BMW Team RLL Z4 Qualifies 5th and 7th at Long Beach

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – April 19, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will start in the fifth and seventh posi­tions for tomorrow’s two-hour ALMS at Long Beach race, the second round of the 2013 Amer­ican Le Mans Series.

Bill Auberlen, driving the Frozen Black No. 55 Z4 GTE, saved his best lap for last in this afternoon’s 15-minute qual­i­fying session. Only 0.218 seconds from the class pole time, his lap of 1:19.063 minutes on his ninth lap of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn tempo­rary street circuit was good enough for the fifth starting posi­tion. Always one of the most compet­i­tive races of the ALMS season, the entire GT class is only sepa­rated by 0.688 seconds. Auberlen will share the No. 55 machine with Maxime Martin.

Joey Hand strug­gled with the set-up of the No. 56 Z4 GTE and his fast lap of 1:19.258 minutes will see him and co-driver Dirk Müller roll off seventh. Hand and Müller won this race from the pole in 2011 and finished second last year.

The new machines had an excel­lent first race at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring in March. Running compet­i­tive lap times at the sharp end of the GT field for the first two-thirds of the race, the team ulti­mately finished fourth and seventh after mechan­ical prob­lems hindered any chance at chal­lenging for the podium.

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (5th) “I believe we made some good choices after this morning’s prac­tice and the No. 55 Z4 GTE was a plea­sure to drive. That I was able to set my quickest time on my last lap means we have some­thing for the race. A few tenths off the pole in such a compet­i­tive class means we’ll start fifth, but we have a car that can reach the podium tomorrow.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (7th) “We just were not 100% this after­noon. I’m not sure why, but I was not comfy and I could not produce the lap time to do better than P7. We’re racing at a compe­ti­tion level in this class that does not allow you to be off even a little.”

Live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com. Follow us on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. Tele­vi­sion coverage will be broad­cast on ABC tele­vi­sion on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. 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, 117 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.

Jour­nalist note: Infor­ma­tion about BMW Group and its prod­ucts in the USA is avail­able to jour­nal­ists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.