The #55 BMW Team RLL M3 of Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller finished third in the GT class in the Mid-Ohio American Le Mans Series race, while the #56 M3 driven by Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fifth.
Jörg Müller qualified car #55 on the pole and car #56 started seventh. Car #55 led at the beginning of the race, but the Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner and the Flying Lizard Porsche of Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister took over the class lead. Müller had an off-course excursion and was penalized for speeding on pit road. He had fallen to eighth when he handed off to Auberlen, who fought his way back to finish third, a lap down from the winning Gavin/Milner Corvette and the second place Long/Bergmeister Porsche.
Car #56 had handling problems, and also had visibility problems on Dirk Müller’s stint because of glue from the windshield tear-off. It finished fifth in class.
Gavin and Milner won after a close battle with the second place Flying Lizard Porsche of Long and Bergmeister. The Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen was on its way to a third place finish until it was set back after Magnussen collided with a GTC class Porsche.
Even though one of the M3s qualified on the pole, neither car appeared to have the pace of the class leaders during the race. Team principal Bobby Rahal said “There is an obvious imbalance evident in the last few races and I hope that the ALMS will do the right thing. When you know you don’t have the pace you have to rely on strategy and luck. This week the Corvette had an incident and we got lucky again. We need to get back to fair and equal footing and give these guys a run for their money.”
BMW remains second in manufacturers’ points to Chevrolet, while Joey Hand and Dirk Müller return to second in drivers’ standings because Magnussen and Garcia finished out of the points.
The series runs again in two weeks at Road America.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News