BMW Team RLL – Circuit of the Americas Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Sept. 16, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will face the 3.4-miles and 20 turns of the Circuit of the Amer­icas (COTA), in Austin, Texas, for the first time this weekend in Round 8 of the 2013 Amer­ican Le Mans Series. Completed in 2012, the track is notable for being the current home of the Formula 1 US Grand Prix.

Most recently, BMW Team RLL finished third and fourth at the Grand Prix of Balti­more to keep BMW Motor­sport driver Dirk Müller in the GT class title hunt. The podium finish by Müller and Joey Hand sees Müller standing only eight points from the leaders.

This weekend’s race will run 2.45-hours long and for the first time since the 2009 season see Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand share a BMW Team RLL BMW. Hand will substi­tute for Maxime Martin in the No. 55 Z4 GTE as Martin races for the Blanc­pain Endurance Series cham­pi­onship with the MarcVDS team at the Nurbur­gring. Müller will co-drive the No. 56 Z4 GTE with John Edwards.

Auberlen and Edwards have expe­ri­ence at COTA, having both competed in the GRAND-AM event there earlier this year. Auberlen co-drove to both the Rolex GT and Conti­nental Grand Sport victo­ries with Paul Dalla Lana in Turner Motor­sport M3s.

We’re looking forward to racing at Circuit of the Amer­icas,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “It’s a new circuit for us and it looks fantastic from what I have seen. I’m not quite sure what to expect; it’s a fast track.  There are a lot of fast, sweeping corners which is good for our BMW Z4 GTE but there is also a long straight­away, which isn’t so good for us. It will be inter­esting having Joey join Bill. Obvi­ously John and Dirk have shown that they are a good pairing so it made the most sense to keep them together for this race.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’ve already won twice in Austin and I’d love to make it three.  Earlier in the year I raced both the GRAND-AM GS and GT races on the same day and managed to win them both, so Austin has been great to me.  I am counting the days down until I get to race the BMW Z4 GTE with my old team­mate and friend Joey Hand.  I think the two of us together again should make for a winning combination.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “This was a race I had planned to miss because it falls in between two DTM events, but Maxime (Martin) has a chance at a cham­pi­onship with MarcVDS and I’m happy to support him and BMW Team RLL at COTA. John (Edwards) will substi­tute for me in the No. 56 car and I’ll join Bill (Auberlen) in the 55 machine. I’ve never driven there, but I’ll fly back from Europe on Monday and make the Tuesday test. I’m sure that testing time and Bill’s expe­ri­ence will get me right up to speed.”

John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “I’m excited to get back in the Z4 at Austin. COTA is a world class track and should provide great racing in the GTE class. There are some tight sections as well as lots of quick changes of direc­tion through the esses which should benefit the handling of the Z4. This will be a crucial round for the No. 56 car as we’ve dropped behind a little bit in points. Dirk and I will be pushing hard for the win, but it is most impor­tant for us to beat the Corvettes and get Dirk and the No. 56 car solidly in the fight for the cham­pi­onship. I’m looking forward to working with BMW Team RLL again after watching the Balti­more round from the outside.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE  – “I am really thrilled to race at COTA as it will be a new race track for me and I love like this kind of chal­lenge. I have heard a lot of good things about the circuit and I watched the F1 and Grand Am races to get to know the place. I can’t wait to get our BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE out on the track. It’s going to be a great race week.”

Qual­i­fying and live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com at 2:40 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21 at 3:45 p.m. respec­tively. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The race is sched­uled to be broad­cast on ESPN2 tele­vi­sion at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 22nd. ALMS.com will stream in-car footage throughout the race and the full live feed for inter­na­tional views. 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, 119 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.

#      # #