Wednesday 18 January 2012

AMLS:BMW announce drivers for 2012

BMW announce drivers for 2012

After being the main opponent of Ferrari in LM GTE Pro in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2011, BMW will defend their GT title in the American Le Mans Series, again in partnership with the team RLL (Rahal Letterman Lanigan), the official overseas team.
BMW will be hunting for a third consecutive manufacturers' title with the BMW M3 GT. Winners of the Drivers' title in 2011, Germany's Dirk Müller and American Joey Hand continue the adventure with teammate Bill Auberlen (United States). They are joined by two newcomers, Jörg Müller and Uwe Alzen. A sixth driver to be announced soon, who will strengthen the team for some races. As will also be the role of Uwe Alzen in the opening round, the 12 Hours of Sebring (March 17), and Petit Le Mans (October 20) at the end of the season. Also DTM BMW driver Joey Hand will give priority to this programme where dates clash with ALMS races.

Ludwig Willisch (President BMW of North America): “For more than 25 years North America has loved the BMW M3 and cheered every one of its many racing victories, most recently our sweep of all American Le Mans Series GT championship titles in 2011. That success inspires us to return to the ALMS grid in 2012 – on the 40th anniversary of BMW M.”

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal): “It is our fourth season with the BMW M3 GT and, with the 2011 titles behind us, everyone in the team is more motivated than ever. We are now preparing intensively for the official test in February, before the season really kicks off at the 12 Hours of Sebring.”

Dirk Müller: “It's that time again. Following our great success, all the other teams will obviously have their sights set on us. They will be going all out to take our titles off us. However, we have not been resting on our laurels this winter.”

Joey Hand: “To win a title is one thing, but to defend it is perhaps even more difficult. The fact that I will also be racing in the DTM gives me additional motivation. As a racing driver, you simply cannot spend enough time out on the track – especially at the wheel of a BMW M3.”

Bill Auberlen: “Our test at Sebring in December showed that Bobby’s team has worked hard since Petit Le Mans and I’m confident we will be able to take on all challengers.”

Jörg Müller: “I have nothing but good memories of the American Le Mans Series. In 2001 we also achieved a hat-trick of titles with the BMW M3 GTR, just as BMW Team RLL did last year. I am sure I will soon feel at home again on the circuits of North America.”

Uwe Alzen: “The competition in the GT class is extremely fierce – and that is precisely what I am really looking forward to.”

The Sebring 12 hours (17th March) marks the start of the World Endurance Series and the American Le Mans Series for 2012. Click Here for the provisional 2012 WEC calendar, and Here for ALMS.

Jean-Philippe Doret
(Quotes from BMW Motorsport press inform

Photo: Photo : Nicolas COUSSEAU - ACO/Nikon

Photo : SEBRING (FLORIDA USA), SEBRING 12 HOURS, RACE, 19 MARCH 2011. BMW had a successful start to the 2011 season, winning LM GTE Pro at Sebring.

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