BMW Team RLL Secures Pole Position at Grand Prix of Baltimore; Bill Auberlen Sets Qualifying Record

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated 9:00pm Eastern Time: Following the post-qualifying tech­nical inspec­tion, the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE will start the Grand Prix of Balti­more from P11, due to a ride height issue.]

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 30, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will start Saturday’s Amer­ican Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Balti­more from the front of the GT class grid. The qual­i­fying effort was the second such result this year for the BMW Z4 GTE in its debut year. The previous front row sweep came in Round 4 at Lime Rock Park in July.

Bill Auberlen qual­i­fied the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE on the pole with a 1:29.560 minute lap around the 2.02-mile, 12-turn tempo­rary street circuit to set a new qual­i­fying record. He will co-drive with Maxime Martin in tomorrow’s two-hour contest. Joey Hand qual­i­fied the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE second with a 1:29.795 minute lap. He will co-drive with Dirk Müller. Both BMW racers set their quickest times on the seventh lap of nine in the 15-minute session, and were the only cars in the 11-car GT class to qualify in the 1:29-minute bracket.

Because this is a street circuit that empha­sizes handling and braking, I felt we could be strong here,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “Certainly, Qual­i­fying showed that. Obvi­ously, I am pleased with the perfor­mance of the cars, but as we’ve seen in previous years here we’ll need some luck in the race tomorrow.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (1st) – “I am obvi­ously in very good company on the front row and I could not be prouder. All my laps were clean and fast. I was last in the queue and when I went through the chicane the last time I saw the tires had been moved so perhaps someone could have gotten a quicker lap. We were low on fuel so I may not have been able to defend. Luckily the flag came out to end the session.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (2nd) – “Congrat­u­la­tions to Bill and the 55 guys on the pole. I never like to be second, but I’m happy with my perfor­mance and to have both BMW Team RLL cars on the front row. The front row is a great place to start, but you can’t win it at the start. Tomorrow’s race will be about being smart and putting ourselves in a posi­tion so Dirk can bring home a victory.”

Live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m. 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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