Dirk Müller and his BMW Team RLL team-mates got their American Le Mans Series campaign off to a start with a win. In an interview, the German talks about his 2011 program.
Mr. Müller, how significant was the victory in the GT class at the Sebring 12-hour race?
Dirk Müller: “This race is simply fantastic and, apart from the Indy500, is possibly the most important motorsport event in North America. Sebring is also a very important fixture on the ALMS calendar, as more points are on offer there than at the other races. It was great to start the season with a win there. That was my second victory in Sebring, but this year’s success was very special.”
Müller: “Yes, definitely. 20 cars lined up in the GT class alone, and there were almost 60 cars out on the track. That is a ridiculously tight field. For this reason the one-two there has given the entire team, and us drivers, a huge boost.”
And that was just the start of the season – one that could have a few more highlights in store for you…
Müller: “I am lucky to be able to race at some of the very best circuits in the American Le Mans Series. My personal favourite in America is Road America. Outside of the ALMS, it is well known that the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is my very favourite circuit. The calendar is packed and I am really looking forward to the season with BMW Team RLL and the outings at the 24-hour classics in Europe.”
You have been driving at the top level of GT racing for many years. Are you still learning?
Müller: “As a driver, you improve with every weekend, every lap you drive, and every minute you spend with the engineers. Motorsport has become far more demanding and complex in recent years. The races themselves have also changed. Earlier, endurance racing was all about keeping the car going for the entire duration of the race. That is a thing of the past. Today it is basically one sprint race after another. As a result, the drivers also face new challenges accordingly.”
As well as works drivers, countless privateers are also active in motorsport with BMW cars. Do you like the Customer Racing program?
Müller: “Yes, very much so. It is important that a company like BMW commits to customer racing. BMW offers strong cars for every relevant class – and can be proud of this program. Combined with our works outings with the BMW M3 GT, BMW has a great presence in motorsport this year.”