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BMW Team RLL Finish 6th and 7th at the Brickyard Grand Prix

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – July 25, 2014 … Despite both BMW Team RLL Z4 GTLM machines showing speed in prac­tice and taking their turn leading today’s Brick­yard Grand Prix, the 2.75-hour race ended with neither car reaching the Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway podium.

Round Seven of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship, the first race of the new sports car series held at the 2.435-mile, 14-turn Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway road course, was a dramatic affair. Contact from the extremely close compe­ti­tion ulti­mately slowed both BMWs, rele­gating them to sixth and seventh place finishes. After begin­ning the season with four consec­u­tive podium finishes, the last three races have seen a best finish of fourth (Round Six, CTMP, 4th, No. 56).

Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx finished sixth in the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTLM. Priaulx started the race from the fifth posi­tion and quickly moved up to third, then second, but dropped to tenth after being forced to the pits for damage to the rear of the car after contact with a Proto­type car. Needing less fuel because of his early stop, the race’s third caution period saw him cycle to the front of the GTLM field. A diffi­cult restart dropped him to eighth before pitting to give Auberlen the wheel. The Cali­fornian quickly regained two posi­tions and held the posi­tion for the remainder of the race to finish sixth.

The No. 56 BMW Z4 GTLM of John Edwards and Dirk Müller finished seventh. Edwards started from his second place qual­i­fying posi­tion and within minutes of the green flag was in the lead. Unfor­tu­nately, contact before the 30 minute mark damaged the right front of the Z4, affecting the handling of the car for the remainder of the race. On lap 64 he made his second pit stop to hand off to Müller. Unable to push as hard as he is accus­tomed, the BMW Motor­sport driver ulti­mately finished seventh.

Sepa­rately, in the GTD class, the Turner Motor­sport BMW Z4 GTD, driven by Dane Cameron and Paul Dalla Lana, expe­ri­enced bad luck and finished 15th.

Today, sports car racing was a contact sport, and unfor­tu­nately we were involved in some of it.” said Gordon McDon­nell, BMWNA Motor­sport Manager.  “It affected the perfor­mance of our car and we were never really able to chal­lenge for the win. It was a disap­pointing weekend overall, but we will be back at Road America and continue on.”

We got caught up in some inci­dents at re-starts and damaged the front of the number 56 car,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “I think we prob­ably lost some down­force, and we were very slow on the straights. We were missing half the front body­work and you can’t do that and expect to win. Our pace in the begin­ning of the race was good until that point. The 55 car had a phys­ical race as well. All things consid­ered, it was a very frus­trating day.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (6th) – “We were pretty much quickest in every prac­tice session and qual­i­fied P2 and P5. I thought we had a chance here, but the problem was too much carnage on the track. Both cars got damaged and didn’t handle prop­erly in the race. But the team was flaw­less and, along with Michelin, provided us with every tool we needed. The damage to the car ulti­mately slowed us. I feel bad for the team. We were lucky to have finished.”

Andy Priaulx, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (6th) – “It was a tough race. We had a good first stint and were looking quite racy. Unfor­tu­nately, a proto­type car hit me from behind, turned me round and damaged the car. At the re-start I was shuf­fled back from P1 to P6. The car was strong all weekend in terms of single lap pace, so I think there are some posi­tives from our perfor­mance, but obvi­ously we are missing a lot of perfor­mance compared to the other manufacturers.”

John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (7th) – “I am trying to be opti­mistic, but unfor­tu­nately this was another race to forget. We were looking good at the start. The Ferrari made a mistake and we got in the lead with the 55 car in P2. With yellows bunching up the field it just became mayhem again. I lost some time in traffic, had some damage from traffic and slower PC cars.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (7th) – “I had a blunt instru­ment for my fight today. Because of the damage at the front of the car I was down prob­ably ten kilo­me­ters in top speed on the long straight. I found a way to drive around it and my lap times were actu­ally quite good. At the start of the race when we were leading I thought this was our shot here, but then we got hit…”

Round Eight of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship, the Conti­nental Tire Road Race Show­case, will take place at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Sunday, August 10th. The race will be broad­cast on Fox Sports 1 begin­ning at 6:30 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 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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