[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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