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BMW Motorsport Media Information. 2013 American Le Mans Series.

The American way of racing. 2013 ALMS races.

Race Calendar

16th March Sebring (US)  Sebring International Circuit
20th April Long Beach (US)  Long Beach Street Circuit
11th May Monterey (US)  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
6th July Lakeville (US)  Lime Rock Park
21st July Mosport (CA)  Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
11th August Elkhart Lake (US)  Road America
31st August Baltimore (US)  Baltimore Street Circuit
21st September  Austin (US)  Circuit of the Americas
5th October Danville (US)  Virginia International Raceway
19th October Braselton (US)  Road Atlanta

Sebring, 16th March.

Circuit data.
Name: Sebring International Raceway
Location: Sebring, Florida
Length: 3.7 miles
Race duration: 12 hours
Number of corners: 17
Most famous corner: Turn 17
Best team result: 1st place (2011, 2012)
Results 2012: 1st place Hand/D. Müller/Summerton
4th place Auberlen/J. Müller/Summerton
Distance from team base: 1,045 miles
ALMS debut year: 1999

Driver’s view.
Dirk Müller: “I love Sebring, but there isn’t a more difficult track in terms of physical demands. You don’t just have to brake often at very high speeds, but you also have to drive permanently on a bumpy track. The concrete slabs make the driving surface very uneven. That’s very hard for us as drivers. Sebring is technically very demanding and forces both man and machine to give everything they’ve got.”

Joey Hand: “The track is phenomenal. Although there aren’t any height differences at all there at the airfield, it’s one of the most famous racetracks in the world. Having experience there is key. If you know exactly where you have to position your car, then you’ll be quicker than someone who doesn’t have the same experience. Sebring is a great place to start the season, and it’s particularly great for me, because I’ve won there both of the last two years.”

Bill Auberlen: “The track is authentic and steeped in history. Every time I drive there, I have the feeling of being a part of Sebring’s history. My father won there in 1985, and I’ve also been able to win there three times. Sebring is one of my favourite tracks and is perhaps even the best race of the season.”

Long Beach, 20th April.

Circuit data.

Name: Long Beach Street Circuit
Location: Long Beach, California
Length: 1.968 miles
Race duration: 2 hours
Number of corners: 11
Most famous corner: “The Hairpin”, Turn 11
Best team result: 1st place (2011)
Results 2012: 2nd place Hand/D. Müller
11th place Auberlen/J. Müller
Distance from team base: 2,259 miles
ALMS debut year: 2007

Driver’s view.

Dirk Müller: “A classic. Long Beach is a mini-Monaco for us Europeans. There’s the sea, there are boats – and an extremely high number of spectators. The track goes round a fountain – extremely hard to imagine, but it’s very interesting. I manage to do very well on this city course.”

Joey Hand: “For me, it’s the best race in the world. I love city courses that constantly push you to your limits. Thanks to the fact that I’ve often driven on the track, I’m aware of what’s required of me, and I know how I have to drive to go fast. The great highlight is the atmosphere, however. You’re driving right next to the beach in South California, zipping past restaurants – amazing.”

Bill Auberlen: “It’s my home. I can sleep in my own bed and meet lots of my friends at the track. It’s perhaps the best city race in the world. The track itself is good, but the atmosphere and the surroundings are fantastic.”

Laguna Seca, 11th May.

Circuit data.

Name: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Location: Monterey, California
Length: 2.238 miles
Race duration: 4 hours
Number of corners: 11
Most famous corner: “The Corkscrew”, Turn 8/Turn 8A
Best team result: 2nd place (2010, 2011)
Results 2012: 3rd place Auberlen/J. Müller
4th place Hand/D. Müller
Distance from team base: 2,484 miles
ALMS debut year: 2001

Driver’s view.

Dirk Müller: “The Corkscrew naturally forms part of the myth surrounding this track. The bend is spectacular to drive on, but the stretches shortly before and after it are actually more demanding. But the famous Corkscrew naturally makes the course unique. The only problem is the sand that constantly blows across the track.”

Bill Auberlen: “The Corkscrew has made the course famous, but my favourite bend is actually Turn 5. You’re going uphill and have to drive a hair’s breadth from the edge of the asphalt every time. The course sits in a beautiful area in California – there’s fantastic food there, by the way. If you have a car with good aerodynamics, then you’ll be very fast in Laguna Seca.”

Lime Rock Park, 6th July.

Circuit data.

Name: Lime Rock Park
Location: Lakeville, Connecticut
Length: 1.5 miles
Race duration: 2.45 hours
Number of corners: 7
Most famous corner: “The Downhill”, Turn 7
Best team result: 1st place (2011)
Results 2012: 5th place Hand/D. Müller
6th place Auberlen/J. Müller
Distance from team base: 630 miles
ALMS debut year: 2004

Driver’s view.
Dirk Müller: “A very small site with a relatively simple track. What’s much more important is remaining focussed on the race. You hardly have any room to fight your way through the field with a faster car. The challenge in Lime Rock is to avoid accidents. Apart from that, the field remains very close because of the shortness and the simple layout of the track. You can’t afford to make the slightest mistake.”

Bill Auberlen: “It’s where BMW feels at home. It’s unbelievable how many races BMW has already won there. Sometimes you get this feeling that it’s really hard for BMW not to win there. The track itself isn’t among my favourites, but it obviously suits BMW’s cars down to the ground.”

Mosport, 21st July.

Circuit data.

Name: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport)
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Length: 2.459 miles
Race duration: 2.45 hours
Number of corners: 10
Most famous corner: Turn 2
Best team result: 3rd place (2011, 2012)
Results 2012: 3rd place Hand/D. Müller
7th place Auberlen/J. Müller
Distance from team base: 478 miles
ALMS debut year: 1999

Driver’s view.
Dirk Müller: “Mosport is a real blast. It’s an extremely quick track that demands a great deal of courage and a readiness to take risks from a driver. At the same time, each mistake is punished brutally. A drivers’ track par excellence. I like it very much.”

Joey Hand: “One of the quickest and most dangerous tracks I know. Ultra-fast bend follows ultra-fast bend. It really sorts the men from the boys. Luckily, the BMW M3 GT has always been very fast there.”

Bill Auberlen: “Quick. Brutal. Fantastic. You have to be a real man to be successful there. And you need a perfectly balanced car – as the BMW M3 GT always was. That meant we always looked good at Mosport and had a lot of fun, despite the track being so challenging.”

Road America, 11th August.

Circuit data.

Name: Road America
Location: Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Length: 4.048 miles
Race duration: 2.45 hours
Number of corners: 14
Most famous corner: “The Kink”, Turn 11
Best team result: 1st place (2009, 2010, 2012)
Results 2012: 1st place Auberlen/J. Müller
10th place D. Müller/Summerton
Distance from team base: 502 miles
ALMS debut year: 2002

Driver’s view.
Dirk Müller: “A very long, pure natural track, at which nothing has changed for decades. BMW always does very well there, mainly because our cars were simply born to tackle the bends into the two ultrafast sections. Our combination of cars, tyres, drivers and the team has always done fantastically at that race. It’ll hopefully be just the same in 2013.”

Bill Auberlen: “It’s probably one of the most beautiful tracks for the spectators. It’s long and has some great corners – perhaps even the most exciting corners in North America. Road America has always been a very good hunting ground for BMW over the past few years.”

Baltimore, 31st August.

Circuit data.

Name: Baltimore Street Circuit
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Length: 2.02 miles
Race duration: 2.45 hours
Number of corners: 12
Most famous corner: Turn 1
Best team result: 2nd place (2011)
Results 2012: 4th place Hand/D. Müller
8th place Auberlen/J. Müller
Distance from team base: 433 miles
ALMS debut year: 2011

Driver’s view.
Dirk Müller: “I love street circuits – that means I also love Baltimore. The track is very narrow and winding, making it very demanding technically. Despite that, we’ve always done very well there in the past.”

Joey Hand: “A very narrow street circuits with some artificial chicanes where you can very quickly throw your car against the wall if you don’t get through. You’re constantly driving at the limit.”

Bill Auberlen: “The demands made on the drivers there are brutal. You’re constantly just a millimetre away from skittering off into the track’s barriers – you have to drive perfectly in order to stay up front.”

Austin, 21st September.

Circuit data.

Name: Circuit of the Americas
Location: Austin, Texas
Length: 3.4 miles
Race duration: 2.45 hours
Number of corners: 20
Most famous corner: Turn 1
Distance from team base: 1,245 miles
ALMS debut year: 2013

Driver’s view.
Bill Auberlen: “Generally speaking, tracks in North America always have one particular corner that stands out. The ‘Circuit of the Americas’ doesn’t have just one. The whole layout is fantastic and it’s great fun driving there. Luckily I’ve already had the chance to drive a great deal of laps there and hope that will give me a huge advantage when we start the race. The pit area is the best in North America. The tarmac is also sensational.”

Dirk Müller: “Everyone who’s had the chance to test the track is excited. I’ve already been able to go round the track in my mind because I used the Formula One race in 2012 as an opportunity to memorise the route from the screen. We’ll have to wait until the driving gets underway on race weekend to find out what it’s really like to drive there, however.”

VIR, 5th October.

Circuit data.

Name: Virginia International Raceway
Location: Danville, Virginia
Length: 3.27 miles
Race duration: 2.45 hours
Number of corners: 17
Most famous corner: “Oak Tree”, Turn 11
Best team result: 4th place (2012)
Results 2012: 4th place Auberlen/J. Müller
9th place D. Müller/Summerton
Distance from team base: 416 miles
ALMS debut year: 2012

Driver’s view.
Dirk Müller: “A wonderful natural track, it’s absolutely crazy! The VIR is in the middle of the forest, and you drive around what’s known as the ‘Oak Tree’. That’s also the slowest point of the course. Apart from that, Virginia is a spectacular mountain and valley track that even has its very own version of ‘Eau Rouge’. You climb up 80 metres on this part of the track. All of the curves are blind. VIR is simply insane.”

Joey Hand: “A fantastic racetrack in the middle of the forest. You also have a great advantage there when you already know the course and know exactly what’s required. Newcomers tend to be too careful in the fast sections because a small error can result in a heavy accident. If you know what’s going on, however, you can have the self-confidence to go a bit closer to your limit in these sections.”

Bill Auberlen: “Anyone who’s ever driven there finds the track fantastic. The Esses are particularly spectacular – the BMW M3 GT was the only car able to go through all of these sections of track in full throttle last year.”

Road Atlanta, 19th October.

Circuit data.
Name: Road Atlanta
Location: Braselton, Georgia
Length: 2.54 miles
Race distance/duration: 1000 miles/10 hours
Number of corners: 12
Most famous corner: Turn 12
Best team result: 2nd place (2009)
Results 2012: 3rd place Auberlen/J. Müller/Summerton
4th place D. Müller/Alzen/Summerton
Distance from team base: 612 miles
ALMS debut year: 1999

Drivers’s view.
Dirk Müller: “When you’re seeing the course for the first time, you really doubt that anyone will be able to race there. In the last part of the track, you’re climbing several metres, and the full-throttle uphill passage is spectacular. Road Atlanta is both very fast and technically demanding. A great track.”

Bill Auberlen: “The ‘Petit Le Mans‘ is one of the greatest motorsport events in North America. The spectators’ stands are always full, because every fan would love to be there, without a doubt. I also love the track. It has some fantastic combinations of corners and I’ve often stood on the podium with BMW.”