Official release: Lakeville, Conn. – July 17, 2009… With only one-thousandth of a second between their qualifying times, the two BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team M3s will start fourth and fifth in the GT2 class for tomorrow’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Joey Hand, driving the No. 90 M3, qualified fourth, with a 55.049 second lap around the 1.5-mile circuit. Just a tick of the watch behind, Dirk M?ller qualified the No. 92 M3 in fifth with a 55.050 second lap.
Second and fourth in this morning’s one-hour practice session; the team continued to have a strong second session immediately before today’s qualifying. Five solid weeks of preparation for BMW’s “home” race have paid dividends as both M3s will start only .385 seconds from the front of the GT2 grid.
“We are closing the gap to the class leaders and that is a definite sign of good things to come,” said Hand. “We’ve made progress today and I’m able to trail brake into the corners and carry the speed all the way through. With almost no straight line braking here that will really pay off in the race.”
Miller added, “I could not seem to clear slower traffic to warm up my tires so I didn’t have my pressure to the perfect number needed to put in my best lap. I knew I had to try, but this was not my best effort.”
The two-hour-and-forty minute race is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on SPEED television beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.