BMW Team RLL finishes fifth and sixth at Mosport – Dirk Müller retains GT driver points lead
Munich (DE). BMW Team RLL did all it could in the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), held at Bowmanville (CA), but ultimately ended the 2.45-hour race fifth and sixth in the GT class.
Both BMW Z4 GTE cars held the lead during the mistake-free race. Maxime Martin (BE) set the fastest lap (1:15.907 minutes, on lap 102) in the closing minutes of the race. Unfortunately, the top speed deficit of the BMWs to the opponents was evident on Mosport’s long straights and, while able to run a single quick lap, they were unable to stay in front of the larger displacement cars.
Dirk Müller (DE) and Joey Hand (US), driving the no. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, finished fifth, completing 123 laps of the 2.46-mile, ten-turn circuit during the race to retain Müller’s lead in the GT driver standings by five points. Müller started the race from third on the grid, after qualifying fourth and moving up at the green flag after the second place qualifier moved to the rear of the grid. Hand took over just past the one-hour mark and ran a strong third before being demoted to fifth in the closing stages of the race.
Bill Auberlen (US) started in the no. 55 BMW Z4 GTE, moving up to start the race in fourth after qualifying fifth. The Californian ran a strong stint to hand over to Martin from fourth on lap 46, one hour into the race. Martin raced into the lead, but dropped back to sixth after his pit stop on lap 90 for fuel and new Michelin tyres. He was unable to improve his position in the final 45 minutes of the race.
Gordon McDonnell (BMWNA Motorsport Manager):
“Despite an excellent, mistake-free effort by BMW Team RLL we were denied a chance at the Mosport podium. The next circuits we face will not be any easier, so we will have to redouble our efforts to keep us in the hunt for the championship.”
Dirk Müller (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 56):
“I was hoping for more for sure. It was a tough day. We did everything right. Joey did a great job. The team did a great job, but we couldn’t defend. P5, P6 was the best we could do. I was hoping for a podium, but we collected the points and stayed clean. Not one touch to the cars. No penalties. We still have a long season ahead and we’ll fight every lap.”
Joey Hand (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 56):
“I was very happy to come back to this programme. It was good to see all the boys, all my team-mates. The car this weekend was the best I’ve had here, but it picked up a lot of understeer towards the end of the race. I think the track rubbered up and as the rear got better it created a ton of understeer. I definitely earned those points. I will miss Road America, my favourite track, and come back for Baltimore.”
Bill Auberlen (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 55):
“This is what we suspected would happen. We could race – and win – at the slower speed tracks. Mosport indeed showed we don’t have the straightline speed.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 55):
“Without doubt it was not an easy race for us. With the lack of speed to our competitors it is really difficult to defend during the race. So we have a good car during one lap, but that does not win a race.”
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