The defending GT driver co-champions started the race from the class pole with Hand at the wheel of the No. 56 BMW M3 GT. Hand led the race for the opening 16 laps until a prototype ran into him causing a puncture of the right rear tire. Hand pitted for fuel and four new tires, returning to the race in the seventh position. The races only caution period brought him back to the pits on lap 41 where Bobby Rahal made a bold strategic move to not change tires and jump the field in the pits to send the BMW Motorsport driver out in the lead. Müller lost the lead, but drove a strong stint to extend BMW Team RLL’s
Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller, driving the No. 55 M3 GT, finished out of the points in11th. Müller, making his first start at
“A great day for Dunlop,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We double-stinted the tires at Sebring and that’s what got us the win. Here we asked for the same thing. There was no question that we had to leap frog the field after being hit and having a flat tire. We didn’t have enough to beat the No. 4 Corvette, but we held everyone else off. We'll take a well deserved second place.”
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “That race was certainly was another mileage test for Dunlop. Bobby and Chris made the right call and it paid off. I knew I had to go a full stint on tires that had already gone 25 laps so I focused on their management – not what was behind me.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT –was a rocket ship today, but you need luck at
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “It’s disappointing that I got trapped in an accident on the second lap. The Corvette braked very hard and I had nowhere to go. We had to change the radiator so we lost many laps. Afterwards the car was still fast. It’s a shame when you have the real potential to win the race and you don’t get any points.”
Round 3 of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Laguna Seca Raceway on Saturday, May 12.The six-hour race will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. PDT and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com beginning at 4:15 p.m. ET. The race will be rebroadcast on ESPN2 television at 5:00 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 13. Live timing and scoring will be hosted on americanlemans.com.
About BMW Team RLL:
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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