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      05-23-2010, 08:35 AM   #1
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Solid Second Place for BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team at Laguna Seca

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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – May 22, 2010… The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team fought to its third consecutive podium (four total for the season) with a second place finish by the No. 90 M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller in today’s six-hour American Le Mans Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.



After leading the bulk of laps going into the closing stage of the race, Hand was passed on the final restart to finish second, a bittersweet ending to a day that began with a crash in morning warm-up and an immediate rebuild of the No. 90 machine by the BMW-RLR crew. Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner finished eighth after a late-race punt dropped the No. 92 M3 down the order. The duo led the GT class twice during the day.



The six-hour race dealt competitors a total 10 caution periods and the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team played every opportunity to its benefit. Splitting strategies on the third yellow flag near the two-hour point, the team pitted the No. 90 M3 GT for fuel with rest of the class and elected to keep the No. 92 M3 on track and gain position. It paid off with the GT lead for Milner, who had replaced starting driver Auberlen just past the one hour mark.



When Milner was hit by a competitor and forced to the pits, Hand took over the lead from his teammate. The race gave fans a roller coaster ride through four more caution periods before the four hour mark as the M3 GTs ebbed and flowed at the front of the GT field based on the differing fuel and tire strategies.



In the fifth hour, the No. 90 M3 GT took the lead with some thirty minutes remaining, but in the final caution period of the race, Hand’s safe lead evaporated and the team was eventually forced to settle for second place.


Joey Hand, Driver, No. 90 M3 GTdiscusses the outcome of the race.


Dirk Müller, Driver, No. 90 M3 GTreflects on the intensity of the 6-hour race at Laguna Seca.


Bill Auberlen qualifies the No. 92 M3 GT at Laguna Seca on Friday, 21 May 2010.



Following the traditional break in the schedule for the Le Mans 24 Hours, Round 4 of the 2010 American Le Mans Series will be held at Miller Motorsport s Park in Tooele, Utah, on July 9 – 11, 2010.
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      05-23-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Congrats!
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      05-23-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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yuppie. congrats boys!
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      05-23-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
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So mad it is not going to be on tv till next saturday. I would rather it be on speed and watch it the same day.
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      05-23-2010, 12:19 PM   #5
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i watched it live on the americanlemans website...pretty sick. Next week will only 1 and 1/2 hours of the race on tv.
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      05-23-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
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Great job team!!
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      05-23-2010, 01:05 PM   #7
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Was at the race for the first half- but the wind was terrible and we left demoralized midway.

The two M3s were in a pretty good race with the ZR1s (who were chasing the 2 Ferrari 430s) for the first half. By the end of the course they would be all over the Corvette's bumper, than the ZR1s would walk slowly away on the straight. Lap times for the M3s dipped into the low 1:23s 8()


I'm impressed they clawed their way to 2nd. The Ferraris were just dominating the first half, must have had some reliability issues
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      05-23-2010, 01:44 PM   #8
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yea ended up watching it online wishing i was there tho.. awesome race bummed about that last caution, BMW would have had it!!!
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      05-23-2010, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire3D View Post

By the end of the course they would be all over the Corvette's bumper, than the ZR1s would walk slowly away on the straight.
The Ferraris were just dominating the first half, must have had some reliability issues

I am not suprised that the M3 would catch up on turns. Similar happened when E34 M5s' were racing in IMSA. Corevettes would catch up down the straight, but come the turns the M5s' were gone.
Ferrari: well either it is reliability, or maybe drivers weren't focusing as much.
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      05-24-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I am not suprised that the M3 would catch up on turns. Similar happened when E34 M5s' were racing in IMSA. Corevettes would catch up down the straight, but come the turns the M5s' were gone.
Ferrari: well either it is reliability, or maybe drivers weren't focusing as much.
I drove up from So Cal for the race and stayed the full 6 hours. The 2 Ferrari's in the race pitted right before a full course yellow. On the full course yellow the Corvettes, BMW's and everyone else pitted which meant that both Ferrari's were a lap off the lead which they weren't able to make up. Before that no one had anything for either of those two cars. Bad timing took the Ferrari's out of the competition for first, but all 4 430's that were entered finished the race.

The GT class was the most competitive and congrats to the Rahal Letterman on the podium finish.
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      05-24-2010, 06:14 PM   #11
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Congrats to the Rahal team! I wouldn't mind getting one of those caps - anyone know where I can get one?
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      05-26-2010, 11:58 PM   #12
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That was my first trip to Laguna Seca and it was awesome despite the cold and wind. Caught the Thursday tech talk from Flying Lizard team at the Porsche corral. That's one professional team. Got there early Friday to help out with the parking for the CCA Corral, so we had a super long day at the track. The Tech Talk at the Rahal Letterman paddocks was great. Got to hear Satch talk BMW product planning with the team manager. Interesting to hear that the topic of killing of manual transmissions occurs 3 times a year. We better enjoy them while they are available. At a 15% take rate, the days seem numbered for the 6MT.

Left at 5pm because we were cold and tired, hit the Starbucks in Safeway in Del Rey Oaks for some coffee, ate dinner near Cannery Row, then booked it back for the last 30 minutes of the race. So glad we went back to catch the end of the race. Dirk was so bummed about breaking the car in practice, so it's good to see that they were able to put the car back together and score a podium. Great track and great event.
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      05-27-2010, 11:52 PM   #13
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Go Flying Lizards!
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