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      03-19-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
Jason
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Thumbs up BMW RLL M3 GT Kicks off 2011 ALMS Season with 1-2 Win at Sebring!

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BMW RLL M3 GT Kicks off 2011 ALMS Season with 1-2 Win at Sebring!
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The very first race of the 2011 American Le Mans Series racing season just concluded at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the BMW team picked up right where it left off last season when it won the Manufacturer's Championship - this time with a 1st and 2nd place finish at Sebring!

The #56 BMW M3 placed 1st and the #55 M3 placed 2nd. #56 was driven by Dirk Müller (DE), Joey Hand (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB), while #55 was piloted by Dirk Werner (DE), Bill Auberlen (US) and Augusto Farfus (BR). The two M3 GT cars dominated for most of the race, alternating from the 1st to the 3rd positions for the majority of the 12 hour race. Their teammate from last year, Tommy Milner, finished in 3rd at the seat of a Corvette C6.

Congrats to the BMW RLL team and all their drivers! The team looks well prepared to defend its Manufacter's Championship and will hopefully contend for the driver's championship as well.

Official press release and a reaction video below:



PRESS RELEASE + Expand

BMW claims one-two in Sebring and kicks off 2011 season in style.

Sebring - March 19, 2011... Perfect start to the season for BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS): The no. 56 BMW M3 GT, driven by Dirk Müller (DE), Joey Hand (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB) claimed GT victory in the 12-hour race in Sebring (US) after 312 laps. Dirk Werner (DE), Bill Auberlen (US) and Augusto Farfus (BR) came second with the no. 55 BMW M3 GT, making it a clean sweep for BMW Motorsport in this classic endurance race.

With this strong result, the BMW drivers scored valuable points for two championships. The race at the “Sebring International Raceway” not only counts towards the American Le Mans Series, but also the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

For BMW Team RLL, last season’s ALMS 2010 GT Team and Manufacturer champions, this is their third ALMS win after scoring back-to-back victories in Road America (US) in 2009 and 2010. Now the Bobby Rahal (US) led squad celebrated its maiden triumph in Sebring. The latest class win for the BMW M3 at this event dates back to 1998, when Boris Said (US) and Bill Auberlen won the GT-3 category. In the following year, BMW Motorsport secured the overall win with the BMW V12 LMR.

Over the entire 2011 race at the 3.7-mile circuit, the two BMW M3 GT cars were involved in thrilling fights with the opposition. The lead changed countless times, and the field was brought together again and again during nine full-course yellows. Ultimately the BMW Team RLL combination of a perfectly reliable car, strong drivers, good strategy, excellent Dunlop tyres and flawless pit stops proved to be invincible. The two newly constructed BMW M3 GT racing cars completed the marathon in Florida without technical problems, passing their first major test with flying colours.

BMW Team RLL will try to build on this success in the second round of the American Le Mans Series which will be staged at Long Beach (US) on 16th April 2011. In the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup BMW Team Schnitzer will be in action for the first time this year at the 1,000-kilometre race in Spa-Francorchamps (BE) on 7th May 2011.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): “This was a perfect start for us in the 2011 ALMS season. We won in a very hard-fought race against very strong competitors and celebrated a fantastic one-two with our BMW M3 GT cars. A big compliment not only goes to our drivers but also to the development team in Munich and BMW Team RLL. Everyone did a great job here in Sebring, from the first to the last pit stop.”

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal): “I have won this race as a driver and now also as a team owner. This certainly is a great honor. The drivers and the team worked exceptionally well, the Dunlop tyres were excellent and the cars really didn’t miss a beat.. This is a great start to our season.”

Dirk Müller (Car number 56): “I’m incredibly happy now. It’s never easy to win a 12-hour race, but today it was extra tough. Over the entire race we were among the front-runners and believed in our chance. This victory is the perfect reward for all the hard work which was put in by BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL over the winter.”

Joey Hand (Car number 56): “I came to Sebring with a really good feeling that we could win this – and now it really worked out. The victory belongs to everyone in BMW Team RLL. In the off-season the guys built two brand-new BMW M3 GT cars that worked well from the word go. I also want to say thank you to Dunlop. The tyres played an important part today and we had this advantage on our side.”

Andy Priaulx (Car number 56): “What a great result. The team did a flawless job and didn’t make a single mistake over the 12 hours. Following our bad luck in the first stint, we managed to work our way up front. Our team-mates would have also deserved victory. But I think that we can all be very happy with this one-two.”

Dirk Werner (Car number 55): “This really was a great race. I’m satisfied with second place and this fantastic overall result. The points we were able to score today, will be very valuable over the course of the ALMS season. Ahead of this race we were really confident to be competitive, but this one-two comes as a nice surprise to all of us.”

Bill Auberlen (Car number 55): “For the team and BMW Motorsport this certainly is a dream result. As a driver you always want to make it to the top step of the podium, but overall I only take positive impressions away from this race. The next ALMS event will be in my backyard Long Beach. We now know exactly how strong we are, and I will again push hard there.”

Augusto Farfus (Car number 55):
“Racing here in Sebring was a great experience. The BMW M3 GT showed a strong pace, which makes me very optimistic for the coming races in Europe. We suffered a dose of bad luck on several occasions during the race. Nevertheless I really enjoyed every stint. I did one of my first tests with the BMW M3 here in Sebring. To come back and make it on the podium is fantastic.”

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      03-19-2011, 09:41 PM   #2
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nice
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      03-19-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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excellent
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      03-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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///M Power.

Enough said.

(*said with extreme fanboyism*)
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      03-19-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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+1 for BMW

-1 for having to watching it on the internet (espn3)
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      03-19-2011, 10:18 PM   #6
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      03-19-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
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Woo hoo bmw!
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      03-19-2011, 11:03 PM   #8
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This is why we should keep the v8 engine on the ///M.
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      03-19-2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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congrats. keep-up the good work guys
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      03-19-2011, 11:53 PM   #10
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      03-20-2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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      03-20-2011, 12:48 AM   #12
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My iPod classic hangs all the time. It frustrated me to the point that I gave up using iPod. Now I got 64gb USB stick with all my music, plugged in all the time. With USB, I get high res album art and faster response.
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      03-20-2011, 01:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmk227 View Post
This is why we should keep the v8 engine on the ///M.
This is why I am willing to bet they pull out of endurance racing after the V8 M3 runs it's course.

BMW joining DTM tells you something.
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      03-20-2011, 01:32 AM   #14
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I just got back! It was nothing short of amazing, every bit of it and I have some pics and a couple vids I'll upload later (we snuck into the area overlooking the pits around 6 pm ). The 458 GT in it's debut looked and sounded incredible and I think those, along with the older 430's and also the Jag were the best sounding (the 430's and the Jag even more so had a crazy amount of throttle gurgling when going into corners after a long straight and both F-cars had a nice high pitched scream. oh and the corvettes... jesus christ when they shifted up, it literally sounded like a gunshot).

Last edited by TK-421; 03-20-2011 at 01:48 AM.
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      03-20-2011, 01:47 AM   #15
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Here's some shitty video (I strategically positioned the mic so it would pick up more of the cars' noise as they pulled away, although giving it a bit of a delay):

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      03-20-2011, 02:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-421 View Post
I just got back! It was nothing short of amazing, every bit of it and I have some pics and a couple vids I'll upload later (we snuck into the area overlooking the pits around 6 pm ). The 458 GT in it's debut looked and sounded incredible and I think those, along with the older 430's and also the Jag were the best sounding (the 430's and the Jag even more so had a crazy amount of throttle gurgling when going into corners after a long straight and both F-cars had a nice high pitched scream. oh and the corvettes... jesus christ when they shifted up, it literally sounded like a gunshot).
A lot of fun isn't it. I went to a couple races last year. I personally think the Corvettes are one the loudest cars on the track. You literally feel the vette exhaust sound in your chest when they drive by.
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      03-20-2011, 02:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3_WC View Post
A lot of fun isn't it. I went to a couple races last year. I personally think the Corvettes are one the loudest cars on the track. You literally feel the vette exhaust sound in your chest when they drive by.
Yeah really. But I think the Jag (very surprisingly to me) was the loudest. You could not only feel it in your chest but you felt the bass under your feet the entire time before, during, and after it passes you. It also made the most gurgling in corners by a wide margin. Maybe something was broken? If that's the case, please don't fix it

The green 430 that won GTC at 1:06-1:10 in the video was probably the third loudest with the second most sound effects in corners.
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      03-20-2011, 02:22 AM   #18
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Here's another shitty one (0:12-0:18 = jizzzzzz):

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      03-20-2011, 03:02 AM   #19
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Excellent result and well done BMW M!
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      03-20-2011, 06:37 AM   #20
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nice!
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      03-20-2011, 06:46 AM   #21
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Congrats to the BMW RLL team and all their drivers! The team looks well prepared to defend its Manufacter's Championship and will hopefully contend for the driver's championship as well.


My favorite race in the world ..... well Done BMW team! I look forward to catching the northeast races later this year! Great way to start the season ...... would sure love to see them sponsor a LMP1 clas car to take it to Audi and Peugot/Aston Martin!!!!
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      03-20-2011, 08:12 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3_WC View Post
-1 for having to watching it on the internet (espn3)
You can get it on your xbox if you have a Live Gold account. As long as you have enough bandwidth it comes through in pretty good looking HD (it's also archived). I watched all 12 hours yesterday on the 'ole boob tube....

Ferarri 458???

///M-POWER!!!!!!
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