Priaulx and Alzen score podium result for BMW in Spa-Francorchamps.
Spa-Francorchamps, 7th May 2011. The second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) again saw a BMW M3 GT finishing in the top three of the GTE Pro class on Saturday. Andy Priaulx (GB) and Uwe Alzen (DE) claimed third for BMW Team Schnitzer in Spa-Francorchamps (BE). After six hours and 144 laps, final-stint driver Alzen crossed the line just 13.114 seconds behind the winning Ferrari. The no. 55 BMW M3 GT, driven by Augusto Farfus (BR) and Jörg Müller (DE), finished fourth in this hard-fought category.
The 1,000-kilometre race at the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps” was a turbulent affair, entertaining over 30,000 fans with numerous overtaking manoeuvres and incidents. Thanks to the strong team result, BMW successfully defended the lead in the GTE Manufacturer classification of the ILMC and now has 49 points to its tally. BMW Motorsport ranks second in the team standings with 26 points, just one point behind AF Corse. BMW Team RLL had kicked off the season in style, scoring a one-two at the season opener in Sebring (US).
Charly Lamm (Team Manager): “Overall we are satisfied with our weekend here in Spa-Francorchamps. Both BMW M3 GTs completed the six hours without any technical problems, one car made it onto the podium in the GTE Pro class. We will carefully examine why we didn’t quite match the pace of the front-runners today. During a pit stop for car number 55 we had a problem with the fuel rig, Uwe Alzen lost a bit of time due to a slow puncture on the number 56 car. However, this race definitely was a positive test for the Le Mans 24 Hours.”
Andy Priaulx (Car number 56): “It’s great to back on the podium in the second ILMC round following our one-two in Sebring. It was a tough race, but we managed to get the maximum out of it. The whole team did a good job, so we were able to complete our dress rehearsal for Le Mans with a positive outcome.”
Uwe Alzen (Car number 56): “This really was an exciting race – right until the very last lap. Had the race gone just one more lap, we could have even scored a better result. Towards the end I rapidly reduced the gap to the second-placed car. But the podium finish is okay. It was good fun teaming up with Andy this weekend.”
Augusto Farfus (Car number 55): “All in all it was a positive weekend for us. Our pace was consistent, and we kept in touch with the leaders throughout the race. Now we are looking forward to the highlight of the season in Le Mans. We will try to improve our package up to then, and should be well-prepared.”
Jörg Müller (Car number 55): “Although not everything went according to plan today, we managed to come home fourth in the GTE Pro category. The competition was very strong, and we have some work ahead of us so we can be strong at Le Mans. A lot of things were happening on the track, there were many incidents. Our car, however, ran absolutely flawlessly. We can build on this reliability.”