When any race team starts a season dreams of becoming champions by the end is the main objective. The BMW Team RLL is fighting hard and well when it comes to realizing this dream.
For the third time in four years the team has won the four hour endurance race at Road America in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. Successfully taking home the checkered flag 2.63 seconds ahead of No. 45 Porsche with Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller at the wheel of their BMW M3 GT (No. 55) in the GT Class of the American Le Mans Series.
Starting from fourth, Auberlen would hold onto his position before handing the reigns over to Müller after the first 30 laps. Müller stepped in and shot off only to be met with the races first full-course caution. While the rest of the field pitted Müller would remain out and slot to P1. After another 30 laps, and falling back to fifth, it was Auberlen's turn back in the car. During the first lap of his second stint Auberlen would be forced back to the pits to tighten the left rear wheel. Now in a dismal 11th place, Auberlen seemed to take on the Team RLL mantra "Focus Forward" to another level. Fighting his way back to fourth in 17 laps.
Pitting on the 76th lap for fuel and tires Auberlen returned to the field in 5th and made it just before the next full-course yellow flag waved, allowing Auberlen to move up to first as the others pulled into the pits. Only 38 minutes remained of the four-hour race and once under the restart Auberlen would hold onto the lead even as another yellow would slow the field. But the shadow of the checkered flag would ultimately fall on him at the finish line.
No. 56 M3 GT of Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton would finish 10th after Müller was ran of the track by a rival two laps before the finish, dashing the hopes of a 1-2 finish for BMW.
As a result of the weekends race BMW now moves into second place for the GT Class Manufacturer points and BMW Team RLL into second as well in Team Points. Dirk Müller falls to third as Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller move into fifth for drivers points.