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BMW Team RLL – Brickyard Grand Prix Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – July 22, 2014 …Some­thing old and new is up next for BMW Team RLL when it comes to the Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway to contest Round 7 of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship on a circuit that combines part of the legendary speedway and a newly revised infield road course.

The Brick­yard Grand Prix was part of the GRAND-AM series begin­ning in 2012 so Bill Auberlen and John Edwards have raced there twice, but the revised circuit effec­tively means this year’s event will be brand new for everyone at BMW Team RLL.

The orig­inal Indy road course hosted the United States Grand Prix from 2000 – 2007. The 2.439-mile, 14-turn revised Indy road course was finished this year and was first used on May 10 for the new IndyCar Grand Prix of Indi­anapolis, a lead-in to the 98th Indi­anapolis 500.

BMW Team RLL has failed to record a podium finish in the last two rounds at Watkins Glen Inter­na­tional and Cana­dian Tire Motor­sport Park. With their long straights, both circuits play to the top speed advan­tages of the compe­ti­tion. The Indy road course also has a very long straight so a July 17th Balance of Perfor­mance adjust­ment by series that reduced the minimum weight of the BMW Z4 GTLM by 15 kilo­grams (33 pounds) may not be enough to move the BMW up better than the fourth place finish real­ized most recently at Mosport.

Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx stand in a tie with two other drivers for second place in driver points, but the class leaders now have a 19 point advan­tage. John Edwards and Dirk Müller stand fifth in driver points. BMW is third in Manu­fac­turer points, only two points behind Porsche and ten points from Corvette.

I think Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway has done a fantastic job with the new road racing circuit,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal and 1986 Indi­anapolis 500 winner. “The Indy car race was great and I feel that the IMSA race will be equally as good. It’s going to be tough for us because it’s another fast circuit with a long, long straight­away. It has some inter­esting corners in the infield, but certainly the front straight­away is very, very long. We finished fourth at Mosport and we just have to keep doing our best despite our disad­van­tage. Right now the Corvette is the domi­nant car and the Viper is prob­ably the next domi­nant car. If you’re not one of those two manu­fac­turers it’s a tough race for you but we’ll keep pushing and see what we get.”

Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “It’s been a tough couple of races recently and Indy will not be any easier. Our top speed deficit was painfully obvious at CTMP. Both Andy and I have to focus to make every lap count and put a stint together that keeps the No. 55 car as high up the order as we can. We don’t have anything in reserve.”

Andy Priaulx, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “Indy will be another new chal­lenge for me, as this is a track that I have not driven before. So far my race prepa­ra­tions for the previous races have worked out ok so I will not change this process. I am very conscious that since coming back from Le Mans Corvette have been pretty much untouch­able so we need to hope that soon we can close this gap and stay in the fight for the cham­pi­onship. Bill and I will keep pushing to keep the title fight alive.”

John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “I saw my first ever F1 race at Indy and that was a big part of getting me into racing. I think the new layout will help the Z4 since it adds some cornering where we would have been flat out other­wise. We put a good race together in Mosport, but lacked a little bit of pace to the fron­trun­ners, but there have been some BoP changes since then so we will see how that affects the racing this weekend. Although Dirk and I had some bad luck in a couple races early in the year, the cham­pi­onship is still very tight from P2 to P7, so we will be pushing harder than ever to move back up the standings.”

Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “Indy will be a new expe­ri­ence for me. I’ve never been to the 500 and I’m looking forward to seeing the home of the great race. We have reviewed video from the IndyCar race in May and will have to work hard for a good result as the track will certainly favor our competitors.”

The Brick­yard Grand Prix will take the green flag at 5:45 p.m. ET Friday, July 25th. The race will be broad­cast live on Fox Sports 1 with coverage begin­ning at 5:30 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. More infor­ma­tion on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.imsa.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 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales orga­ni­za­tion is repre­sented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motor­cycle retailers, 120 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 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 30 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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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.

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