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“It was a tough race," said Sato. "We chose to start with the primary tire and tried to hold our position but a couple of people got by with the quicker alternate tire.We settled into a pace and it was, in a way, surprising to see not much yellow at the beginning of the race.It was good to see all of the cars get through Turn 1 and 3 but then we tried a little different sequence and made our first pit stop earlier and put on the alternate tire and tried to stretch the run but unfortunately we had a little balance issue on the second set of tires and lost quite a bit of time and gradually lost positions which was a shame.We need to look into it that but it also seems we have a small problem on the brakes because I am losing them too.It was a tough race and in the end its good to finish in the top-10 but I wanted to be a little higher.Good job by everyone though.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 7, 2012… BMW Team RLL fought back from a day of bad luck to finish fifth and sixth in the GT class at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at LimeRockPark. Today’s result was the first time a BMW Team RLL M3 GT did not reach the podium at their home track, but a determined effort kept the team in second place in manufacturer points and very much in contention for a third consecutive GT class title.
"Overall it was a good day and a good qualifying session but unfortunately we had a penalty which was quite harsh," said Sato. "Obviously I don’t want to impede anyone of course.I went wide in Turn 1 and there were a lot of marbles. I went back on track when the Marshalls said to go. I couldn’t see much in the distance; not the closing speeds of any cars.I tried my best to avoid impeding anyone but unfortunately I was penalized.We worked through our run program and made good progress.Relatively, we lost a little speed at the end of the practice session when the track dried but we came back and were strong in qualifying.Starting ninth (after the engine penalties) of two cars is a good effort.I enjoy driving in Toronto and this was our best qualifying position on a street course this season.Hopefully we can continue to learn in tomorrow’s warm-up and move forward in the race.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 6, 2012… Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT on the GT class pole for tomorrow’s American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at LimeRockPark. Auberlen, who will be making his 100th ALMS start tomorrow, set his fast lap of 50.920 seconds around the 1.5-mile, 8-turn circuit on his fifth lap of the 15-minute qualifying session. The 17-year BMW racing ace will co-drive the No. 55 M3 GT with BMW Motorsport veteran Jörg Müller. Müller will be making his first start at BMW of North America’s home track.
“It was a good day," said Sato. "Considering the amount of time we had in practice was relatively short, we learned a lot.We tried a couple of different setups to find out ride height, gearing and etc. as the team hasn’t been here for a long time.We made good progress; I’m reasonably happy with the balance.We will look at all of the data and hopefully continue to make progress tomorrow.(On Push to Pass:) Today we tried the extra boost; the extra power feels good.We need to work on the gearing for that but it seems to be good for overtaking as well as defending. I’m not sure how many times we will be able to use it or how long it will last each time but it is definitely a good tool for the race.”
“From the first year it was held, Toronto has always been a great race,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal.“I think the biggest thing is that the Canadians truly understand and appreciate road racing so from our first time there it was always a very popular event and just got huge over the years.I love going to Canada to race; I spent most of my early career racing in Canada so in some respects it’s a little bit like going home. I’m always excited to go there. I think the Toronto event is equal or similar to Long Beach. It’s certainly one of the premiere races that the series has.”