Dunlop tires score another podium finish in ALMS

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In its debut season in American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing, Dunlop Tires and the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team notched another strong performance at the recent Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.  The team finished in third place in the GT2 class, with drivers Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand sharing duties.The two drivers completed 166 laps around the Lime Rock circuit to mark the third podium finish in the first five races of the 2009 ALMS season for the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team.

In post-race remarks, Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America Motorsport Manager, commented, “The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team continues on its quest for top honors in the ALMS GT2 class.  Currently, there are two key development areas: tires and suspension.  With Dunlop, we have a development group that focuses solely on our vehicle concept, which, with its 50/50 weight distribution and front engine layout, differs from the majority of the competitors.  The progress shows in the ever-improving pace and endurance.  The thoroughness of the effort might be highlighted with the Lime Rock setup, where we ran the race with three different compounds on the four tires of each car.”

From Bobby Rahal, president of Rahal Letterman Racing: “Scoring our third podium of the year with a first-year program is a testament to the dedication of our team and all involved, and our result at Lime Rock Park is a direct example of how hard Dunlop has worked in building a great tire.  Dunlop brought a number of great ideas to our test at Mid-Ohio prior to Lime Rock, and continued developing throughout the race weekend to provide a competitive tire that allowed our BMW to bring home another trophy.”

According to Razvan Bosomoiu, Dunlop brand general manager, “This is an important platform to highlight Dunlop tires in motorsports, as it shows the ability of our brand to compete at the highest level.  An extension of the relationship between Dunlop and the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team included a recent visit by media and tire retailers to a team test session to showcase the racing efforts.  Overall, racing participation is a good collaborative opportunity to enhance the performance of Dunlop tires, extending track learnings to the development of consumer tires.”

The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team selected Dunlop as its official race tire supplier for the 2009 ALMS season.  The highly anticipated return of BMW to professional production car racing coincides with the ALMS’ 10th season of world-class sports car racing.

Another Dunlop-supplied team, the Corsa Motorsports hybrid electric race car, took home third place honors in the P1 class and third overall in competition at Lime Rock.  This marked the debut race of the season in ALMS for the car.

The next race of the 10-event season, the Acura Sports Car Challenge, will take place on August 8 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH.

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