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BMW, Rahal quietly confident
RLR Racing will really get some JOY out of a 2010 12 Hours of Sebring win

As a former overall winner of America’s greatest sports car race, Bobby Rahal knows all too well the difficulties and challenges of Sebring International Raceway. That’s why he’s cautiously confident as his BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team prepares for the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the opening round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.

“I hate being overconfident,” said Rahal, whose organization is starting its second year of a partnership with BMW North America that features two BMW M3s in the Series’ GT class. He also was a guest Sunday on SPEED’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. “I think we’re competitive. It’s an incredibly tough class. We’re not the main group in the championship but I think it’s the most competitive group.”

The BMW/RLR partnership debuted in 2009 with one class victory at Road America and a third-place finish in the GT2 team championship. For Sebring, Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Andy Prialux will drive one M3 with Bill Auberlen, Tommy Milner and Dirk Werner in the second M3. The BMWs debuted here last year but both failed to finish the race.

BMW and Rahal Letterman will start their second year together at Sebring.

“We’ve had a good testing season so far, and I think we’re much better prepared than we were a year ago,” said Rahal, who won the 12 Hours in 1987 and was on pole position in 1982. “But at Sebring it’s not all about you. You can have the perfect race going and someone makes a mistake and takes you out with them. It’s a very long, very difficult race. Finishing the race is an accomplishment in itself.”

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