Bill Auberlen added two American Le Mans Series GT podium finishes to his career tally after a roller-coaster month of racing. He started with a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on Aug. 7, was knocked unconscious...
Bill Auberlen added two American Le Mans Series GT podium finishes to his career tally after a roller-coaster month of racing. He started with a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on Aug. 7, was knocked unconscious and broke a rib at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Aug. 22, then returned to the podium at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., on Aug. 29.
Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Tommy Milner of Leesburg, Va., combined for strong performances in the No. 92 BMW Rahal Letterman Racing BMW M3. They moved from seventh on the Mid-Ohio grid to lead the class, but had to settle for a third-place finish. At Road America, Auberlen gained two positions in the first few laps of the race, then was hit by a prototype and forced out. He also suffered a broken rib, adding to the challenge of driving on the demanding Mosport circuit the following week.
At Mosport, the team planned a two-stop race strategy, with Auberlen driving first, followed by Milner. The strategy paid off in the first hour of the race as they took the class lead, then dropped back to third for a planned out-of-sequence pit stop. A few minutes later, the race was red-flagged for track repairs, then stopped because the repairs couldn't be completed quickly and safely, leaving Auberlen and Milner third in class.
"Mid-Ohio was the toughest third place I've ever done in my history of racing," Auberlen said. "We came out of it with third and we had to be okay with that because it helped us in the [championship] points. At Elkhart Lake, we had a superfast car, everything was great, we led a lot of the practice sessions. But because of an LMPC car, I wound up hitting a wall, was knocked unconscious, broke a rib and hurt my points. That was bad!
"The team had to go straight home to Columbus [Ohio], build up a bare chassis in two days, then go straight to Mosport. We pitted out of sequence, which would have worked out really well had the race not been red-flagged. Because of the shortened race, we didn't get to battle, but we finished on the podium and we led a lot of the race. I want to thank the Rahal Letterman guys for all their hard work, and Dunlop Tires."
-source: bill auberlen PR/sp