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BMW Team RLL Wins Road America for the Third Time in Four Years
Woodcliff Lake, N.J.– August 18, 2012… For the third time in four seasons of American Le Mans Series competition, BMW Team RLL drove a BMW M3 GT across the Road America finish line first to win the four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase.
Today it was Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller who took the GT class victory in the No. 55 BMW M3 GT, racing past the checkered flag 2.63 seconds ahead of the No. 45 Porsche and the balance of the 13-car class. The duo completed 97 laps of the 4.048-mile circuit in the four-hour contest. Auberlen, who took the program’s very first win here with Joey Hand in 2009, started the race from the fourth position. He drove the opening 21 laps before handing off to Müller just before the race’s first full-course caution period. Müller cycled to the front as the balance of the field pitted and then drove 30 laps before pitting from the fifth spot to hand the No. 55 machine back to Auberlen. The Californian was forced back to the pits only one lap later to tighten the left rear wheel. He returned to the race in 11th with only the Team RLL mantra "Focus Forward" in mind as he stormed up to fourth place in 17 laps. Auberlen pitted on lap 76 for new Dunlop tires and fuel, returning in fifth and, as luck would have it, just before the race’s third full-course caution flag flew. With 38 minutes to go, he cycled to the lead as the race went back to green. One more yellow flag slowed the race, but Auberlen was not to be beaten.
The No. 56 M3 GT of Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton ultimately finished 10th after Müller was forced off course by a competitor two laps before the finish and was unable to continue. The incident dashed team hopes for a 1-2 BMW finish as the cars had been running in that order near the closing stage of the race.
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