BMW Team RLL Finish 2nd and 8th at Road America; Strong Drive by Dirk Müller Returns BMW to the Podium

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 10, 2014 … Dirk Müller secured BMW Team RLL’s first podium finish in four TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship races with an excel­lent closing stint in the No. 56 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTLM to take a second place finish in today’s Road Race Show­case at Road America. Hounded from behind by the No. 93 Viper for the final minutes Müller stayed ahead to complete 61 laps of the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit in the 2.75-hour contest. He ulti­mately finished only 1.588 seconds behind the winning No. 62 Ferrari. Co-driver John Edwards started the race from the pole posi­tion and saved the day by deftly avoiding the race’s first acci­dent to suffer only minor damage to the left front fascia. He pitted during the first caution period to have the damage repaired and hand off to Müller.

The No. 55 BMW Team RLL Z4 of Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx finished eighth. The car was started by Bill Auberlen from his fourth place qual­i­fying posi­tion. He held the spot for the opening hour before pitting during the race’s third caution period to hand off to Priaulx. Priaulx fell back two posi­tions following a delay at the end of his pit stop so not to run over an errant air hose and incur a penalty. He lost two more posi­tions during late race restarts to ulti­mately finish eighth.

Sepa­rately, in the GTD class, the Turner Motor­sport BMW Z4 GTD, driven by Dane Cameron and Marcus Palt­tala, raced to the team’s third victory of the season (Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen Inter­na­tional, Road America). The duo led every lap of the 59 lap GTD race.

Overall, this was a good day for BMW,” said Gordon McDon­nell, BMWNA Motor­sport Manager.  “BMW Team RLL is back on the podium with a second place finish by the No. 56 Z4 and excel­lent drives by John and Dirk. The Balance of Perfor­mance is certainly not in our favor so the podium finish is well deserved. Congrat­u­la­tions to Turner Motor­sport for a third GTD class win. They have kept them­selves in the cham­pi­onship hunt.”

Obvi­ously, lots of yellow flags make for a chal­lenging race,” said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motor­sport Director. “We made the right strategy deci­sions and just had to sprint to the end with the No. 56 Z4. It is great this worked out for us with a second place for Dirk and John. Well done to the team.”

After lap two or three the day did not look like it was going to be a good one,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “The No. 56 Z4 was wounded aero­dy­nam­i­cally and it slowed us a little bit on the straights. Dirk did a great job and he was able to hold off the Viper at the end. The Ferrari was able to pull away from us on the long straights. Congrat­u­la­tions to them for the win.  We are really pleased with second place. We’re back on the podium.” 

John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (2nd) – “It was a bit of relief for us yesterday to get the pole as we didn’t expect to be so compet­i­tive here with all the long straights. Obvi­ously, we played the strategy well after a bit of contact at the begin­ning. That gave us a shorter fueling time on the second stop and got us back in the thick of things. It was a short race for me today so this is mostly Dirk’s day after he drove really hard at the end to hold the Viper off.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (2nd) – “When I saw John have the inci­dent only minutes into the race and the front was damaged I thought the race may be over for us. When it was my turn I used every trick in my book to chase and defend and am proud that John and I could race BMW back on the podium.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (8th) – “Between qual­i­fying and the race we tipped the handling of the car over a little bit, so it took us a little while to make some adjust­ments during our two pit stops. Unfor­tu­nately, there was a miscom­mu­ni­ca­tion in the pits during Andy’s stop. In order to not run over an air line they had to back him up causing us to lose a few positions.”

Andy Priaulx, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (8th) – “I think our pace was good at the end, but at the begin­ning and the middle we did not have the handling dialed in where we wanted it to be. Bill made a good start, but during the restarts both of us strug­gled. It was great for the 56 car to finish so well when they looked as if they were out of the race at the beginning.”

Round Nine of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship, the Oak Tree Grand Prix of VIR, will take place at Virginia Inter­na­tional Raceway, in Alton, Virginia, on Sunday, August 24th. The race will be broad­cast live on Fox Sports 1 begin­ning at 4:00 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 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.

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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.

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