BMW Team RLR Results at Mid-Ohio & Our Opinions on the Matter

Don ‘t read any further if you don ‘t want spoilers. Because we ‘re angry. Why is it that BMW is being penalized by ALMS for being successful? Yes, they ‘ve won the last few championships. But The restrictions placed on the BMW ‘s V8 engine by the ALMS governing body is making the current M3 GT clearly slower than the competition. Why is it? Could it be ALMS wants Chevy to win? 100 year anniversary aside it would seem like the right time considering that the M3 has already won its fair share. And next year it could be Porsche ‘s turn with the new 991 based GT3 RSR. If that is the case shame on ALMS for dictating who we see on the top spot of the podium. We ‘re not against the series being somewhat regulated but all we ask is that it ‘s fair.

Official Release: Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drove the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT to a third place GT class finish in today’s 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge after starting the race from the pole position. The finish also netted the No. 55 M3 GT its second Michelin Green X Challenge trophy of the season. BMW Team RLL teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fifth in the No. 56 M3 GT after starting from seventh.

The team’s fourth podium finish of the season keeps BMW second in Manufacturer points, 20 points behind Chevrolet. Hand and Müller, the 2011 class driver co-champions, move back to second in Driver points. Auberlen and Jörg Müller hold onto sixth place.

“With all the restrictions the series has placed upon us, and the freedoms they have given to the competition, we are just not fast enough, “said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “There is an obvious imbalance evident in the last few races and I hope that the ALMS will do the right thing. When you know you don’t have the pace you have to rely on strategy and luck. This week the Corvette had an incident and we got lucky again. We need to get back to fair and equal footing and give these guys a run for their money.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): “Really, despite the pole, we were out of contention from the first pit stop. The pit speed limit penalty put a fork in it. We were prepared, but just not fast enough over an entire stint.”

Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT (third): – “A podium finish is always good, but I am not happy with the stop and go penalty due to pit lane speeding. There is one button to push for the pit speed limiter. I pushed the button and I got a speed violation. We need to look into that data. We are all working very hard, but we need to be able to fight for better results.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT (fifth): – “I had to be aggressive from the green flag because we were starting from quite far back. I gave it everything I had and tried to make some waves. I gained some positions, but we just don’t have the speed on the straights. It is just too easy for everyone to get past us.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT (fifth): “Obviously, it was not our day – again. To add insult to injury, when I got in the car the tear-off glue stayed on the windscreen and I could hardly see anything in front of me. I had a view to left and right, but it was very difficult to drive one hour almost blind. It was a tough day at the office.”

The next round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 18th. The four-hour race will be streamed live on ESPN3 at 3:15 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2 on August 19th beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

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  • johnparke

    I agree with you that ALMS is probably biased towards Chevy. What I don’t see is how the car can get pole position but then be so much slower in the actual race.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Easy- the other teams tank qualifying. Happens all the time in ALMS. Who cares if you start back on the grid if you are a second plus quicker? Also. less likely that they will take action to slow you down. On the other hand, if you are already being choked the only way to win is get out in front and pray you can hold people back by taking strange racing lines.

      It is so obvious that the Porsche and Corvettes run slower in qualifying than in the race, even Pat Long joked about how their race pace was quicker than in qualifying. Should that ever happen? No, but the competitive balance is BS and this has always been the ALMS flaw. Now that the Vipers are back expect the ‘Vettes to get even more special treatment so they can win and alternate with them. Porsche already has its own class in the race when many other brands have tried to get GT3 homologated cars as a separate class in the races.

      GTC, aka Porsche Cup is a support series in Europe for the real races; in the US it is part of the real race to build up the field- it is a joke.

      Not to mention the coverage of the races and how a few years ago they touted the new coverage format as “revolutionary” and for the fans- SPEED coverage and ability to actual broadcast was light years ahead of this garbage they are putting out. I couldn’t even watch the full race or even the live timing for this debacle bc they dropped coverage and the site crashed.

      Mind you I just watched the full 24hrs of Spa last week in HD with zero issues- which I am sure has more viewers than ALMS does.

      With the PANOZ supported Delta Wing project moving ahead- next year is sure to be even worse than this year… unless ALMS wakes up and realizes the FIA GT3 class is better than anything they have now and we will see Audi, Lambo, Aston, BMW, Mercedes and more added to the grid which will denounce that the ALMS is in bed with some of the current vendors.

      I don’t see that happening and I see Grand Am getting GT3 cars and that series exploding- the R8, SLS, Z4 in racing form are amazing and the US is really missing out on some good fun racing that is more cost effective than GT(2) and prototypes- and offers more brands than GTC.