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: 12,5x18“, rear axle: 13x18“)
 
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 (2x29.4mm)
 
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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