Dunlop and BMW Team RLL take podium at Mosport
Dunlop Tires and the BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing Team retained its lead in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT Class standings, finishing third and fourth during the Grand Prix of Mosport in Bowmanville, Ontario.
Prior to Mosport, BMW Team RLL was undefeated in the GT Class with victories at Sebring, Long Beach and Lime Rock. After Sunday’s nearly three-hour race, the team still leads the manufacturer, driver and team championship standings.
The number 56 BMW M3 GT started from the pole position for the third consecutive race and led the first 30 laps, with the number 55 car running third. A caution period then brought both cars to the pits for fuel and tires, but a touch with a competitor when exiting meant the number 56 BMW would return to serve a stop-and-go penalty for “avoidable contact.” With 20 minutes remaining in the race the number 55 BMW made contact with a slower class vehicle and another “avoidable contact” stop-and-go penalty was issued.
Dirk Werner returned to the race losing two positions to finish third. Dirk Mϋller took the number 56 car as high as third place before falling back to fourth in the closing stages of the race.
“We didn’t get the results we wanted at Mosport but it wasn’t for lack of a great package or great tires from Dunlop,” said BMW Team RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal. “Both cars led laps throughout the day but we had troubles that made it tough. In the end we still have the points lead and we’ll get ready for Mid-Ohio.”
Dunlop has been BMW Team RLL’s tire provider since the launch of the M3 GT program in 2009, and the racing tires have been credited for helping the team mature and develop into a consistent performer and winner. Because most ALMS races are lengthy in laps and overall racing time, the teams switch drivers throughout the competition during pit stops. The tires, especially, must be consistent for long runs, and the Dunlops have been praised by the team for their continuing improvement.
The BMW Team RLL now looks to retain its lead in the ALMS standings during the next challenge, the Grand Prix of Mosport. The fifth race of the 2011 ALMS campaign will be held August 6 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.