With a sixth place finish by Tommy Milner and Dirk Müller in today’s Monterey Sports Car Championship, the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team concluded its inaugural American Le Mans Series season.
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In the ten-race, eight-months-long season from Sebring to Laguna Seca, the team tallied one victory, five podium finishes, two 1-2 M3 qualifying efforts, and three fast race laps. BMW secured third place in 2009 ALMS Manufacturers Point standings and Milner and Müller took fourth place in Driver Points. The team finished third in Team Points.
Milner and Müller completed 153 laps in today’s four-hour race at Laguna Seca, to finish sixth in the No. 92 M3. Though disappointed this weekend, the duo has reached the podium in half of the races this season. Milner started from eighth and ran strongly until a competitor spun him off after the race’s second caution period. He pitted to check for damage and Müller entered the race one lap down to the leaders. Dirk battled for the next three hours, running as high as fifth and turning some of the fastest laps of the race. A late pit stop to repair a damaged left front wheel ultimately dropped him to a sixth place finish.
For Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand, the final race of the year quickly ended in disappointment as a mechanical failure only minutes into the race ended the Californians’ hopes for victory. Auberlen and Hand earned the program’s first win at Road America in August.
Tommy Milner, driver No. 92 M3 (sixth): Youtube: click here for video.
“A great effort from Dirk today to finish sixth. It’s unfortunate I was taken out early by the Corvette. It cost us one lap and we tried really hard to get it back. The speed was there, but not the luck. Overall, it has been a great season. A brand new program, a brand new M3, a brand new partnership with BMW and RLR and managed to finish on the podium five
times with one win.”
Dirk Müller, driver No. 92 M3 (sixth): Youtube: click here for video.
“I just have to say awesome! I really squeezed that M3 for three hours and it was unbelievable. I was the quickest car out there for a long time – even after that hard hit. I am not sure that I had 100% power because of the damage to the exhaust, but I had a great time. I want to thank the whole team for a great year. Five podiums and P3 or P4 in driver
points, we will wait to see. The first time I have driven for BMW of North America and Rahal Letterman Racing, as well as on Dunlop tires. Everything came together very nicely. I am already looking forward to the next race!”
Martin Birkmann, BMW NA Motorsport Manager:
“Although this was a very tough day for us, it was a very good day for others and we congratulate this season’s champions. We returned to the ALMS this year because the competition is so tough and we are pleased to have given everyone a race this year. We plan to do even better next year. We would like to thank all our loyal – and new – fans for the continuous support and enthusiasm throughout a season that had it all. A partnership became a team this year and we reached the podium five times, the top at Road America.”
The Monterey Sports Car Championships for the American Le Mans Series will be broadcast on SPEED television at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 11.