Scroll down for video highlights of how BMW Team RLL defended its American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón GT championship.
Q: Back-to-back championships for BMW Team RLL in the GT category – how was the second one different from the first?
Rahal: The first was good, but the second one had a little more meaning because we were defending. In any sport, it is much tougher to go through the season with the target on your back, and our team responded to the pressure every week. We never really had that big mistake which caused major problems in a race and were able to stay consistent.
Q: You started the season with three wins before Corvette, Porsche and Ferrari were able to find their way back to the top step of the podium – do you think you came into 2011 more prepared than the other GT teams, or what contributed to that strong start?
Rahal: There is no question that we were extremely well-prepared for the start of the season. BMW did a great job with the cars, Dunlop worked very hard to find the right tire combinations and the drivers put in a lot of work in preseason testing to get themselves ready to go when the green flag dropped. The team worked hard and while I don't know if we were more prepared than our competitors, we were definitely ready.
Q: The team earned pole position for six of nine races – to what do you attribute BMW Team RLL's staggering qualifying performance?
Rahal: Our drivers did a great job of finding that perfect spot on the track to get clear laps, and then went out and gave it everything they had. The BMW M3 GT was really strong, but during qualifying the driver makes it happen.
Q: What do you say to critics who suggest that the rules enabled BMW to have an advantage over its competition?
Rahal: I think that each team can point to the rules and what one car is allowed to do that you are not and say, “Wow, I wish the rules let us do what Team X does.” The ALMS puts a lot of effort into making the cars as equal as they can, which isn't easy considering the number of quality manufacturers and the professionalism of the teams running them. I think they did a nice job, and we just tried to maximize everything we could.
Q: Do you feel more or less pressure heading into the 2012 season?
Rahal: There's always more pressure after you win, and we expect to have to keep improving as the other teams in the paddock are spending their entire off-season looking for ways to catch us.