BMW TEAM RLL: LAGUNA SECA PREVIEW

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 14, 2011…
With seven of nine races totaling more than 26 hours of hard fought competition in this season’s 2011 American Le Mans Series now complete, BMW Team RLL heads to Laguna Seca Raceway for this weekend’s American Le Mans Monterey six-hour sports car race. The team won the first three events and has finished on the podium in every race thereafter to lead all GT championships, but the defense of its 2010 Manufacturer and Team titles begins in earnest at the classic Northern California 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course and the penultimate round of the championship.

Joey Hand and Dirk Mϋller, in the No. 56 M3 GT, have led the Driver standings since their victory at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring (shared with Andy Priaulx) and did finish second in last year’s race at Laguna Seca. As the season progresses, the competition is getting more intense. With five extra points available at this race and 10 extra at the season-ending Petit Le Mans, their 25 point lead is not yet enough to secure the team’s first Driver’s title.

Teammates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, in the No. 55 M3 GT, stand third in GT driver standings – now 11 points from second – after feeling more than simply the heat of the competition at the Baltimore Grand Prix. The resulting contact from a overly optimistic pass attempt by a competitor took Auberlen out of the lead and a probable victory in the closing laps of the race. Auberlen was able to salvage a fifth-place finish at the new street circuit, but it ended the duo’s streak of three consecutive podium finishes.

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