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Thread: Spoiler! Sebring Race Results

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Spoiler! Sebring Race Results

    A RLR press release:

    BMW RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING TEAM IS TESTED BY SEBRING IN DEBUT RACE



    Sebring, Fla. – March 21, 2009… Sebring International Raceway had best of the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team in its debut race today as both BMW M3s were forced to retire before half-distance of the 57th annual 12 Hours of Sebring.

    Teething problems for the new cars began early. Despite exhaustive pre-race preparations and a trouble-free morning warm-up session, electrical problems struck the No. 90 M3 on the grid and Bill Auberlen was forced to relinquish his sixth starting position. (He had qualified seventh, but a competitor was moved to the rear of the field following an infraction in Thursday’s night practice.) The team rolled the car to paddock to affect repairs as the field took the green flag.

    Dirk Müller started the No. 92 M3 from 13th in the GT2 field. By lap 17 and some 37 minutes into the 12-hour contest Muller was in sixth. He pitted for fuel and tires 20 minutes later and began a second stint.

    Following diagnosis and yeoman’s work by the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team crew to the No. 90 machine, just before the one hour mark both M3s were on the track with Müller moving up to fifth and chasing after the fourth place car.

    The first caution period of the race came at the 1:30 mark and both M3s came to the pits for fuel and tires. Milner replaced Müller and Hand took over for Auberlen.

    As the green flag flew again Milner moved into third and at the two-hour mark had moved the No. 92 M3 into second, one lap behind the leader.

    After a total of 27 laps, Sebring stuck a fatal blow and Hand pitted the No. 90 M3 with an oil leak. The leak was unable to be repaired and the car was retired from the race. Sebring was proving to be especially difficult this year, taking its toll on many of the top GT2 class cars.

    With some three hours of the race complete, the team took advantage of the second caution period of the race to pit Milner and send Müller out with a full tank of fuel and new tires. 30 minutes later he had the No. 92 M3 back into second position. Another pit stop saw Milner back behind the wheel and consolidating the No. 92’s hold on second place with 139 laps complete. Pitting just past the five-hour mark Müller took over, but as he launched something broke and the car had to be retired.

    “Sebring bettered us today, but it will definitely make us better,” said Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America Motorsports Manager. “Strategy, consistency and reliability are the keys to success here and it’s hard for a new car to be perfectly reliable. We know all BMW fans share our disappointment and we thank everyone who came out to cheer us on and be part of our return to the ALMS. Sebring is a big race, but BMW did not return for only one race. We came back for the season and are looking forward to Round Two.”

    Bobby Rahal, Team Principal, added, “For almost half the race we put on a good show for all the BMW fans here at Sebring. To run as high as second, and for a number of hours, in our debut race is a very good sign and a testament to the team we have put together. Yes, we are disappointed, but on to St. Pete. Focus forward.”

    “Sebring demands perfection”, said Tommy Milner. “We are a new team in a new car and everybody is working very hard. We aren’t perfect. We will figure this out. We’ve proven we have a good team.”

    Dirk Müller said, “The M3 was running really great - the best all week - which is a big compliment to everyone’s efforts. We were running trouble-free in second place, no incidents, no scratches, nothing. I made it from the back to fourth place in two stints. Then we got a drive train issue that ultimately made us stop. It’s a new car and we need to investigate this problem, but I have no doubt St. Pete will be a better race for us.”

    Round Two of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, The Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, is scheduled for April 3 – 5.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

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    Just finished seeing the race of the TiVo. Good race, but disappointing for BMW. Hope they get their issues figured out before Road Atlanta which I'm hoping to catch live.

    Interesting incident with the Porsche and the Panoz. Good to see the Panoz come out on top.

  3. #3
    Just finished watching it too...I must have ffwd'd over the incident in question.

    Did you hear the commentator once the BMW #90 finally went on track. "Looks like they found the keys to the BMW". That was pretty funny.
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
    Just finished watching it too...I must have ffwd'd over the incident in question.

    Did you hear the commentator once the BMW #90 finally went on track. "Looks like they found the keys to the BMW". That was pretty funny.
    the Panoz and Porsche came out of the last turn almost side by side, the Panoz on the outside a little back. And as the concrete wall kept turning right a little more after the track out the Panoz had to go out to miss the wall while the Porsche ketp going straight, clipping the Porsche and sending it nose first into the wall. The Porsche driver came on the radio "What was that?! I passed him!". They kept their positions before the incident till the end. Remarkably for the Porsche.

    It will be fun to have the M3 mix it up among the Ferraris and the Porsches. And the Panoz I guess.

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    Peugeot is the most frustrating team of which to be a fan... I still think their LMP1 is the coolest-looking racecar maybe ever, but it seems like they never have any luck or shoot themselves in the foot for every big race.

    I was happy to see a good performance from PTG, but I was hoping the BMWs would last the whole race. The 92 car seemed to have decent speed for the first part of the race, but the clip of it losing power was a bit funny. It just lost all power immediately, so I thought Milner hit a fuel cutoff/motor off switch?

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    Senior Member Scotty's Avatar
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    PTG? You mean Rahal-Letterman?

    Although Peugeot had a few wins in LMS last season, the Speed commentators mentioned that the team canned their manager in the off-season. I like to see Audi win but I do feel bad for the French now and then. Awesome car.
    Scott Lowrey

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    It would have been an interesting Le Mans if Peugeot had kept their rain tires on like Audi..but "20/20 hindsight".. (how's that for an english phrase Craig? )

    I agree the 908 is a sweet looking machine It's a shame we don't get Peugeots here in the states, because I think they make some nice street cars. Very popular in Norway and Europe.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scany View Post
    but "20/20 hindsight".. (how's that for an english phrase Craig? )
    Very good Anders! Did you hear them reference "hauling the mail" during the Sebring race?
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
    Very good Anders! Did you hear them reference "hauling the mail" during the Sebring race?
    I did Not only is watching races on tv fun, but teaches a Norwegian some proper American language (though there's some English and Australian in there also). Brilliant!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
    PTG? You mean Rahal-Letterman?
    Sorry, I meant I was happy to see PTG do well with the old Panoz. I still pull for those guys since their shop is right down the street from my grandparents. I should have worded my statement better in the last post... I know the BMWs are now with RLR; I really wanted them to just finish the race.

    I love ALMS, but I don't think I'll be able to attend a single race again this year (possibly Petit Le Mans before Oktoberfest).

    Quote Originally Posted by Scany
    I agree the 908 is a sweet looking machine It's a shame we don't get Peugeots here in the states, because I think they make some nice street cars. Very popular in Norway and Europe.
    I actually can't agree with you here. I lived in France for several months and never really cared for many of their street cars. I had a 206 rental that was just awful. Their larger cars seemed okay, but no road cars that truly interested me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggins View Post
    I actually can't agree with you here. I lived in France for several months and never really cared for many of their street cars. I had a 206 rental that was just awful. Their larger cars seemed okay, but no road cars that truly interested me.
    Different tastes. Thats' cool! But I believe you'd need longer to get used to something as different as the french street cars (took me years to accept pickups for instance). I'm not saying I prefer them either. But they have their charm I think. But that's coming from someone who's their first car was a 3 door '95 Fiat Uno 1.0ie, with 45 wild "Ferrari" horses

    Dont mean to sidetrack this thread..sorry.

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