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Old 02-06-2008, 06:39 PM
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Arrow BMW back to ALMS with 09 M3

Rahal Letterman will race BMW M3 coupes in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class in the 2009 season.

BMW will return to U.S. racing in 2009 when it enters two V8-powered M3 coupes in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class. The company made the announcement along with the ALMS at the Chicago auto show on Wednesday.

Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign the cars on behalf of BMW Motorsport for the entire 2009 season. Drivers will be named later.

Rahal Letterman Racing competed in the ALMS last year with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven full-time by Tom Milner and Ralf Kelleners, but Wednesday's announcement could mean the end of Rahal Letterman's Porsche association.

If that is the case, said a team spokesman, it is unlikely Rahal Letterman will race in the ALMS this season as it ramps up its BMW program. "We have a lot of work to do [to get ready for 2009]," he said.

BMW North America withdrew from the ALMS at the end of 2006, and the marque's return coincides with the ALMS' 10th season.

BMW won the first race in series history when J.J. Lehto, Tom Kristensen and Jorg Muller drove a BMW V12 LMR to victory lane in the 1999 12 Hours of Sebring. That same year, BMW became the first ALMS team to win the overall championship at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. BMW has 15 ALMS wins, with nine in GT2 class and six in LMP1.

This article was last updated on: 02/06/08, 16:31 et

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