Rahal Letterman to run BMW in ALMS One of the more successful teams in the last 15 years of open-wheel racing announced today that it will partner with one of the most storied manufacturers in the automotive world as Rahal Letterman Racing will field a pair of BMW entries in the German company’s return to American Le Mans Series racing.
The Hilliard, Ohio-based team will play a large role in BMW’s return to ALMS competition, where the manufacturer earned 15 wins between 1999 and 2001, including a run of six consecutive victories in 2001 that was capped by a Petit Le Mans title.
Today’s announcement, which came in conjunction with the unveiling of the new BMW M3 race car at the Chicago Auto Show, will see Rahal Letterman Racing campaign a full-time, two-car effort beginning in 2009.
“This is a very important day for the future of Rahal Letterman Racing and we are eagerly anticipating playing a lead role in returning BMW to the sharp end of the ALMS grid,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “In my years, not only in motorsports but also as a BMW dealer, I have always been impressed by the professionalism and efficiency of the BMW organization and we at RLR are proud to be a part of it.”
Rahal Letterman Racing made its first foray into ALMS racing in 2007 after running in IndyCar/CART/Champ Car and the IRL for the past 14 seasons. The team won the 1992 CART title and the 2004 Indianapolis 500, and carried that success into ALMS where the team posted five podium finishes in 12 starts.
“We are very excited to announce our return to the American Le Mans Series with the fourth generation M3 at the same time as the road car hits the BMW showrooms. We are also excited about our partnership with Rahal Letterman Racing,” noted Martin Birkmann, Motorsports Manager, BMW of North America. “Motorsport is deeply ingrained in the BMW DNA and we are pleased to partner with an organization which shares that same heritage. Rahal Letterman Racing is the perfect partner to be behind the wheel of our new BMW M3 racing effort.”
Rahal Letterman Racing will begin immediate work on preparing the BMW M3 and will also, in conjunction with BMW, announce its full driver and sponsor lineup in the coming months. The team also continues to prepare for the 2008 IndyCar Series season, which opens at Homestead on February 29. Rahal Letterman PR
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