Though BMW's performance in winning this year's ALMS GT championship was based more on consistency than outright dominance, the team has proved a central tenet of endurance racing: to finish first, one must first finish. Today the team announced its intent to come back for a third season of ALMS GT racing, bringing with it a new name: BMW Team RLR.
Previously called the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team, the team is building a new pair of M3-based race cars, and picks up Dirk Werner to replace Tommy Milner. Werner will drive alongside Bill Auberlen, Dirk Mueller, and Joey Hand. As for the name change? Purely a matter of accounting to bring the team's moniker in line with the rest of the global operation.
A further shuffle is also taking place, somewhat behind the scenes: Martin Birkmann, outgoing head of BMW North America Motorsport, is headed back to Germany as manager of powertrain strategy for the BMW Group, and will be replaced here in the U.S. by Larry Koch at the start of 2011.
The first race in the 2011 ALMS season is over three months away, however, as winter bears down and the off-season is upon us. Mark your calendars now for the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 19, 2011.
[BMW Team RLR]