BMW Team RLL Results at Mosport

Update: With the Flying Lizard Porsche disqualified, BMW Team RLL move up on the standing to P3 and P7 respectively.

Official Release: BMW Team RLL persevered through today’s 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Mosport to finish fourth and eighth in the GT class. Limited by technical regulations that have reduced the M3 GT’s top speed, the fans that lined Mosport’s 2.459 miles were unable to watch the 2010 and 2011 GT class champions in their familiar positions at the front of the field.

Joey Hand and Dirk Müller were fourth at the checkered flag in the No. 56 M3 GT to stay third in the GT driver standings. Müller started the car from the sixth position and ran as high as third before pitting on lap 30 for fuel and tires. On lap 62 he pitted to turn the car over to Joey Hand. Hand pitted once more for tires and fuel in the final 49 laps of the race, but was unable to move up to a podium finishing position for the third consecutive race.

Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller finished eighth in the No. 55 M3 GT. Auberlen started the car from the third spot and took advantage of the race’s first caution period to pit for fuel and tires on lap 14. Running as high as second he was only seven seconds behind the class leader at the one hour mark. Forced to the pits under green on lap 51 for new tires he handed off to Jörg Müller who returned to the race in the ninth spot one lap down to the leaders. Müller moved up to sixth before needing new tires just before the two-hour mark. He rejoined the race in the eight spot, holding that position to the checkered flag. Auberlen and Müller remain sixth in GT driver points.

“Overall a tough day for BMW Team RLL,” said Jay O’Connell, Rahal Letterman Lanigan VP Technology. “We took some risk in qualifying with the No. 55 M3 GT. We were executing the strategy, but unfortunately we had to pit and get some more tires on the car. All four drivers did a good job today and did their best to make up for the pace. We are down by 4 to 6 kph on the straights due to regulations. The guys are just driving really hard on the corners to try and make up the pace, but it ‘s definitely pushing the tires hard.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “It was obvious that we didn ‘t have the pace today. We did what we had to do to get as many points as possible, and on that front we executed really well. We are really, really not competitive on the straights. Everyone can pass us wherever they choose. We have to work so hard everywhere else and it’s too hard on the car. It will be tougher at the next tracks, but this team is, for sure, not giving up. We just need to continue to focus forward as Bobby would say and work on the next races.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “I think everyone has seen that we ‘ve had a tough weekend, but we never gave up. P4 was the maximum we could have achieved. It was a tough race. We played it lap by lap and in the end we were able to gain on second place in the championship because of tough luck for one of our competitors. Quite a few times today I was quicker than a car in the corners but on the straights, once I ‘m behind I get dirty air and can ‘t drive behind them. If they are behind they can slipstream on the straights and get by.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We put our car up on the ragged edge to try and get the lap time back. These guys are so good at making the time, but you can ‘t make everything live like that. Tire wise, brake wise, you name it, we got it on the ragged edge, and you can ‘t make it to the end of races like that in one piece. They have to balance this thing up, from the series point of view, that would make life a little more even, and that ‘s the way it should be.”

Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “We had a very good qualifying and that was promising, but during the race we started to get into trouble. We tried to pit early to get out of the rhythm of the others. We got stuck coming out of the pits behind slower cars. I was stuck behind one car for 15 laps. Mosport is a narrow circuit so it is tough. You always lose your down force following someone into these fast corners so you can never really close in. It ‘s nearly impossible to overtake and you can lose 20 to 30 seconds. The race was over for us at that point.

Round six of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held Saturday, August 4th at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, OH.

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  • Jp

    Is BMW the only tem with the restricting regulations?

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      No they are not but the issue at hand is that the BMW M3 has the largest frontal area (has to cut through more air), is a true 4 seater and they are now using the most restricted engine in the class. IMSA and ALMS also know that BMW Motorsport is not further developing the E92 and that what it is is what it is meaning that ALMS/AMSA has shown that they are no longer interested in the M3s being competitive and seem to be knocking them off through rule adaptations to promote another brand to the front of the field. There also have been a lot of politics behind the scenes about GT3 cars entering the field that have not gone the way they could have. This is my interpretation of what is occurring but this would not be the first time this scenario has played out… also funny that the Porsche that was cheating was much quicker than everyone else isn’t it? ALMS will always be a mess until they modernize the rule book and quit catering to one manufacturer to promote the series (Porsche). In Europe the Porsche Cup is a support series for the real races and in the US GTC (Porsche Cup) races in the main race of the weekend to increase the overall field- FIA has GT3 which is ALL major sports car brands and is amazing to watch- ALMS needs to wake up.

      • jp

        I read that Porsche failed a stall test. What exactly is a stall test? And what advantage would that give them?

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          Stall test is when the air restrictor “horns” are blocked off completely with specific sized balls the car should stall bc there is NO air going to the engine. If it stalls that means the car is equipped with the right size horns and all the air is entering through them. If it doesn’t it is ether bc the horns are larger than they are supposed to be or there is an alternative path for the air to get to the engine and the car is breathing more than it should. Failing the test means the car was getting more air than allowed thus producing more power… done on purpose it’s called cheating but on accident it is bad luck.

          • jp

            Okay thanks! I was wondering about that.