen. Today we made no mistakes and we are on the front row. At Baltimore, you want to start at the front and stay at the front.”
 
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT –  “We made a couple of very good changes between practice and qualifying. Lap by lap I was coming up on a very good time. On my fifth lap I had quite a time going and just had to get through that last chicane. I put a lot of risk into it, got into the air and just lost it over the train rails. I’m really sorry for the guys that we have some work to do tonight, but I know that we have a really good car for the race.”
 
The Baltimore Sports Car Challenge will take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 1st. Live streaming coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com. ABC television will broadcast the race at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 2.

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, 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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