BMW Team RLL — Grand Prix of Baltimore Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – August 27, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will look to the second street race of the year, the Grand Prix of Balti­more, to turn its fortunes and reignite the cham­pi­onship chal­lenge in the second half of the 2013 Amer­ican Le Mans Series.

Following disap­pointing fifth and sixth place finishes at Cana­dian Tire Motor­sport Park (CTMP) and seventh and eighth place finishes at Road America in the last two rounds, the team has fallen in the GT class stand­ings. Dirk Müller, the driver’s point leader prior to CTMP, has suffered a 21-point loss in the last two rounds and he now stands in a three-way tie for third, five points in arrears of the Corvette drivers at the top. In the Manufacturer’s cham­pi­onship BMW stands second, 16 points behind Corvette and nine points ahead of Viper.

The team raced to the top of the podium at both Long Beach and Lime Rock Park this year and is looking to the simi­larly tight confines of the Balti­more tempo­rary street circuit, where handling outweighs horse­power, to get the season heading back in the proper direction.

In the two previous years in Balti­more, BMW Team RLL only has one podium finish, a second place finish in 2011 (J. Hand / D. Müller), despite leading the race in both years.

Balti­more is a track that we prob­ably should have had a little more success than we have had,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “The first year we were leading and we got taken out by one of the Corvettes. Last year we were leading when the offi­cials black flagged us for intim­i­dating a slower car that spun and hit the wall in front of us. There was no contact and we didn’t agree with the call but that ended our podium chances. We have qual­i­fied well and finished reason­ably well the past two years. I think that our new Z4 will be even better suited for the circuit than the M3 was so my expec­ta­tion is that, like Long Beach, we should be compet­i­tive.  Like any street circuit, there will be a lot of pushing and shoving and a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ties to make mistakes so it’s just going to be all about being smart.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “Perhaps the third time will be the charm. We showed what the Z4 GTE can do on circuits like this at both Long Beach and Lime­Rock­Park, but we’ll need better luck than we’ve had in the last two years.”

Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m really looking forward to this street circuit. Last time on a street track (Long Beach) Bill and I got our first victory together and the first win for the new Z4 GTE. I hope we will have the possi­bility to do the same at Baltimore.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “I’m very pleased to return to BMW Team RLL and drive the Z4 GTE – espe­cially in a street race. Dirk and I have had two strong races at Balti­more in the M3 GT and I believe the Z4 GTE will be stronger.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “Back to street racing and I am really looking forward to it. I love racing at Balti­more and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of our Z4 and race between those tight walls! Hope­fully we’ve got our tough luck crossed out as the team is really moti­vated and well prepared.”

Qual­i­fying and live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com at 4:20 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m. respec­tively. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The Grand Prix of Balti­more is sched­uled to be broad­cast on ABC tele­vi­sion at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 1st. 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.

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