Okayama (JP), 1st November 2009 - For more than two hours the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team had been on the way to score its second victory in the Asian Le Mans Series, before a problem at the second pit stop dropped the BMW M3 GT2 down in the classification. At the end of the day, Dirk Muller (DE) and Tommy Milner (US) finished fifth in Okayama (JP) after 110 laps. Dominik Farnbacher (DE) and Allan Simonsen (DK) secured victory in their Ferrari F 430. On Saturday Muller and Milner had won the maiden race of the new Asian Le Mans Series.
Again Muller was on duty during the first part of the three-hour race for the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team. From fifth on the grid the 33-year-old kept out of any trouble on the first lap, before setting his sights on the leaders and improving to fourth on lap six. Afterwards the competition involuntarily aided the progress of the BMW M3 GT2: First the Porsche 911 RSR with Wolf Henzler (DE) at the wheel stopped due to a technical problem, and then David Murry (US) also dropped back in his Ford GT Mk7. When Milner rejoined the race after the team's first pit stop on lap 44, the BMW M3 GT2 was able to take the lead for the first time.
Like his teammate Milner put in another flawless performance and headed into the pits as leader on lap 78, in order to hand over the car back to Muller. However, the engine wouldn't start after the pit stop was completed and the time needed to remedy the problem meant that Muller went back into action in the fifth spot. Four laps down on the front-runners the BMW works driver put in one quick lap after another, but there just wasn't enough time to make up the lost ground. He ultimately brought the BMW M3 GT2 home in fifth and clocked the fastest GT2 lap in 1:32.136 minutes.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal):
"Obviously we are disappointed, because we were again in a good position to win the race. But then the starter motor failed at our pit stop, and our chances were over. Of course we are happy with yesterday's victory. However, if you are so close to scoring a second win you want that to happen. I hope that the Japanese fans liked the show we put in here in Okayama. For us it was a great experience."
"Everything went according to plan. We were in control at the front, and Tommy once again did a great job after my opening stint. But then the broken starter turned everything upside down and cost us several minutes. I had a good pace in my final stint, even setting the fastest lap time. But the gap to the front-runners was just too big. Overall our appearance in Japan was good fun and a nice conclusion to our successful season."
"Compared to the final 20 minutes of yesterday's race, when I was under huge pressure and had to defend our lead, I had a much quieter stint today. Thanks to the great work from our pit crew I was able to take the lead and then opened up a gap. Unfortunately the problem during the second stop then ruined our race. However, thanks to our win on Saturday we can leave Japan on a positive note."
-credit: bmw rlr