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      04-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team Scores Second Podium At Long Beach

BMW RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING TEAM SCORES SECOND PODIUM AT LONG BEACH

Long Beach, Calif. – April 18, 2009… With a third-place GT2 class finish by the No. 92 M3 of Tommy Milner and Dirk Müller in the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team reached the ALMS podium for the second consecutive race. The duo completed 70 laps around the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit in the one-hour-and-forty-minute contest.
Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand scored their first points of the season, finishing eighth in the No. 90 M3 after losing four laps following a collision with a lapped competitor just past the one-hour mark.

Today’s finish moves BMW to fourth in GT2 Manufacturer points. Milner and Müller now stand fifth in GT2 Driver points.

The race began under a bright Southern California sun with a track temperature of 100.4 F, as Tommy Milner started the No. 92 M3 from third and Bill Auberlen behind the wheel of the No. 90 M3 in fourth.

At the 30-minute mark with 21 laps completed, Milner held onto the third position in a great battle with the fourth- and fifth-place competitor’s only seconds behind. Auberlen had fallen back to sixth, eight seconds behind his teammate.

Fifteen minutes later the GT2 leader fell out with a broken suspension and everyone moved up one position, Milner now 23 seconds from the new leader. Milner lost the second spot on lap 38 as the battle for the podium got even hotter.
With one hour gone, Auberlen pitted having completed 40 laps. Hand joined the race with a full tank of fuel and new Dunlop tires on the No. 90 M3. Milner pitted five laps later, handing the No. 92 M3 over to Dirk Müller in good shape.

With all the GT2 class pit stops complete and some 30 minutes left in the race, the two M3s were back in qualifying order with the No. 92 in third and the No. 90 in fourth.

On lap 52, bad luck struck the No. 90 M3 when Hand and a lapped competitor made contact. Damage to the front splitter and fender forced him to the pits. With only around 20 minutes remaining, Hand returned his bruised and bandaged M3 to the race in tenth place. He passed one competitor and achieved another spot through attrition. With five minutes left the only yellow flag of the race flew and the race ended the field behind the safety car.

On May 15 – 17 the American Le Mans Series travels to Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah, for the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix.

Tommy Milner, driver No. 92 M3 (third):
“Our second podium proves how strong this team is. The tires were consistent and the team called a great pit strategy. No one could beat us in the corners.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 92 M3 (third):
“I am thrilled to be on the podium for a second time in a row. Tommy did a fantastic first stint and Dunlop gave us excellent tires. It was quite difficult with all the traffic and the lowering sun became an issue for me late in the race. We had an awesome pit stop. It was really, really, quick. The M3 had me driving to the limit and I was closing the gap to P2. Unfortunately, a slow LMP1 car held me off for five laps and I lost 12 to 14 seconds. We certainly had the potential for a better result.”

Bobby Rahal, Team Principal:
“We are certainly happy to be on the podium for a second time. It is the best evidence of progress. It looked like we could have finished even better, but on a tight track like this it is very easy to lose time to slower traffic, even slower prototype class cars.”

Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America, LLC Motorsports Manager:
“We captured a second consecutive podium, but again we were unfortunate with the No. 90 M3. This time however it wasn’t racing luck as Joey tangled with a lapped competitor and perhaps some insufficient flagging played a part. One target was to get both cars to the checkered flag so for that we can say mission accomplished. We continue to look at the glass half-full and we will see what happens at Miller.”

About Rahal Letterman Racing:
Rahal Letterman Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for more than a decade compiling 20 victories, 30 poles and one series championship (Bobby Rahal in 1992 in CART) and an Indianapolis 500 championship (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2008 Rahal Letterman Racing again won Rookie-of-the-Year honors at the Indianapolis 500 and partnered with Andersen Racing to run two entries in the Indy Pro Series. In 2009 the team has joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 as BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team in the American Le Mans Series and will also serve as the organizers of the Formula BMW Americas championship.
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      04-19-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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ok maybe not worthless but pics would be appreciated XPPP
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      04-19-2009, 09:12 PM   #3
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      04-19-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
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ok maybe not worthless but pics would be appreciated XPPP
yes
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      04-20-2009, 01:22 AM   #5
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anyone know if it'll be replayed (on TV that is) and if so when and where?
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      04-20-2009, 01:33 AM   #6
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BMW was also running a nice commercial for this car on ABC during the race.


more here: http://www.americanlemans.com/


Last edited by totoro; 04-20-2009 at 01:53 AM.
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      04-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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very glad to hear that go bimmers go
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      04-20-2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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Video from the race...

[u2b]<object width="340" height="285"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/LALJVX353eE&hl=en&fs=1&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/LALJVX353eE&hl=en&fs=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="340" height="285"></embed></object>[/u2b]

It's a shame about Boris Said, I'm just glad he came out of that OK. He's a great driver and a great guy. One of the few "true" all-around American drivers out there who'll drive just about anything you put him in who also happens to be a big Bimmer fan. Having raced BMW's for over 13 years he even piloted a GT2 with Hans Stuck and John Nielsen at the 24 hours of Nurbergring. According to this recent interview, apparently he's opening his own BMW franchise later this year; though he doesn't say where.

And for those who are interested, here's the entire 58 mins of qualifying for the race from the ALMS site.

[u2b]<embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1379171356" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="videoId=20098340001&continuousPlay=fals e&playerId=1379171356&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https ://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false& " base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="300" height="361" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed>[/u2b]
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Last edited by bciDoc; 04-20-2009 at 06:18 PM.
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      04-20-2009, 11:43 AM   #9
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Very happy to hear that...hope they will get first place next time.
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      04-20-2009, 09:52 PM   #10
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Awesome!!! Geat job BMW!
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      04-21-2009, 10:27 AM   #11
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pretty sick, good job bmw
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      04-23-2009, 05:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Very happy to hear that...hope they will get first place next time.
I hope so, but these tight courses are where the M3's really have a chance. The porsche's have more straight line speed.
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