American Le Mans SeriesEndurance RacingSportscars

Fifth Podium Helps BMW RLR To Lead Manufacturers’ Title

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Though they missed out on class honours, finishing second and fourth in the GT field, BMW Rahal Letterman Racing were still celebrating on leaving Miller Motorsports Park after the double finish lifted the team to the top of the manufacturer's standings.

“We have great momentum, we have shown that we are very reliable this year and I think that's the biggest improvement versus the last season,” says BMW North America's Motosport Manager, Martin Birkmann. “Our pace is very, very strong. We have a very good driver line-up. We finish these races and when we finish we are a force to be reckoned with.”

The “force” at the Tooele track was led by the no.92 car of Bill Auberlan and Joey Milner, who finished second – 14 seconds behind the class winning Ferrari – maintaining the team's streak of podium finishes.

The result lifted the no.92 crew up to third in the GT class driver standings, leaping ahead of their teammates Dirk Muller and Joey Hand, who finished fourth, narrowly missing out on a podium themselves in the final minutes of the race as a damaged exhaust on the no.90 car sapping the speed from the BMW.

As in other races this season the New Jersey based team used strategy to their advantage, pitting their two cars a different times during the race, taking advantage of the race's caution period, leaving Milner and the no.92 out for longer than the sister car, a move which saw the American briefly lead before handing the car to Auberlan.

“When every other GT car in the field pit and I'm not, I'm like 'hmm is this the right call,” Milner said glibly in hindsight. “Scott made the pit call and I trusted him 100 percent and it worked out perfect. [We] got the yellow just when we needed it.”

“My stint was pretty easy,” he continued. “I made one pass on the no.45 [Flying Lizard] car, the it was yellow, yellow and then once everyone pitted I was all by myself and I could just run my own race.”

“It leaves the first, elusive, win available for Lime Rock, and we hope to accomplish it there for sure,” adds Birkmann.

The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park – the team's home race – is on July 24.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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