Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 16, 2013 . . . The opening four rounds of the 2013 American Le Mans Series have seen the new BMW Z4 GTE race to the GT class victory at both Long Beach and Lime Rock Park. Round Five will be held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, on July 21with BMW Team RLL focusing on increasing Dirk Müller’s lead in Driver points and moving to the top of the Manufacturer and Team points.
BMW stands three points behind Chevrolet in Manufacturer points and is tied with Corvette Racing in Team points. Dirk Müller now leads the Driver standings by a 16-point margin. To date, Müller has scored a seventh at Sebring co-driving with Joey Hand and John Edwards, a second with Hand at Long Beach, a third with Edwards at Laguna Seca and the most recent win with Edwards at Lime Rock Park. Joey Hand, returning stateside from his DTM duties, will co-drive the No. 56 machine at Mosport.
Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin scored the first victory for the Z4 GTE at Long Beach in the No. 55 car, but a broken differential at the next round at Laguna Seca saw them finish out of the points. They began the season with a fourth (along with Jörg Müller) at Sebring and scored another fourth place finish most recently at Lime Rock Park. Without the disappointment of Laguna Seca the duo would certainly be standing higher than fifth in Driver points, 18 markers in arrears of Müller.
“Historically, Mosport was our most challenging race with the M3 GT,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “I think that the demands of the circuit made it very tough on the tires that we had and as a result, while we could qualify well, we were hampered by those demands in the race so we really couldn’t maintain the pace. We showed well in terms of pure pace but we didn’t have the longevity. This year on the Michelin tires, that won’t be as much of an issue. Mosport will be the first circuit of the season with a very long straightaway and, knowing our deficit in straight line speed against the Corvette, Porsches and others, it’s going to be very interesting to see whether we can make up for that through the fast corners where the Z4 GTE excels. Points and performance-wise we are doing much better than I thought we would be so far this season. Dirk is leading the driver’s championship and we are close to the lead in both manufacturer and team standings, but now the real tests come starting with Mosport.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “The new Z4 GTE has been as amazing as we had hoped and we have had a few very good performances. Now Max and I need a bit more luck. We had a long, hard day at Lime Rock and managed a good finish. Now we are going to an incredible track – Mosport. I can’t wait to put the throttle down and put a giant smile on my face.”
Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m really looking forward to race in Mosport. I have heard a lot about the track. It looks like it is a really impressive one. Bill knows it well and will help me to get to speed quickly.”
Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “I’m excited to get back in the Z4 with my BMW Team RLL boys. It feels like forever since the Long Beach race. I really want to do my part to keep my buddy Dirk Muller in the lead of the championship along with the team. Mosport is a fun track and it has definitely had its ups and downs for us as a team. We’ve led there many times but I’ve never won there. I’d love to change that statistic!”
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – “l am really looking forward to one of my favorite race tracks – Mosport. This one is a big driver’s track and we definitely would like to keep the momentum going! Our win at Lime Rock was a big push. John will be there to observe and help Joey and me. No doubt that will be a big help.”
Qualifying and live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 21th. 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.
Journalist note: Photography for editorial purposes as well as 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.