Bill Auberlen came within a half-second of a double victory on Saturday.

18.06.2013: The Redondo Beach, Calif., driver won the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race (his 90th career

The Redondo Beach, Calif., driver won the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race (his 90th career win) and finished a close second in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, both at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.


Auberlen teamed with Paul Dalla Lana of Toronto and Turner Motorsport for both races, driving the No. 94 BMW M3 in the Rolex Series race and the No. 96 BMW M3 Coupe in the Continental race.


Dalla Lana started the Rolex Series race from sixth on the GT-class grid. He gained a position before handing off to Auberlen just past the first hour of the two-hour 45-minute race. Auberlen worked through the field to take the lead at 1h45, briefly relinquished it for a pitstop, then held the point through a fierce battle with Corvette driver Eric Curran. With two minutes remaining, Curran knocked Auberlen into a spin and took the class lead. But it was short-lived, as race officials penalized Curran for avoidable contact, returning Auberlen and Dalla Lana to the win.


"Paul got up to fifth; he was doing an amazing job. He came in in fifth place, I got in the car, and the crew was so good on the pitstop, we left in second place," Auberlen said. "That's three straight wins for me at Mid-Ohio. Mid-Ohio and BMW and I seem to be a good combination!


"Curran had a very fast Corvette. They were set up for the infield; we were set up for the straight-line speed of Mid-Ohio. This is the balance that you do. He couldn't get by me in the corners and I could just stay ahead of him down the straights. It was a 40-minute-plus battle, nose to tail, separated by inches, which was really, really a difficult race. I couldn't put a wheel wrong."


Earlier, Dalla Lana drove the first 38 minutes of the 2.5-hour Continental race, starting 15th on the GS grid. He moved up three positions and Auberlen gained 10 more, moving into second place at 1h46. He was in contention for the win until a late caution slowed the field. He crossed the finish line just 0.452 seconds behind the winner.


"If it hadn't gone full-course caution, we could have possibly won the race. It took me two laps to get the tires to come up, so for two laps I was slipping and sliding. Then the car came in really good, but by then it was checkered flag," Auberlen explained. "But it was a super car. A lot of development work has gone into it and it really showed. That's the happiest I've ever been with that car."



Le Mans next

Auberlen started the month in Le Mans, France, testing the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 he and Dalla Lana will race in les 24 Heures du Mans. He returned to the United States for the Mid-Ohio races, then flew back to France for the 24-hour race on June 22 and 23.


Crossing the Atlantic again, he will compete in a six-hour Rolex Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on June 30 and an American Le Mans Series race at Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, Conn.) on July 6.


"When I went to the Le Mans test, it was the first time I ever sat in that Aston and it was raining. Going down the Mulsanne Straight, full speed in the wet, is a tough way to learn a car," Auberlen noted.


"We're on a whirlwind tour! But this is the way it should be. It's awesome; I'm happy for every day that I wake up and get to drive a race car."



performance


Bill Auberlen has driven BMW cars in more races than any other driver in the world. He has won six professional auto-racing championships, four with BMW power. He has competed in 485 professional races to date, 329 in BMWs. His results include 90 race victories, 187 podium finishes, 56 pole positions, 82 fastest race laps and 110 records.



support team

Bill Auberlen races with the support of Tiret New York and DelTran Battery Tender.


Tiret New York is a prestigious luxury timepiece and jewelry brand established in 2004 by accomplished designer Daniel Lazar. Tiret’s arrival seduced those in search of sensuous shapes, brilliant diamonds, opulent natural hued stones, rare decorative materials, intriguing colored metals, Swiss precision and innovative technology. Individuals with distinctive tastes in fine jewels have joined celebrities, personalities, style and fashion leaders in owning this exclusive brand. (tiretnewyork.com)


Every Deltran Battery Tender battery charger is programmed with a microprocessor that will correctly charge a battery, then automatically switch to a maintenance/float mode. The advanced technology will recharge a battery without overcharging and then drop to a very low maintenance current. If the battery voltage drops below the optimum level, the Battery Tender will automatically go back into charge mode to keep the battery fully charged and ready to go. (batterytender.com)



Sylvia Proudfoot-

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/grandam-bill-auberlen-double-victory-saturday-mid-ohio---112457.html

18.06.2013 / MaP

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