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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 17, 2012… BMW Team RLL qualified its two BMW M3 GT racing cars in the fourth and seventh starting positions for tomorrow’s four-hour American Le Mans Series Road America Road Race Showcase. The defending ALMS GT class champions have taken the race win at the classic Road America circuit twice in the past three seasons.
“We were going through our test program for the road course package that we weren’t very satisfied with and were making progress," said Sato. "It was a good test and we were getting more of an understanding for these cars with the road course package and tires. It was a good session in the morning and then we continued testing in the afternoon, trying to find a little bit more speed but then by the end something happened under braking and I lost control and the car was damaged so we stopped earlier which is a shame."
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 13, 2012… BMW Team RLL heads to the August 18th Road America Road Race Showcase for the seventh round the 2012 American Le Mans Series ready to extend its record of excellent finishes at the longest road course in North America.
“It was a tough race," said Sato. "It was a big weekend for us and everyone really worked hard but unfortunately we didn’t have the pace that we needed. We started with the balance in the stint. It looks like such a narrow window for the sweet spot. It was a little better in the middle stint but we lost the grip in the end. We overtook a couple of people but also lost some places. In the end we got a couple of positions which was good but it was not enough. I look forward to the Sonoma test so we can get a better understanding of the road course configuration.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 4, 2012… Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drove the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT to a third place GT class finish in today’s 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge after starting the race from the pole position. The finish also netted the No. 55 M3 GT its second Michelin Green X Challenge trophy of the season. BMW Team RLL teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fifth in the No. 56 M3 GT after starting from seventh.
“I’m disappointed in the qualifying result especially since I like the circuit and had a good record the past two years here," said Sato. "It’s a shame that we didn’t have good speed to go to the next stage of qualifying. The field is very competitive as usual in Mid-Ohio. We made good progress so we made a big improvement from the practice session. Our lap time delta is really ramping up but it wasn’t enough to progress to the next stage. It was only a couple of tenths but we needed a little bit more. We will take the experience from qualifying and the practice sessions and continue to work on it tomorrow.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 3, 2012… Jörg Müller qualified the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT on the class pole for tomorrow’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. His time of 1:19.298 minutes around the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road course bested the competitive 12-car GT field in a 15-minute qualifying session that saw the first eight cars in the class post times less than one second off Müller’s pole time. Müller will co-drive with Bill Auberlen. Auberlen scored the first pole of the season for the No. 55 M3 GT at Lime Rock Park on July 6.
“We continued our work list from last week’s test," said Sato. "So many things were left due to the weather. We came here with some changes and over the course of the practice we tried a number of things. The track was a bit different. Initially it was quite greasy, low grip which is typical Mid-Ohio. And it was quite rapidly rubbered down so after the first half of the season the track was getting pretty good. We couldn’t make the most of our potential. We tried different things but I was struggling with the balance a bit. We will go through the data and continue to work on that.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 1, 2012… The August 4th Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is next on the 2012 American Le Mans Series calendar for BMW Team RLL. Now standing second in the GT Class Manufacturer point standings, Mid-Ohio marks the beginning of the second half of the ALMS season for the 2010 and 2011 class champions as well as special homecoming for team principal Bobby Rahal who attended the very first sports car race at the circuit in 1962.