• Jan 27th 2009 at 6:59PM
  • 18
Click above for image gallery of the Acura LMP1 ALMS cars

Despite losing Audi for the 2009 season, the American Le Mans Series still has a lot to celebrate. For one, as we told you yesterday, Acura is on hand this week at the Winter Test event for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with its new LMP1 racer. The good news is that midway through the second day of on-track testing, one of the two Acura racers has the fastest lap time so far of 1:44:814 (126.723 mph) around Sebring's 3.7-mile circuit. Despite the good first showing of these ARX-02a prototype LMP1 race cars, the ARX-01b cars that raced last year in the LMP2 class were still turning in lap times that were often just as fast as their bigger brothers.

Click above for image gallery of the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team M3 GT2 car

Also of worthy of celebration during the first two days of winter testing is the emergence of the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team and its M3 GT2 car. This is the first track outing for the M3 GT2 since it was announced less than a year ago at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. The 12 Hours of Sebring, which also kicks off the 2009 ALMS season, will be its first contest against the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Viper, Aston Martin, Panoz and even a Ford GT in the GT2 class.

The 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring takes place March 18-21 and, along with the above new competitors, will be the only time that Audi races on North American soil this year with its brand new R15 TDI.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      When will the Audi R15 start testing?
        • 6 Years Ago
        R15 is probably testing in private... The BMW & the Acura (& others) were participating in a public, ALMS open test.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait for the Audi R15
      • 6 Years Ago
      That M3 is hot.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nothing wrong with Alpine White. It's a classic BMW color. Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing the tri-color M stripes on the car like BMW did with the old E30 M3 Group A DTM cars back in the day.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The M3 is sweet... just wish they paint it any color other than Appliance White. ZZZ ZZZZZZ ZZZZZZ !!!!!

        Bright Silver, BMW Corp. Blue... Please, anything but white! I'll take white if BMW adds a big bold M POWER tri-stripe though the doors!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Smokin' hot! Glad to see the Rahal Letterman team doing well. Keep up the good work guys.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seriously, I'd rather watch GT2 than F1 right now, so much more variety and probably overtaking too!
      • 6 Years Ago
      About time BMW joins in for the fun.

      Now the anticipation for the actual race weekend will seem like eternity.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jared:Try these... might have a few rear shots.


        Click on "More Photos" near the sideview shot of the Patron Acura

        • 6 Years Ago
        Attn: Autoblog

        Is it that hard to get pictures of the back of a race car? I was hoping to see a picture of the Acura cars driving away from the camera... but nope.
        • 6 Years Ago
        motorsport.com also has 22 pages of Sebring Test images. More Acura & BMW, add a plain white Flying Lizard Porsche, Ford GT & a black Panoz to the mix too
      • 6 Years Ago

      Three of their four drivers are Americans. Boris isn't the only one who has raced M3s. I'd probably take Bill Auberlen over Boris, anyway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      sounds like an exciting gt2 class!!
      can't wait to see how it plays out
      only thing missing is a lambo...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks great. I can't wait to see the GT2 cars out there. It's too bad about the death of GT1, but it had to happen. Maybe we can get GT3 cars (or as IMSA sometimes calls similar cars, GT2S) next year!

      I'm sure it'd be too much to hope for to have Hans Stuck and Boris Said back to pilot these BMWs like we used to have in the M3-GTR days, wouldn't it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Boris Said being back in a BMW has to be down to:

        -What he feels about where he is in his NASCAR career...b/c I have no idea what he's thinking right now but from what I can remember he wasn't very happy last year.

        -How much does BMW and BMW NA want an American in one of their cars. Considering how they feel about getting an American in F1 on ANY team will help the sport overall, I'd say it's pretty damn bad they would want one for themselves.

        -I had another one and I forgot it.

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