BMW Motorsport claims GTE pole position at the ILMC finale.
Zhuhai, 12th November 2011. BMW Motorsport's Jörg Müller (DE) set the fastest time (1:34.506 minutes) in the GTE class in qualifying for the sixth and final round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) in Zhuhai (CN). Driving BMW M3 GT number 55, Müller will start Sunday's six-hour race at the “Zhuhai International Circuit” from the front of the grid. Team-mate Andy Priaulx's (GB) fastest lap was clocked at 1:34.992, meaning the number 56 BMW M3 GT will start from fifth GT-place on Sunday. In the GTE class, Priaulx came third.
Müller was the first of the two BMW Motorsport drivers to head out onto the dry track, taking advantage of a relatively empty track to set a flying lap time that ultimately proved unbeatable over the course of qualifying. Priaulx, on the other hand, had to contend with traffic, but he knows that with a 1000 kilometre, six hour race there is lots to play for.
BMW Team Schnitzer is once again responsible for running the two BMW M3 GT cars at the six-hour race in Zhuhai. In tomorrow's race, which gets underway at 11:00 local time (04:00 CET), Müller will alternate at the wheel of car number 55 with Augusto Farfus (BR). Priaulx will share the cockpit of car number 56 with Uwe Alzen (DE). Coming into the season finale of the ILMC, BMW currently lies second in the GTE Manufacturers' Championship behind Ferrari (151). In the team competition, the gap between BMW Motorsport and the leading AF Corse team is just 14 points (85:99), meaning BMW still has a mathematical chance of winning both titles.
Charly Lamm (Team Manager): “Generally speaking it was a good qualifying session for our team. Jörg took full advantage of a clear track to claim pole. It was dry and warm: 26 degrees outside and over 30 degrees on the track. These conditions suit us. We hope the race will also be held on a dry track, as that will put us in a good position. Although I am sure Andy would have hoped to have done better, there is everything to play for. We have a good chance of finishing the season successfully for BMW Motorsport on Sunday.”
Jörg Müller (car number 55): “We already know from last year, when we won here in Zhuhai, that the BMW M3 GT and Dunlop tyres really come into their own on a dry track. As such, I was confident coming into the race weekend, and thankfully today's qualifying backed up that confidence. We have a good car and everything is working well. This circuit is not easy: you have to be extremely accurate with your braking, otherwise you will lose a lot of time. I am very pleased that I managed a really good qualifying lap.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 56): “Jörg produced a great performance to claim pole for the team. That is very positive. Personally, however, I am disappointed as I didn't manage to set the lap time we had hoped for today. We will have to take a look at the data and see where we went wrong. Despite this, tomorrow is a six-hour race, and generally speaking we are in a good position, which I am pleased about.”