Long Beach: BMW Rahal Letterman qualifying report

BMW RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING TEAM M3s WILL START 3RD AND 4TH IN LONG BEACH DEBUT Long Beach, Calif. - April 17, 2009-- Making their debut on Long Beach's famous street circuit, the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team BMW M3s qualified fourth and...

BMW RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING TEAM M3s WILL START 3RD AND 4TH IN LONG BEACH DEBUT

Long Beach, Calif. - April 17, 2009-- Making their debut on Long Beach's famous street

circuit, the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team BMW M3s qualified fourth and fifth in the GT2 class for tomorrow's Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series race at Long Beach. Following a post-qualifying inspection the provisional polesitter's time was disallowed, moving the two M3s to the third and fourth starting positions.

Dirk Muller, who will co -drive the No. 92 M3 tomorrow with Tommy Milner, set the fourth fastest time in the 25-minute session with a 1:21.300 minute lap around the 1.968- mile temporary street circuit.

"I was taking it easy in the beginning of the session because I wanted to feel the track's grip level," said Muller. "I tried a confidence lap first which is always a good thing to do on a street course because the walls are so hungry. On my third lap I tried to squeeze a bit more than I should have and caught the curb in turn five. I broke the front splitter and that was it."

Joey Hand, driving the No. 90 M3, set the fifth fastest time with a 1:21.382 minute lap, only .082 seconds behind his teammate. Hand will co-drive with fellow Californian Bill Auberlen.

Hand said, "Because the team shares all information, the set up we used for qualifying is the same one Dirk used in the last practice session. I had a few different gears to work through before I could really get going. The front tires did not come in as quickly as I thought they would, but by lap six I had it worked out. I think I could have stayed out longer and gone even faster, but I overshot turn one on my eighth lap. Overall it's a good run for the team with both cars less than one-tenth of a second apart."

Foreshadowing a very competitive race, the top-10 drivers of the 12-car GT2 class were separated by only 2.4 seconds.

In the last round, Tommy Milner and Dirk Muller drove the No. 92 M3 to the team's first podium finish at St. Pete in a strong performance that saw Muller race towards the front of the GT2 field in the final minutes of the race to finish second.

Tomorrow's one-hour-and-forty minute race is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. and will be televised from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 19 on ABC.

-credit: bwm/rlr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Joey Hand , Tommy Milner