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“It was a tough-one,” said Sato of last year’s race. “It was a good race but we did everything we could and still ONLY finished 4th which was actually quite disappointing especially I was very competitive in my first year here so we expected more. Any win means a lot but I think a win at Mid-Ohio would be very nice as Rahal Letterman Lanigan has a race shop very close by. And I am sure there will be many guests and family members of the team that come this weekend. Put no more pressure (on me) please!” Sato added jokingly.
“When I was driving into Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today, I was thinking that it was the 50th year I have been coming here," said Bobby Rahal. "My father was here for the first ever race in 1962 and I came as a little kid. I don’t know if I have been to Mid-Ohio every year since then but it has to be pretty close. My experiences at Mid-Ohio, for sure, are part of what inspired me to be a professional race car driver."
"It was a good test day despite being cut short by the weather," said Sato. "We were able to check a number of things like ratios, ride heights and the other initial things you check in the first practice session of a race weekend so it was nice to get it done this morning.Then we started to work a little on the setup which was interesting. Actually it was quite good fun making the changes; you can feel the changes improving the car and know you are collecting very valuable data so it was a productive day."
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.
“It is a fantastic result," said Sato. "I am very pleased for the team and very proud of our effort today.It wasn’t an easy race. I had a great battle with Dario.I could see he was pushing really hard and sliding. I had an opportunity and overtook him which was great.The last stint was very exciting. We had a battle with (Alex) Tagliani and then Helio.I had to go as fast as I could; I pushed as much as I could and tried to get an opportunity to pass Helio but it was just not quite there yet.I knew he had a little bit longer sequence of the push to pass. I used it bit by bit, but also he’s reacting all the time the last few laps and he used it every single straight. It was very difficult to catch him. Once we were very close, but it was not close enough to make a maneuver.After May we had some difficult races and came back very strong and made good progress and shall keep our head down and do the job for the next four races which will be very exciting. I’m very happy for second place today.”
“I really enjoyed qualifying. It’s a fantastic result for the team," said Sato. "The boys are working really well together. After a couple of difficult races, I’m really pleased to be back in the top-six.It was a good qualifying session.We were absolutely happy with the balance in the practice session but still we made good progress and showed good performance in Round 1 of qualifying.And then of course, Round 2 was my favorite. I was actually grinning under the visor because I love to drive in the wet so much!I had absolutely no problem in Round 2 and wish we had wet qualifying in Round 3. "
“It was a productive day as well as a little frustrating," said Sato. "The session was cut in half by red flags and making some changes but nevertheless we made some progress between the sessions.It’s the first time for the team on this track since they didn’t run here last year.I had a good feeling (in the car) here last year and the car is already coming to a very similar level which is nice.Looking at the overall view, everybody is very competitive so we are not showing as strong as we wish but we will put all of the data together and make good progress for tomorrow."
“Winning the pole in Edmonton meant a lot," said Sato. "Edmonton used to have a series of ultra high-speed corners but now it's all about low speed turns. It has got a couple of long straights followed by very tight hairpins so to have strong braking stability and traction are very important.I expect we will be competitive at Edmonton. Obviously the team doesn't have last year’s data but we were in good shape in the street course and heavy braking track so we should be strong there.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 17, 2012… Round five of the ten race 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Mosport International Raceway on July 22 at the newly renovated CanadianTireMotorsportPark, in BowmansvilleOntario, Canada. Mosport is a very fast 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit that has challenged drivers since 1961 and has only given up two third place finishes to BMW Team RLL in the previous three seasons of ALMS competition.