BMW Team RLL Qualifies 1st and 3rd for Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR; Maxime Martin scores first ALMS pole position and Dirk Müller P3

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Oct. 4, 2013 …  Maxime Martin made quick work of the classic VIRginia Inter­na­tional Raceway by qual­i­fying the No. 55 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE on the GT class pole for Saturday’s Amer­ican Le Mans Series Oak Tree Grand Prix. This was the young Belgian’s very first visit to the 3.47-mile, 17-turn circuit in Alton, Virginia. He stopped the watches with a 1:45.978 minute lap on his fourth circuit of the 15-minute qual­i­fying session to set a new GT class qual­i­fying record and score his first ALMS pole.

This is the third consec­u­tive pole for the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE (Auberlen at Balti­more, Hand at COTA, and Martin at VIR) as the team chases the GT cham­pi­onship in penul­ti­mate round of the series. Martin will share the car with Bill Auberlen this weekend.

Dirk Müller qual­i­fied the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE third on the grid with a 1:46.174 minute lap. Müller will co-drive with Joey Hand in the Californian’s last ALMS race of the season. Hand, whose primary focus is the German DTM series, will attend the DTM finale at Hock­en­heim during the October 19th Petit Le Mans finale weekend. As the ALMS season nears its own conclu­sion, Dirk Müller remains the only BMW Team RLL driver with a shot at the GT Driver title. He currently stands second, 13 points in arrears of the leaders following two consec­u­tive third place finishes at Balti­more and COTA.

Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal – “I’m very pleased for our team and partic­u­larly for Max since it’s his first pole here in the US, and on a very tough course, no less. It’s a real driver’s circuit; very tech­nical, and he knocked it out of the park. I’m also pleased Dirk in the No. 56 is P3; track posi­tion is impor­tant at VIR and I knew we could be strong here. Lots of straight line speed will be needed, but there are plenty of tough, tech­nical corners we can take advan­tage of, so I’m looking forward to a great race tomorrow.”

Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (1st) – “It feels good! It’s never easy for me [in ALMS] because I have to learn each track we visit, and we don’t get much free prac­tice time at any of them. But I have a fast, expe­ri­enced team­mate in Bill Auberlen, and he’s teaching me a lot about the tracks, the traffic, and helps me get up to speed. This result shows that we’re working well together as a team and I’m very happy to have secured a pole here in the US. I’m really happy for the team.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (3rd) – “First of all, congrat­u­la­tions to my buddy Max; I’m very happy for him. Person­ally, I’m pretty happy with P3, which will be a great posi­tion from which to start the race for plenty of reasons. The team prepared the car well and all I had to do was push it hard for a couple of laps. Now we focus to run a smart and clean tomorrow, and I feel confi­dent that we will have an excel­lent race.”

Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. Live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com at 2:00 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 5. The race is sched­uled to be broad­cast on ESPN2 tele­vi­sion at 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 6th. 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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