BMW Team RLL – Virginia International Raceway Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Oct. 1, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will continue the battle for the 2013 Amer­ican Le Mans Series GT cham­pi­onship at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway, in Alton, Virginia, this weekend in the Oak Tree Grand Prix of VIR.

In the two latest ALMS rounds at the Balti­more GP and the Circuit of the Amer­icas, the team started from the class pole with the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE, and came away with two third-place finishes for the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE. This has moved driver Dirk Müller to second place in driver’s points, and, with two supe­rior finishes at VIR and the Petit Le Mans finale, may put the team within striking distance of Manu­fac­turer and Team titles.

Last year was the inau­gural ALMS race at the vener­able VIR circuit, and BMW Team RLL finished fourth and ninth in the four-hour race with the now-retired M3 GT race cars. This year, the race will be 2.75-hours around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit that has become a favorite of Müller because VIR has many of the same chal­lenges as the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

Despite the fact that there is a pretty long straight­away at VIR, there are a lot of fast corners which plays to the strengths of the BMW Z4 GTE,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “Last year we were leading, got hit by a P2 car and taken out of winning the race.  It’s a pretty narrow race track; there is not a lot of room and it’s very quick in places. It’s one of those tracks that you really have to qualify well and be able to main­tain that posi­tion because passing can be difficult.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I absolutely love VIR. It’s fast and furious and great fun to drive. Our No. 55 machine is coming off two poles in a row and it’s time to convert that into a victory.”

Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m really looking forward to learn another circuit and helping BMW Team RLL chase another victory.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “Back to the States for VIR. Four week­ends – four races – DTM, ALMS, DTM, and ALMS. I’m looking forward to the chal­lenge of VIR and keeping Dirk and the team in the hunt for the championship.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “What a great race­track. I love to race at VIR and after my pole there last year I am really looking forward to the second last event of the ALMS. The cham­pi­onship is still wide open and with Joey back in the 56 car we are well prepared.”

Qual­i­fying and live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com at 3:35 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5 at 2:00 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 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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