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Rahal Team Successfully Completes First BMW M3 Test
Rahal BMW M3
The all-new BMW M3 that signals the return of BMW to American sportscar competition in 2009 successfully completed its first test sessions on American soil last week, as BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team and BMW Motorsport put nearly 1,400 miles of work in at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway.

The tests were the first outings with the newly-developed M3 race car and the Ohio-based BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team took the opportunity to work with nearly every component of the car that will do battle in the GT2 class of American Le Mans Series competition this season.

BMW Touring Car stars Jörg Müller, Andy Priaulx and Agusto Farfus put the M3 through all of its paces at the two tracks, as numerous configurations and changes were tested in the never-ending quest for speed. Tire testing was conducted in the search for a compound that would deliver speed and reliability, and the engineers and mechanics changed and adjusted everything from shocks to brakes and springs over the five days of track time.

This past Monday was the busiest day of the five as the M3 reached a high-water mark with 340 miles of testing, after which the team took its first opportunity to perform an engine change on the new car. The change went flawlessly as Tuesday saw another 285 miles go on the car, including its first outing in the rain as a customary Sebring afternoon shower gave the team a chance to evaluate intermediate rain tires.

The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team will continue preparations for the 2009 ALMS season for the next month, with the next track time scheduled to take place as part of the ALMS Winter Test sessions, which will be run at Sebring January 26-28. RLR PR

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