Mixed feelings for BMW Team Schnitzer after ILMC opener.
Silverstone, 12th September 2010. The no. 78 BMW M3 GT2, driven by Jorg Muller (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE), finished eighth in the LM GT2 class at the 1,000-kilometre race in Silverstone (GB). BMW Team Schnitzer's analysis after the turbulent season finale of the Le Mans Series, which was also the first race of the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, had two sides. While the team wasn't satisfied with the result, the car's performance compared to the pace displayed at earlier LMS races this year, gave everyone reason for optimism. Victory at the classic "Silverstone Circuit" was secured by Ferrari's Jaime Melo (BR) and Gianmaria Bruni (IT).
From tenth on the grid, first-stint driver Werner gained ground in the opening stage of the marathon, handing over the wheel of the BMW M3 GT2 to his team-mate while in fifth. Muller continued the chase over the course of his double stint. His progress, however, came to an abrupt end on lap 86: When braking for the first corner, both rear wheels locked and the BMW works driver spun at high speed, dropping back from third to tenth. When Werner was back at the wheel a stop-and-go penalty for not respecting the track limits cost further time. Werner kept on fighting and ultimately finished eighth in the LM GT2 class.
The second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup is the "Petit Le Mans" race, which will be held at Road Atlanta (US) on 2nd October. The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team will then fly the flags for BMW.
Charly Lamm (Team Manager):
"Dirk Werner managed to get into a good rhythm right from the beginning of the race. Jorg Muller also succeeded in gaining further ground following the driver change. We had the front-runners in sight, which was something we had hoped for after our promising performance in the free practice sessions. Due to Jorg's spin, however, we lost a lot of time and dropped back. Dirk was able to at least regain two positions during his final double stint. But we also take something positive with us from Silverstone. Over the past months we have made considerable progress and reduced the gap to the LM GT2 frontrunners. Our reliability was okay as well. In this respect this has been a good weekend."
Jorg Muller (Car Number 78):
"It's a pity we lost so much time after my spin. When I was downshifting suddenly the rear wheels locked and I was left as a passenger in the cockpit. We are running very fast in this section, so I'm happy I didn't hit the barriers or another car. Up to that incident I was really happy with the car and was able to put in consistent lap times. We managed to make a big step forward in terms of performance."
Dirk Werner (Car Number 78):
"We could have done much better than eighth today. But that's racing. Our performance was absolutely fine. That makes me confident for the future. During my first stint I worked my way through the field. This is far from easy when you start from tenth on the grid. If you follow another car you lose considerable downforce. That's why you need to be fully focussed all the time."