BMW Team RLL’s M3s finished third and seventh in the GT class in the American Le Mans Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka Mosport). Joey Hand and Dirk Müller in car #56 had finished fourth on the track, a lap down from the winners, while their teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller in car #55 had finished another lap down in eighth.
The Flying Lizard Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long took the checkered flag first, but the car failed a post-race technical inspection. As a result, Johannes van Overbeek, running his 100th ALMS race, took the win in the Extreme Speed Ferrari that he shared with Scott Sharp. Van Overbeek passed the Corvette of Jan Magnussen with just two corners left while Magnussen was trying to set up for a pass on the leading Porsche. M3 #56 finished third, a lap behind the Corvette of pole sitter Magnussen and his teammate Antonio Garcia.
In its releases after both qualifying and the race, BMW Team RLL said that the series’ current technical regulations require the M3s to run restrictors that put them at a speed disadvantage to their competitors. Rahal Letterman Racing VP of Technology Jay O’Connell said, “We are down by 4 to 6 kph on the straights due to regulations. The guys are just driving really hard on the corners to try and make up the pace, but it's definitely pushing the tires hard.” Both cars had to make costly pit stops under green for tires.
Joey Hand said, “It was obvious that we didn't have the pace today. We did what we had to do to get as many points as possible, and on that front we executed really well. We are really, really not competitive on the straights. Everyone can pass us wherever they choose. We have to work so hard everywhere else and it’s too hard on the car. It will be tougher at the next tracks, but this team is, for sure, not giving up. We just need to continue to focus forward as Bobby would say and work on the next races.”
The overall win at CTMP went to Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr in their HPD ARX-03a Honda; it was their third consecutive victory.
The series runs again at Mid-Ohio on August 4.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News