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Press Release

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They want to do it again: BMW Team RLL returns to Long Beach.

  • 11.04.2012
  • ARCHIV
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Munich, 11th April 2012. Following a four-week intermission after BMW Team RLL’s GT class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring American Le Mans Series curtain-raiser, the second act of the team’s ALMS GT class title defence will be set in the streets of Long Beach (US) on 14th April.

Last year Joey Hand (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) had starring roles as Long Beach race winners and, ultimately GT class drivers’ champions. This year’s story has begun much as the last did with Hand and Müller sharing a second consecutive Sebring 12 Hour victory – this time supported by Jonathan Summerton (US) as third driver.

Only two hours long the Long Beach race is not only the shortest of the season, but the tight confines of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit sets a stage for high drama and conflict.

Bill Auberlen (US) co-drove to a podium finish with Tommy Milner (US) in both 2009 (P3) and 2010 (P2). Last year Auberlen and 2011 team-mate, Dirk Werner (DE), finished seventh after Auberlen had got hit by another car. This season, Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller (DE) will share the no. 55 BMW M3 GT at Long Beach. The race will be Müller’s first at Long Beach.

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal):
“We look forward to returning to Long Beach after having won there last year. Long Beach is such a huge event, such a historic event that any time you do well there you feel particularly good. We have had pretty good luck in Long Beach with three podiums in a row, including a win last year.  Last year we won at Sebring and then again in Long Beach – two-for-two – and we’re going to try to do that again this year. The cars are good at Long Beach and we will have good driver line-ups as always. I feel optimistic but it’s a tough race, as we saw last year with the 55 car that was running very well but got taken out by one of the Corvettes. You have to assume the worst maybe because it is a street race but I think we have a good chance to repeat our success. I look forward to being in Long Beach and having a great weekend.”

Bill Auberlen (BMW M3 GT – No. 55):
“It’s great to be home for my favourite race. The entire event really impresses me and the overall feeling of excitement is contagious! I know the BMW Team RLL guys will give Jörg and me the support to win, but this street race is tight and tough.”

Jörg Müller (BMW M3 GT – No. 55):
“I'm really looking forward to Long Beach as it will be the first time for me driving an event together with IndyCar. I have never been on this circuit before but I’ve watched a lot of videos. I’m a big fan of street circuits and have won races in Monaco, Pau and Macau.”

Joey Hand (BMW M3 GT – No. 56):
“Long Beach is an event I look forward to every season. You can feel the entire place radiate with energy on every lap. Dirk and I won the race from the pole last year, so obviously our goal is to repeat that and continue to keep him and BMW Team RLL at the top of the point standings.”

Dirk Müller (BMW M3 GT – No. 56):
“After two really busy weeks with the factory BMW Z4 GT3 at the Nordschleife with BMW Team Schubert, I am looking forward to one of my favourite race venues! I have already won the LBGP a couple of times, but it is always very special and it is always a different race. The walls are hungry and you need to be careful not to attack too hard too early. Personally I do like street circuits very much and certainly Long Beach. There are so many friends and fans and together with IndyCar it is just a perfect weekend. With our victory from Sebring in the bag we are fully motivated to keep our streak alive.”

 

If you have any questions regarding this press release, please contact:

BMW Group
Ingo Lehbrink

Tel.: +49-89-382-76003
Fax: +49-89-382-28567
E-mail: ingo.lehbrink@bmw.de

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