Munich, 23rd July 2012. BMW Team RLL persevered through Sunday’s 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Mosport (CA) to cross the line fourth and eighth in the GT class. Following the exclusion of the winning Porsche, the two BMW M3 GT cars were ultimately classified third and seventh.
Limited by technical regulations that have reduced the BMW M3 GT’s top speed, the fans that lined Mosport’s 2.459 miles were unable to watch the 2010 and 2011 GT class champions in their familiar positions at the front of the field.
Joey Hand (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) were classified third in the no. 56 BMW M3 GT. Dirk Müller started the car from sixth and ran as high as third before pitting on lap 30 for fuel and tyres. On lap 62 he pitted to turn the car over to Hand. Hand pitted once more for tyres and fuel in the final 49 laps of the race.
Bill Auberlen (US) and Jörg Müller (DE) finished seventh in the no. 55 BMW M3 GT. Auberlen started the car from third spot and took advantage of the race’s first caution period to pit for fuel and tyres on lap 14. Running as high as second he was only seven seconds behind the class leader at the one hour mark. Forced into the pits under green on lap 51 for new tyres he handed over to Jörg Müller who returned to the race in ninth one lap down on the leaders. Müller moved up to sixth before needing new tyres just before the two-hour mark. He rejoined the race in eight, holding that position to the chequered flag.
Round six of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held Saturday, 4th August, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington (US).
Dirk Müller (BMW M3 GT – No. 56):
“I think everyone has seen we've had a tough weekend, but we never gave up. Fourth was the maximum we could have achieved. It was a tough race. We played it lap by lap and in the end we were able to gain on second place in the championship because of tough luck for one of our competitors. Quite a few times today I was quicker than another car in the corners but not on the straights, once I'm behind I get dirty air and can't drive behind them. If they are behind they can slipstream on the straights and get by.”
Joey Hand (BMW M3 GT – No. 56):
“It was obvious we didn't have the pace today. We did what we had to do to get as many points as possible, and on that front we executed really well. We are really, really not competitive on the straights. Everyone can pass us wherever they choose. We have to work so hard everywhere else and it’s too hard on the car. It will be tougher at the next tracks, but this team is, for sure, not giving up. We just need to continue to focus forward as Bobby would say and work on the next races.”
Jörg Müller (BMW M3 GT – No. 55):
“We had a very good qualifying and that was promising, but during the race we started to get into trouble. We tried to pit early to get out of the rhythm of the others. We got stuck coming out of the pits behind slower cars. I was stuck behind one car for 15 laps. Mosport is a narrow circuit so it is tough. You always lose your down force following someone into these fast corners so you can never really close in. It's nearly impossible to overtake and you can lose 20 to 30 seconds. The race was over for us at that point.”
Bill Auberlen (BMW M3 GT – No. 55)
“We put our car up on the ragged edge to try and get the lap time back. These guys are so good at making the time, but you can't make everything live like that.