Double Podium Finish for BMW Team RLL at Road America

Written By:
Photography by: BMW USA
BMW M3 GT in the paddock at Road America 2011
BMW M3 GT in the paddock at Road America 2011 Source BMW USA
Image Gallery
BMW M3 GT in the paddock at Road America 2011 Werner and Auberlen place 2nd at Road America  Mueller and Hand place 3rd at Road America BMW M3 GT No. 55 at Road America ALMS 2011 Autograph session at Road America 2011 BMW M3 GT No. 56 at Road America ALMS 2011
BMW M3 GT No. 56 at Road America ALMS 2011 Pit stop action No. 55 BMW M3 GT at Road America

Although a third consecutive GT victory at Road America was not to be, BMW Team RLL ended today’s American Le Mans Series Road Race Showcase with a double podium finish.

In what was a very exciting race both M3 GTs took their turn leading the four hour contest. At the end, the No. 55 of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner finished second for the duos third consecutive podium finish. The No. 56 of Joey Hand and Dirk M?ller came home third to extend their lead at the top of the GT driver points. BMW Team RLL maintains its lead in the team points and BMW stays at the front of the Manufacturers standings.

The race was slowed and ultimately determined by four caution periods that brought both good luck and a bit of bad luck to all four BMW team RLL drivers. At the green flag Hand, from the pole, led the 15-car GT field into turn one, holding the lead until lap 23 when he fell to third after being held up by a slower class car. Auberlen pitted during the first yellow on lap seven to begin a different fuel strategy for the No. 55 M3 GT. Hand pitted under green on lap 28 and a fast pit stop gained him one position. Auberlen handed off to Werner on lap 36 during the second caution period dropping the car to the rear of the field.

As the race reached the half-way point the battle at the front of the GT field intensified with Hand holding second place. All the lead pack of cars, including the No. 56 machine pitted on lap 58. As the cars exited the pit lane,  M?ller had regained the lead of the pack thanks to excellent work by the BMW Team RLL pit crew. After being slowed by another caution period, the third hour of the race saw the No. 55 M3 GT dive for the pits for its final pit stop and the No. 56 M3 GT circulating in second.

Five minutes later the races final yellow flag slowed the field and put the No. 55 machine in the cat bird seat. As the balance of the field pitted Werner stayed out and went to the front. M?ller pitted on lap 81 and returned to the race in fifth. Werner was passed for the lead with 30 minutes remaining, ultimately finishing second. With two strong passes in the final laps of the race M?ller moved up two spots to finish third and return the No. 56 M3 GT to the podium.

“We come to win every race,”said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We tried hard and looked really good, but got unlucky in traffic a few times. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had excellent pit stops- best all year I believe.  We beat everyone in the pits. The 55 car gambled and it went their way. Bill and Dirk did a great job. The 56 car got caught up in some traffic with the Lizards and Corvette, but we kept hunting. We like to win, but we will take a second and third finish. We beat our chief competitors and added to the gap with Corvette in Team, Driver and Manufacturer points. Our BMWs are fast and reliable. We have a street fight on our hands next in Baltimore. Let’s see what happens.”

Round Seven of the American Le Mans Series will be held on September 3 at the Baltimore Grand Prix.


First test drives with the Porsche LMP1 racing car
First test drives with the Porsche LMP1 racing car

The new Porsche LMP1 racing car is currently being put through its paces in test drives on international circuits. Following its successful launch in June on the Porsche test track in Weissach, the prototype sports car ...

Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 14/2013
Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 14/2013

Actor Wotan Wilke Möhring, Allan McNish and Felix Baumgartner attend DTM opening round at Hockenheim. Rahel Frey celebrates her debut in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in China. Successes for the Audi R8 LMS in Sweden and Brazil....

Volkswagen Motorsport Newsletter 03/2013
Volkswagen Motorsport Newsletter 03/2013

The latest Volkswagen Motorsports News from around the world...

EuroCar News on youTube Follow eurocarnews on Twitter