In only its second season of competition, the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team won the American Le Mans Series GT Manufacturer and Team Championships in the closing moments of the 13th annual Petit Le Mans, after a season of hard-fought competition.
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The fourth place finish by the embattled No. 92 M3 GT of Bill Auberlen, Tommy Milner and Dirk Werner was the only race in 2010 that the Team did not finish with at least one M3 GT on the podium. The No. 92 M3 GT completed 354 laps in a race that lasted just over 9 hours, 12 minutes. The race was ultimately decided on fuel efficiency, and BMW-RLR was awarded the Michelin GreenX Challenge race win for the best combination of performance and efficiency as a result.
The finish was enough to score the badly needed points to stay ahead of fierce competitors Ferrari and Porsche in the GT Manufacturer’s Championship by a single point. “All it takes is one point,” quipped a happy Bobby Rahal, Team Principal, at the post-race press conference. Rahal Letterman Racing handily secured the GT Team Championship with the result. Martin Birkmann, BMW NA Motorsport Manager, reflected, “Tonight I can say we’ve done almost everything we set out to do when we put the program together, and we dedicate this Manufacturer’s Championship to the memory of our dear friend, Jack Pitney.”
The great start by the No. 90 M3 GT was spoiled by a controversial steward’s call for alleged contact only an hour into the race. The resulting stop-and-go penalty cost Müller one lap, but then extensive repairs to a failed starter motor following the car’s first scheduled pitstop effectively eliminated the No. 90 from contention. Müller, Hand, and Priaulx continued to circulate, ultimately finishing 13th in the GT class.
YouTube: JOY is Victory on Pit Wall.