Despite both M3s leading the GT class for a significant part of the six-hour American Le Mans race at Laguna Seca this weekend, the BMW Team RLL cars ultimately finished in the third and fourth positions.
Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller completed 232 laps of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit, bringing the #55 BMW M3 GT home in third, scoring their first podium together and delivering the team's third consecutive podium of the season.
Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished just behind their teammates in fourth place. Both drivers were on the receiving end of contact by competitors during the race, with Hand getting the worst of it while leading.
Rear-ended by the second place Corvette just past the mid-race mark, the #56 M3 GT lost its rear fascia and diffuser, affecting the car's aerodynamic balance for the remainder of the race.
Slowed by caution periods during the first 5.30 hours, the race was decided in the last 15 minutes after the green flag. With Müller in control of fourth, Auberlen restarted the #55 M3 GT from second. Before the experienced Californian could make a charge for the lead, he was blocked by a prototype entering turn one, allowing the third place Corvette to squeeze past. Losing more ground on the exit of the corner he had to settle for third.
BMW now stands second in Manufacturer points. Hand and Müller are second in Driver points with Auberlen and Müller moving into a tie for fourth.
Following the traditional break for teams competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of ALMS, the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, will be held at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT on July 7.