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      04-15-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Thumbs up 2nd Place for BMW Team RLL Makes Four Podiums in Four Years at Long Beach ALMS

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2nd Place for BMW Team RLL Makes Four Podiums in Four Years at Long Beach ALMS
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BMW Team RLL at Long Beach; Four Years – Four Podiums

15.04.2012

Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
– April 14, 2012… With a second place GT class finish by the No. 56 BMW Team RLL M3 GT in today’s American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race, BMW is tied for the manufacturer’s point lead. The second podium of the young ALMS season for Joey Hand and Dirk Müller solidifies their lead in the driver’s standings.

The defending GT driver co-champions started the race from the class pole with Hand at the wheel of the No. 56 BMW M3 GT. Hand led the race for the opening 16 laps until a prototype ran into him causing a puncture of the right rear tire. Hand pitted for fuel and four new tires, returning to the race in the seventh position. The races only caution period brought him back to the pits on lap 41 where Bobby Rahal made a bold strategic move to not change tires and jump the field in the pits to send the BMW Motorsport driver out in the lead. Müller lost the lead, but drove a strong stint to extend BMW Team RLL’s Long Beach podium streak to four years.

Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller, driving the No. 55 M3 GT, finished out of the points in11th. Müller, making his first start at Long Beach, was the victim of a first lap accident that forced him to the pits for lengthy repairs to replace the radiator. He returned 13 laps down to the leaders, but put his head down, setting some of the fastest laps of that part of the race. He handed off to Auberlen during the race’s only caution period and the Californian, who podiumed here in both 2009 and 2010, did not disappoint his home race fans as he circulated at a very fast pace until the checkered flag.

“A great day for Dunlop,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We double-stinted the tires at Sebring and that’s what got us the win. Here we asked for the same thing. There was no question that we had to leap frog the field after being hit and having a flat tire. We didn’t have enough to beat the No. 4 Corvette, but we held everyone else off. We'll take a well deserved second place.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “We won the race at Sebring by double stinting tires and we placed here the same way. It says a lot to have that kind of confidence in a tire that not only has the performance, but it will also go the distance. I know I can’t win the Championship again this year, but I really, really want to do my best to help the team, BMW and Dirk repeat.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “That race was certainly was another mileage test for Dunlop. Bobby and Chris made the right call and it paid off. I knew I had to go a full stint on tires that had already gone 25 laps so I focused on their management – not what was behind me.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT –“The No. 55 M3 was a rocket ship today, but you need luck at Long Beach. Traffic got stacked up and Jörg got into it. The radiator was damaged, but after he went back out he was the fastest car on the track. It hurts to know how hard everybody worked and that we had a car that could win, but could not show it.”

Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “It’s disappointing that I got trapped in an accident on the second lap. The Corvette braked very hard and I had nowhere to go. We had to change the radiator so we lost many laps. Afterwards the car was still fast. It’s a shame when you have the real potential to win the race and you don’t get any points.”

Round 3 of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Laguna Seca Raceway on Saturday, May 12.The six-hour race will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. PDT and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com beginning at 4:15 p.m. ET. The race will be rebroadcast on ESPN2 television at 5:00 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 13. Live timing and scoring will be hosted on americanlemans.com.


BMW Team RLL at Long Beach ALMS



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      04-15-2012, 01:00 AM   #2
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i was there! so much fun
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      04-15-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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I saw the race on ESPN 2...car was awesome!
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      04-15-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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I was there to see it live! I was in the ALMS paddocks before and after the race too! I got to talk to Bill Auberlen about the car. I watched the M3 GT2 getting its post-race check and getting put away into storage in the truck.

I still didn't see how the hood got ripped off one of the BMW's and the Corvettes. That was a pretty crashy smashy race.
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      04-15-2012, 03:43 AM   #5
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Watched the race on tv. Surprised it was on in the evenin. Great strategy, big gamble and the only call for hand/Werner. Sucks that muller rear ended another car and killed the radiator.
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      04-15-2012, 05:03 AM   #6
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Nice!
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      04-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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Really enjoy alms races!
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      04-15-2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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sweet.
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      04-15-2012, 10:14 AM   #9
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Long beach I love living here in so cal
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      04-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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The sound live is insane! Corvettes loudest, Ferrari has the most howl, but BMW just shreds! Best spot is at the end of the straightaway under the short tunnel before the downshifts into the first real turn!
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      04-15-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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congrats for the BMW team,well done!
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      04-15-2012, 12:02 PM   #12
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ALMS is awesome
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      04-15-2012, 12:13 PM   #13
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I missed it!!!! Dangit
Is there another one in so cal soon?
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      04-15-2012, 12:49 PM   #14
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Watched bits and pieces of the race. That's great some of the board members got to see this live. I live just 30 minutes away and could not make it. There is always next year.
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      04-15-2012, 01:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisC48 View Post
I missed it!!!! Dangit
Is there another one in so cal soon?
Laguna Seca is in a few weeks, but no other California (or west coast) race on the schedule.
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      04-15-2012, 01:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACSE90 View Post
Watched bits and pieces of the race. That's great some of the board members got to see this live. I live just 30 minutes away and could not make it. There is always next year.
Actually, i think BMW won't compete on ALMS next year ...sorry i woke up a smart ass this morning lol...
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      04-15-2012, 01:41 PM   #17
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That damn Corvette braked hard and spoiled us the win.
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      04-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #18
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Great result!
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      04-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #19
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saw it live! the ferrari definitely had the most intoxicating sound and backfired like crazy on downshifts. The corvette was loud as shit and the M3 just had that perfect balanced sound. M3 was going into the turns faster than any other car
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      04-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #20
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I was watching that on speed
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      04-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #21
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Congrats BMW !!
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      04-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #22
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I was their as well. Bad luck for us. First the one of the m3 crashes, which makes them take the hood then the second m3 gets a flat tire. But over all it was a fun event, just a lil chilly compared to other past events.

The BMWs have a sound similar to the ferraris nice smooth and fast, but those corvette sound so loud and deep. That you can tell where their at on the track without seeming them. those exhaust were freaking louder than P1 cars. It makes me want to get a ZR1..maybe they don't handel like the M3 but they sure sound sick.

Sucks for the lotus, right off the bat they had issues. But it's cool to have more different cars enter the ALMS.
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