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Apr 22, 2010
Third Podium in Second Race - BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team at Long Beach
Los Angeles – April 17, 2010...
The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team M3 GT Coupes finished 3rd and 5th in Saturday’s American Le Mans at Long Beach event. In a 100-minute action-packed sprint slowed by three caution periods, BMW drivers Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner brought the No. 92 M3 home in 3rd place with 65 laps completed, 5.4 seconds behind the GT class leader. Dirk Müller and Joey Hand finished the race with the No. 90 M3 in 5th position.
Auberlen and Müller started the race by setting an aggressive pace for BMW. They ran nose-to-tail and set the fastest BMW laps of the race. Auberlen made the team’s first scheduled stop and driver change at Lap 25.
YouTube: Bill Auberlen describes the race from his vantage point
Having qualified 6th and 7th on the GT class grid on Friday, the M3s faced a strategic challenge. Street courses such as Long Beach are characterized by extremely limited overtaking space, so the team decided to forgo changing tires. The decision saved enough time to advance the M3s to 1st and 2nd in class, Milner followed by Hand, shortly after the third caution period of the race with 30 minutes remaining. For the duration, each M3 driver strove to defend as competitors on fresh tires attacked from behind. Milner and the No. 92 M3 held the GT class lead through Lap 55 and eventually finished 3rd, while Hand experienced a yet-to-be diagnosed mechanical difficulty and salvaged 5th place in the No. 90 M3.
YouTube: Bobby Rahal describes the Long Beach result
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