BMW adds Priaulx, Muller for Petit
|By Matt Beer||Wednesday, September 9th 2009, 18:25 GMT|
BMW World Touring Car drivers Andy Priaulx and Jorg Muller will be drafted into the Rahal Letterman BMW squad for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta later this month.
Multiple champion Priaulx will make his American Le Mans Series debut alongside Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand in the #90 car, while Muller - who was a series regular with BMW in the championship's early years before returning to Europe to race touring cars - joins Dirk Muller and Tommy Milner in the #92 entry.
Both Priaulx and Muller had several tests in the M3 GTR last winter.
"Andy and Jorg were chosen to join us at Petit due to their base of experience with the M3 GT2 and their aptitudes which match those of our full-season drivers," said BMW North America's Martin Birkmann. "Their collective experience in WTCC perfectly rounds out our team."
RLR had chosen to run the season-opening Sebring 12 Hours with just the two regular drivers in each car, whereas most rival squads brought in additional drivers for the long-distance events. Team boss Bobby Rahal believes expanding to three drivers per entry at Road Atlanta will prove beneficial.
"From a strategic standpoint, the addition of Jorg and Andy means we can properly manage factors like driver fatigue, which puts us in an even stronger starting position," he said.
The team has gained ground on the GT2 class-leading Porsches and Risi Ferrari throughout BMW's first season back in the ALMS, and took a breakthrough one-two finish in class at Elkhart Lake last month.