Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix

ESPN3 ALMS

BMW Team RLL Finishes 5th and 6th at Cana­dian Tire Motor­sport Park; Müller Retains GT Drivers Points Lead

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. — July 21, 2013 … BMW Team RLL did all it could today at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, at Cana­dian Tire Motor­sport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, but ulti­mately ended the 2.45-hour race fifth and sixth in the GT class.

Both Z4 GTE race cars held the lead during the mistake free race. Maxime Martin set the fastest lap of the race (1:15.907 minutes, L102) in the closing minutes of the contest. Unfor­tu­nately, the top speed deficit of the BMWs to the Corvettes and Vipers was very evident on Mosport’s long straights and, while able to run a single quick lap, were unable to stay in front of the larger displace­ment cars.

Dirk Müller and Joey Hand, driving the No. 56 Z4 GTE, finished fifth, completing 123 laps of the 2.46-mile, 10-turn circuit during the race to retain (unof­fi­cially) Müller’s lead in the GT driver stand­ings by five points. Müller started the car from the third starting posi­tion, after qual­i­fying fourth and moving up at the green flag after the second place qual­i­fier moved to the rear of the grid. Hand took over just past the one hour mark and ran a strong third before being demoted to fifth in the closing stages of the race.

Bill Auberlen started the No. 55 Z4 GTE, moving up to start the race in fourth after qual­i­fying fifth. The Cali­fornian ran a strong stint to hand off to Maxime Martin from the fourth posi­tion on lap 46, one hour into the race. Martin raced into the lead, but dropped back to sixth after his pit stop on lap 90 for fuel and new Michelin tires. He was unable to improve his posi­tion in the final 45 minutes of the race.

The Corvettes and Vipers are 10kmh faster than we are up the straight­away,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “When the Z4s are by them­selves we can make up that differ­ence, but when you get in traffic, they get a run on you and there is nothing you can do. They just drive by us. Obvi­ously there needs to be a change in the restrictor in both the Corvette and the Viper because how can you make up 10kmh? Now we go to Elkhart Lake and that will prob­ably be more of the same. It’s pretty disap­pointing that these straight­line speed advan­tages continue. We just have to make the best of it and see what we can do at Road America.”

Despite an excel­lent, mistake-free effort by BMW Team RLL we were denied a chance at the Mosport podium,” said Gordon McDon­nell, BMWNA Motor­sport Manager. “The next circuits we face will not be any easier so we will have to redouble our efforts to keep us in the hunt for the championship.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (5th) – “I was very happy to come back to this program. It was good to see all the boys, all my team­mates. The car this weekend was the best I’ve had here, but it picked up a lot of under­steer towards the end of the race. I think the track rubbered up and as the rear got better it created a ton of under­steer. I defi­nitely earned those points. I will miss Road America, my favorite track, and come back for Baltimore.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (5th) – “I was hoping for more for sure. It was a tough day. We did every­thing right. Joey did a great job. The team did a great job, but we couldn’t defend. P5, P6 was the best we could do. I was hoping for a podium, but we collected the points and stayed clean. Not one touch to the cars. No penal­ties. We still have a long season ahead we’ll fight every lap.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (6th) – “This is what we suspected would happen. We could race – and win – at the slower speed tracks. Mosport indeed showed we don’t have the straight­line speed.”

Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (6th) – “For sure it was not an easy race for us. With the lack of speed to our competi­tors it is really diffi­cult to defend during the race. So we have a good car during one lap, but that does not win a race.”

Round Six of the 2013 ALMS season, the Orion Energy Systems 245, will be held on Sunday, August 11th at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The 2.45-hour race will be broad­cast on ABC tele­vi­sion begin­ning at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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.