BMW ended its long ALMS winning drought with it ‘s first win with the new M3 Rahal/Letterman racecar.We here at BimmerFile send a big congrats to all those at BMWNA and Rahal Letterman racing. Well done guys.
Official BMW Press Release:
The BMW M3 returned to the American Le Mans Series winner’s circle with a 1-2 finish by the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team at today’s Time Warner Cable Road Racing Showcase.
The No. 90 M3, driven by Joey Hand and Bill Auberlen, achieved the new M3 racing program’s first victory. Teammates Tommy Milner and Dirk M ller in the No. 92 M3 scored their fourth podium finish of the season.
As the race began, starting drivers Bill Auberlen, in the No. 90 M3, and Tommy Milner, in the No. 92 M3, took advantage of their front row starting positions and opened a lead on the GT2 class. Only 15 minutes in, an early yellow slowed the field, but instead of reducing the BMW M3’s lead to mere feet, it increased it to almost a full lap as both M3s received a wave-by when the pace car picked up the overall leader. Before the race went green again, both M3s were able to pit for fuel, and Milner picked up the lead through pitstop speed.
At the one hour mark Milner still held the lead over Auberlen, but as the race’s second caution period occurred a “race within the race” began. Pitting both M3s under yellow, the crew of the No. 90 M3 got Hand serviced just a tick of the watch ahead of M ller to take the lead. Unfortunately, too many men over the wall for the No. 92 M3 resulted in a 60 second penalty, putting Milner an additional minute behind Hand, but still in second place.
Pitting a second time under the race’s third caution period, the M3s cycled through two more fast stops for fuel and new Dunlop tires. Today, able to keep the competition in check, the two M3s stayed in front for the remainder the contest to open another winning chapter in the history of BMW Motorsport.
Bobby Rahal, Team Principal:
“It can’t get better than this! Great for the team and great for BMW. Everyone did a super job today!”
Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America Motorsport Manager:
“Yesterday I was asked about the best moment of this program and my answer was bringing the new BMW M3s to the grid at Sebring. After today, I would give a different answer. We were fast from the beginning of the weekend and brought home the first victory for the program. We had incredible support from all our partners and especially Dunlop, who continue to deliver for us. We have now arrived at a level where we can fight for top honors and that’s what the program was designed to do. Today was BMW’s day.”
Bill Auberlen, No. 90 M3 (first):
“This is what this team has earned. Everyone has worked so hard. Thanks to BMW, RLR, and Dunlop. The win seems long overdue and I can’t be any happier. Road America is where I won my first professional race and now it is where we won the first one for this team. Awesome!”
Joey Hand, No. 90 M3 (first):
“Bill and I called this win. Babe Ruth style. I told my wife before I left that I knew something really good was going to happen. Bill got the No. 90 M3 out front and I just brought it home. The team knows how to pit like nobody else. Every part of this team pulled together today. We earned this win.”
Dirk Mueller, No 92 M3 (second)
“One – two, oh so nice. Incredible! The No. 92 M3 was fantastic. I am really happy for the team.”
Tommy Milner, No. 93 M3 (second):
“A great result for sure! We had one hiccup today, but in the end we overcame it. A great job by Dirk to run for second.”
Round 8 of the American Le Mans Series will be held at Mosport International Raceway on August 30th.