American Le Mans Monterey

ESPN3 ALMS

BMW Team RLL Finishes Third at ALMS Monterey; Müller Takes GT Driver Points Lead

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – May 11, 2013… Dirk Müller and John Edwards, driving the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, scored a third place finish in today’s four-hour Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey race. A second consec­u­tive podium finish for the No. 56 machine and a win for the No. 55 car at Long Beach in only the third race of the new program keeps BMW in second place in the GT class manu­fac­turer point stand­ings and moves Müller to the top of the GT class driver points.

Müller started the car from the eighth starting posi­tion and by lap 27 had moved up to fourth. Just past the first hour, on lap 45, he moved to third and stayed there until handing off to Edwards on lap 57 during the races third caution period. Edwards remained in third until what could only be consid­ered as a move-of-the-race move gave him second with an in-an-out dodge through slower traffic. A mistake on a restart cost him one spot, but he held onto third for his first ALMS podium finish.

Unfor­tu­nately, the No. 55 Z4 GTE of Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin suffered a broken differ­en­tial shortly after the mid-point of the race and had to retire on lap 85. Auberlen started the car from the fifth posi­tion and ran strongly in third for most of his first stint. A pitstop to replace damaged rear body work dropped him back one lap, but he was back on the lead lap before handing off to Martin on lap 83. Only two laps later Martin was back in the pits in a cloud of oil smoke and, ulti­mately, out of the race.

Certainly today was a bitter sweet one,” said Bobby Rahal. “I’m sorry to see Bill and Max have to retire after fighting back from a lap down. Dirk is on top now and John had a very strong race. It is very hard to combat an obvious speed differ­en­tial to many of our competi­tors, but we will keep fighting every day.”

John and Dirk did a great job today,” said Gordon McDon­nell, BMWNA Motor­sport Manager. “Only three races into our new Z4 GTE program BMW Team RLL has raced Dirk to the top of the driver points and BMW to second in manu­fac­turer points.”

John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (3rd) — “The move was very intense. I’ve raced with Bryan (Sellers) a great deal in the GRAND AM Conti­nental Series and when we came up on traffic I got along­side of him. When the traffic moved we had a little contact, but Bryan always races clean. I was able to take second from him, but unfor­tu­nately, I made a mistake on a restart getting a little greedy and he got the spot back. All-in-all, I am delighted to get my first ALMS podium.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (3rd) — “We certainly were able to carry the momentum from Long Beach to another podium here at Laguna Seca. It is great to take the driver points lead, but it is so close, only single digits sepa­rate all of us now. I’m sorry Bill and Max could not finish the race.”

ESPN’s two-hour summary of the Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey is set to be broad­cast at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 12. More infor­ma­tion on the program can be found at www.bmwusanews.com and www.alms.com.

Following the tradi­tional eight week break in the season for teams partic­i­pating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Round Four of the 2013 Amer­ican Le Mans Series will be held at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., on July 6 with the Amer­ican Le Mans North­east Grand Prix.

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: 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.