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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.