BMW Team RLL’s three-race win streak in the American Le Mans Series came to an end at Mosport, where the team’s M3s finished third and fourth after both were penalized for avoidable contact.
The M3s were fast, with Dirk Müller taking the pole in car #56 and Bill Auberlen second on the grid in car #55.
Car #56, with Joey Hand on board, pitted with the other class leaders under a full course yellow in the first hour of the race. As Hand exited from his pit box, he touched the Risi Ferrari of Toni Vilander on pit road, and was brought in for a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact. Car #56 fell back in the order, but eventually recovered to finish fourth.
Car #55, with Werner at the wheel, moved into the lead around the two-hour mark. Werner had what appeared to be a comfortable lead with about twenty minutes left in the race when he unintentionally rear-ended the GTC class-leading Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly. Then, like his teammate earlier in the race, Werner was given a stop-and-go penalty. When he came in to serve the penalty Jan Magnussen took the lead in the Corvette that he shared with Oliver Gavin, and Jaime Melo, in the Risi Ferrari that he shared with Toni Vilander, moved up to second. The Werner/Auberlen M3 finished third; it was car #55’s first trip to the podium this season.
Hand and Müller retain their GT drivers’ points lead going into the Mid-Ohio race on August 6. BMW continues to lead in manufacturers’ points, and Team RLL continues to lead the team championship.
If you missed the race, you can see it any time on espn3.com (your internet provider willing), and you can see a disappointed Werner and Auberlen discuss the race here.
Both M3s will run with newly-imposed intake restrictors at Mid-Ohio; the restrictions were announced after Lime Rock, but at too late a date for them to be added for the Mosport race.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.org
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