Monthly Archives: April 2013

Michel Jourdain Jr. Returns to RLL for the 2013 Indy 500; Office Depot Mexico to Again Sponsor Entry

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 23, 2013) – It was announced today in Mexico City that Michel Jourdain Jr., who brought Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Indy car wins in Montreal and Milwaukee Champ Car World Series races in 2003, and who drove for the team in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 will again join the team for the 2013 500-mile event.  Office Depot Mexico returns as the primary sponsor of Jourdain’s No. 17 entry and Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi return as associate sponsors.
 
“I am very happy to compete in the Indianapolis 500 again,” said Michel Jourdain, 36.  “It has been a year since I have been in the car but I will take the same strategy as last year and build up speed little by little. We have good confidence because we ran pretty well last year, especially Takuma (Sato).  I’m sure the car will be really good and with it being a three car team we should be able to progress much faster. I’m happy to be working with Bobby and the guys again as well as with Bruno (Couprie) my engineer, who I worked with last year. I have worked with Office Depot Mexico for over 11 years now and I am thankful that they will be the primary sponsor again. I’m also happy to have Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi back again as associate sponsors. Hopefully we can give them all a great result in the Indy 500.”
 
Office Depot Mexico operates in seven countries including Mexico, Central America and Colombia. By the end of April the company will operate 242 locations and has annual sales of approximately $1 billion USD.
 
“We are very excited about having Michel (Jourdain) represent us again in the most important race in the world,” said Arturo Hernández Martínez, Marketing Director, Office Depot® de México.
 
Jourdain, who is from Mexico City, returns to competition for the first time since the 2012 Indianapolis 500 where he qualified 22nd and finished 19th. He became the youngest driver to start a Champ Car race to date when he drove at Long Beach in 1996 at the age of 19 years, six months and 12 days old. He made 152 starts in CART and Champ Car from 1996-2004 plus three Indy Racing League starts, including the 1996 Indy 500 where he qualified eighth and finished 13th and the 1996 race in Las Vegas where he finished second in a 28-car field.  He won races in Montreal and Milwaukee in 2003 with Team Rahal and moved to RuSPORT for 2004 when Team Rahal focused solely on the Indy Racing League that season.  With support from Ford Motor Company, he moved to NASCAR’s Nationwide Series from 2005-2008 and also competed in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. Since then, he competed in various rally and sports car series. 
 
“I am very pleased to have Michel join the team again for the Indy 500,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal.  “I think that last year for his first race back after a number of years out of an Indy car, he did a very good job. We made a bad pit call last year and let him down frankly which put him a lap down. He quickly got with the program at Indy and was running competitively in the race and I think that one year later most of the rust is off and he will be much more prepared because he knows what to expect. From a car standpoint, we should be even more competitive than we were last year so I am really pleased to have Michel back. He is a great young guy and it’s a pleasure to have him, Office Depot Mexico, Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi back. It should be a good event for everybody.”
 
Jourdain will return to the cockpit of an Indy car on Opening Day for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, May 11. 
 
RLL’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addition, the team has earned a total of four top-three finishes (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139-140 and laps 189-197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ultimately ended under caution when JR Hildebrand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap.  In 2012, RLL driver Takuma Sato was alongside eventual Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but limited traction and possible tire contact catapulted him into a spin and he ultimately finished 17th after leading the third most race laps.
 
About Office Depot Mexico…
Office Depot Mexico operates in seven countries including Mexico, Central America and Colombia. By the end of April the company will operate 242 locations and has annual sales of approximately $1 billion USD.
 
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2013 the team will begin their 22nd year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles and 1992 series championship.  The team also competes in the American Le Mans Series as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship.
 
– RLL –

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BMW Team RLL Finishes 1-2 at Long Beach; Z4 GTE Wins in Only Second Race of Debut Season

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 20, 2013 . . . The streets of Long Beach, California continue to be the favorite stomping grounds of BMW Team RLL as they finished 1-2 in today’s American Le Mans at Long Beach race. In only the second race for the new BMW Z4 GTE, the team beat a very competitive GT class field with excellent strategy set in place during the first hour of the two-hour contest around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. BMW Team RLL has finished with at least one car on the Long Beach podium, including a win from the pole in 2011, for five consecutive years. Today’s victory puts BMW in a tie with Chevrolet at the top of the GT Class Manufacturer points. The win was also the first for the new BMW-Michelin partnership.

Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin, driving the Frozen Black No. 55 Z4 GTE, won the race, finishing 6.578 seconds ahead of the No. 56 Z4 GTE of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller.

Martin started in the No. 55 car from the fourth spot. A spin on lap two dropped him to the rear of the field, but the first of three long caution periods in the first hour of the race gave the 55 crew the chance to reverse their fortune. Pitting Martin after 25 minutes, on lap 16, Auberlen got behind the wheel with a full tank of fuel and new Michelins. During the second caution period Auberlen pitted twice more for fuel only. When the race went green with 44 minutes run, the die was cast for the veteran to not return to the pits for the remainder of the race. A third caution during which the rest of field pitted allowed for a bit more breathing room for fuel conservation and Auberlen to cycle to the second position as the race went green just past the first hour. On lap 66 with 15 minutes left in the race, Auberlen took the lead and drove to his first win at the Long Beach.

The No. 56 Z4 GTE had an equally exciting race. Hand started the car from the seventh starting position. He pitted during the third caution period and handed the car to Müller who began his stint from the third spot as the race went green. Charging for the entire second hour he took over second place with two laps remaining to give BMW Team RLL its first 1-2 finish since the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011.

“This is a really good one,” said Bobby Rahal. “The 55 car called excellent strategy. We followed a different tact and at the end we put both cars at the front of the field and the Z4 GTE into the history books with a 1-2 finish in only our second race. We were able to run more than one stint on the Michelins and that was crucial to make our strategies work. There is nothing like winning at Long Beach. Sebring is the big one, but Long Beach is not far behind in my book.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “Today the Z4 GTE took me to the top of the Long Beach podium and that is something I have tried to do for a very long time. Great strategy by the team and the Michelins were an absolute pleasure to drive on all day.”

Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I had a little mistake in the beginning, but who was to know that it would set the stage for a great strategy call by Jay (O’Connell) and Bruno (Couprie). Today is a fantastic day for Bill and BMW.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “After qualifying seventh I was not pleased, but I told the crew that I thought we could win. It wasn’t our win today, but I could not be happier for Bill to get his first win at his home track. Dirk did a great job to bring the car home second.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “Congratulations to Bill for his first win at Long Beach. At the end Bobby was on the radio telling me to push, but to make sure I brought it home. It was not easy to get by Dominick (Farnbacher), but being old teammates I knew he would be fair. I am delighted for the entire BMW Team RLL family.”

The race will be broadcast on ABC television tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. ET. More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.

Round Three of the 2013 American Le Mans Series will be held at Laguna Seca Raceway, in Monterey, Calif., on May 11 with the running of the six-hour American Le Mans Monterey race.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 117 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 28 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.

Journalist note: Photography for editorial purposes as well as information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.

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Thursday’s BIG5 Performers Devon Dotson, Trey Wertz, Providence Day: Dotson, a 6 1 junior point guard, had 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 75 67 win over Westlake, the reigning Georgia Class 6A state champions. Dotson picked up a scholarship offer from Maryland after the game. Westlake is ranked No.

He continues, “The best advice a trainer should give you is to use the power of your mind to accomplish your fitness goals. When Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia contest in 1975, his major objective was to mentally breakdown his opponents as well as connecting with his inner self to overcome obstacles.

Hearings resumed on Saint Joseph’s University’s controversial plans to improve ball fields on its Maguire Campus in Merion. In about four hours before the Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board, a university attorney cross examined a single witness: a real estate appraisal expert brought in by Merion neighbors who in had testified that changes on the campus could reduce the value of nearby properties. The continued hearing came as a Montgomery County judge reaffirmed that the university must seek new zoning approvals for the campus improvements.

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Flynn’s client, Inovo BV, is owned by a businessman who is also a member of a committee overseen by Turkey’s finance ministry.In comments to the AP, Utah Republican Chaffetz, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said that Flynn “had an obligation to seek approval to take money from a foreign government. We found no evidence that he did that.”Chaffetz’s office released a letter he sent on Thursday to the Army, asking the service’s acting secretary to make a final determination as to whether Flynn violated federal law by accepting the payments, and if so, to start the process of recovering that money.Chaffetz also asked the Army to say why it hasn’t yet made a determination as to the legality of Flynn’s payments from RT given that they have been widely reported for at least two years. He also wants the Army to disclose any other investigations it’s launched since 2010 into similar legal violations.The committee’s inquiry is one of several congressional investigations into Flynn’s contacts with foreign officials.

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Conway Qualified Fifth, Rahal 11th and Jakes 13th for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 20, 2013
IZOD IndyCar Series 
 
CONWAY QUALIFIED FIFTH, RAHAL 11TH AND JAKES 13TH FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
 
POLE:  Dario Franchitti              1:07.2379 / 105.369 mph            (set in Round 3)
5th:       Mike Conway                1:07.5994 / 104.806 mph            (set in Round 3; fastest in Round 2 at 1:07.1937)
11th:     Graham Rahal               1:07.7799 / 104.527 mph            (set in Round 2)
13th:     James Jakes                 1:07.9185 / 104.313 mph            (set in Round 1)
                       
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We just seemed to squeak through in the first round of qualifying and in the second, now that we had made it through the first, we thought we would be able to gain a little bit but frankly did the same lap time. I seemed to lose the balance a little bit but its not far off but it’s a game of inches nowadays and unfortunately we didn’t quite have enough today. The Midas / Big O Tires guys did a good job today though and the car feels pretty competitive. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
 
FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh Champ/Indy car race here, eighth overall, and first for his father’s team.  His best start/finish here came in 2007 when he started fifth but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place.  In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth. He was in podium contention several times but various challenges took him out of that possibility… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… The Ohio native recorded 92 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series (2007-2012) capturing one win, two poles, 19 top-five and 44-top 10 finishes. He led a total of 28 laps in 2012 – 27 at Texas Motor Speedway where he nearly claimed his second series victory but brushed the wall and finished second — had an average start of 12.4 and average finish of 11.2, earned three podium finishes and completed 87.2 percent of the laps run (1,841 of 2,111).
 
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We made some changes this morning and it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. Then I think we had a pretty good balance going into qualifying. The first run was pretty good, I just didn’t quite put it together really from my point of view on the second set of tires using the reds (Firestone alternate tires). I think the Acorn Stairlifts car is pretty good for the race and I’m looking forward to getting it a bit further up the field tomorrow.”
 
FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here, best start at this track and first with RLL after having driven for Dale Coyne Racing in the previous two. He qualified 22nd in 2012 but started 14th after grid penalties to Chevy-powered teams but made a mistake while running up front and finished 11th.  In 2011, he qualified 23rd and finished 15th… Jakes is competing in his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL. In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011-2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi.
 
MIKE CONWAY, No. 17 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Yeah it was all going good. We were very quick in Q2 and then in Q3 I think the tire pressures just went a little bit too high and we couldn’t get any more time. It’s a shame because I think we had a really good shot at pole there, but big thank you to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team and blu eCigs for making this possible. I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
 
FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth race in Long Beach and first IndyCar Series race of 2013.  In 2012, he qualified 14th, started seventh after series penalties to Chevy-powered teams and retired in 22nd due to mechanical issues while driving for AJ Foyt Racing.  In 2011, he qualified third, led 14 laps and earned his first series victory with Andretti Autosport.  In 2010, he qualified 16th and finished 10th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. In 2009, he qualified 16th and retired in 21st after contact… RLL expanded to three entries for Long Beach with primary sponsorship from blu eCigs for the event. Blu eCigs is also an associate sponsor for the team for the full season.
 
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LONG BEACH… 2013 marks the 22nd consecutive season of competition for the team and 14th Indy car race in Long Beach… It is the second time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place.  In total, the team won three poles (Bryan Herta 1998, Jimmy Vasser 2002, Michel Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Kenny Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place three times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002) and earned five podiums (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999). The team was in contention for a podium finish last year with Takuma Sato who led two times for a total of 16 laps and was third on the final lap but was the victim of “avoidable contact” by Hunter-Reay in Turn 8 and was ultimately scored with an eight place finish due to a multi-car pileup that blocked the track leading to the front straight.
 
NEXT UP:  Pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow morning from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 21.
 
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography and video. Register for access at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess
 
 

BMW Team RLL Z4 Qualifies 5th and 7th at Long Beach

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 19, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will start in the fifth and seventh positions for tomorrow’s two-hour ALMS at Long Beach race, the second round of the 2013 American Le Mans Series.

Bill Auberlen, driving the Frozen Black No. 55 Z4 GTE, saved his best lap for last in this afternoon’s 15-minute qualifying session. Only 0.218 seconds from the class pole time, his lap of 1:19.063 minutes on his ninth lap of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit was good enough for the fifth starting position. Always one of the most competitive races of the ALMS season, the entire GT class is only separated by 0.688 seconds. Auberlen will share the No. 55 machine with Maxime Martin.

Joey Hand struggled with the set-up of the No. 56 Z4 GTE and his fast lap of 1:19.258 minutes will see him and co-driver Dirk Müller roll off seventh. Hand and Müller won this race from the pole in 2011 and finished second last year.

The new machines had an excellent first race at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring in March. Running competitive lap times at the sharp end of the GT field for the first two-thirds of the race, the team ultimately finished fourth and seventh after mechanical problems hindered any chance at challenging for the podium.

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (5th) “I believe we made some good choices after this morning’s practice and the No. 55 Z4 GTE was a pleasure to drive. That I was able to set my quickest time on my last lap means we have something for the race. A few tenths off the pole in such a competitive class means we’ll start fifth, but we have a car that can reach the podium tomorrow.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (7th) “We just were not 100% this afternoon. I’m not sure why, but I was not comfy and I could not produce the lap time to do better than P7. We’re racing at a competition level in this class that does not allow you to be off even a little.”

Live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com. Follow us on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. Television coverage will be broadcast on ABC television on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 117 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 28 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.

Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.

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