Currently second in points the BMW team looks to reclaim the lead at Mosport.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 17, 2012… Round five of the ten race 2012 American Le Mans Series will be held at Mosport International Raceway on July 22 at the newly renovated Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmansville Ontario, Canada. Mosport is a very fast 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit that has challenged drivers since 1961 and has only given up two third place finishes to BMW Team RLL in the previous three seasons of ALMS competition.
Following a streak of three consecutive podium finishes in the first three races of the season, including a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, BMW Team RLL had a difficult day at the most recent race at Lime Rock Park. With only a fifth and sixth place finish, BMW stands second in manufacturer points, trailing Chevrolet by 10 points. BMW Team RLL is second in ALMS team points. Joey Hand and Dirk Müller are third in driver points. Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller stand sixth.
“Mosport has been one of our most challenging races every year in terms of getting the results we have been capable of,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We have qualified well but haven’t earned the finishes we deserved. Last year we were in the lead with 15 minutes to go and we made contact with a competitor. As a result we were given a drive through penalty which ended our chances for a victory. Hopefully this year we won’t make those kinds of mistakes.”
Commenting on the challenges ahead in the second half of the season Rahal continued, “The ALMS made a number of changes to the specifications of our competition even as recently as the last race. As a result, our car has suffered in terms of the performance it had at one point. The Corvettes are very strong. The Ferrari’s have been given bigger restrictors at the last race which will have much more of an effect at Mosport than it would at Lime Rock Park so that will be a difficult challenge for us. Porsche has always run well there and they have been given a number of upgrades over the course of this year so I think it will be a tough race for us given all of that. All we can do is do our best. Frankly, we really seem to be competing against Corvette at this point in time in terms of the championship. However, having said that, Porsche won the last race and I don’t think we can take our eyes off of them either.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “I finished third at Mosport in the past two seasons, but we should have been higher up on the podium. Mosport always offers many challenges, but every real driver accepts them because to race hard and finish well there is something that does not happen often.”
Jörg Müller, driver No. 55 M3 GT – “Mosport is the fastest track on our calendar and aerodynamics is the most important thing there. All the corners are quick and this should suit our BMW M3 GT. I'm really looking forward to come back to Canada. JJ Lehto and I finished second in 2000 in the V12 LMR and won there in 2001 in our BMW M3 GTR.”
Joey Hand, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “In previous years we’ve had the speed at Mosport, but, for a host of reasons, not the success. This year because of the strength our tire partner Dunlop has demonstrated at races like Sebring and Long Beach, I think we can add one more ingredient to the mix that may change things in our favor. These races are so competitive that having a tire that we can push longer in a stint or know that we can splash-and-go towards the end of the race without changing tires may just make the difference we need.”
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 M3 GT – “I always enjoy racing at Mosport. We have been quick there and over the last three years I have been twice on pole. This race is a tough one and we need to work together to achieve a good result. The really important time in the championship has started and we need to score every point we can.”
Source: BMW Team RLL