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BMW Team RLL Finishes 2nd and 6th at Long Beach; BMW Remains at the Front of the GTLM Driver and Team Points Standings

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – April 12, 2014 … Third race, third podium: BMW Team RLL raced to a third consec­u­tive podium in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship, finishing second and sixth in today’s Sports Car Show­case at Long Beach.

John Edwards and Dirk Müller scored their first podium finish of the season, racing the No. 56 Z4 GTLM to second place. Completing 75 laps around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn tempo­rary street circuit, the duo finished 5.408 seconds behind the winning No. 3 Corvette in the 100-minute race. Edwards and Müller ran a flaw­less race with Edwards starting from third and moving to second on the first lap. A slower proto­type car got in between the GTLM leader and Edwards effec­tively ending his chance to attack. He handed off to Müller on lap 31 and the BMW Motor­sport driver had a great battle to hold off the No. 4 Corvette for the remaining hour of the race. Today’s result moves the pair to fourth in the GTLM points standings.

Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx had a disap­pointing finish to an excel­lent start, finishing sixth in the No. 55 Z4 GTLM. Priaulx started the race from the second posi­tion, drop­ping behind Edwards on the first lap. The team­mates ran nose-to-tail for 40 minutes before Edwards pitted on lap 31. As Priaulx entered the pit lane on lap 32 he nicked the wall and knocked off the right side mirror. Auberlen had to wait an extra 15 seconds for the crew to replace the door, rejoining the race in eighth place. The defending race winner put his head down, passing the No. 62 Ferrari on lap 35 and the No. 91 Viper 16 laps later. The remaining 24 laps were not enough to make up one more posi­tion, with Auberlen finishing off the podium for the first race this season in sixth, but with enough points to retain the lead in the driver points standings.

Second was a good finish for us today,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “We got held up in the begin­ning by one of the proto­types, and that really was the differ­ence. It was unfor­tu­nate that Andy just touched the wall when he came in and took the mirror off. By the time they replaced the door they had lost valu­able time. I was disap­pointed for the 55 car, but they scored points and kept the cham­pi­onship lead.”

Gordon McDon­nell, BMWNA Motor­sport Manager added, “Overall, I believe we can consider this a good weekend for BMW. Fulfilling our objec­tive of leaving Long Beach with the cham­pi­onship lead is impor­tant, as well as contin­uing our streak of podium finishes. Congrat­u­la­tions to Dirk and John and the No. 56 crew.”

John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM “This is my first podium of the year and my first podium at Long Beach. It was a really hard fight, espe­cially with the proto­type at the begin­ning when we lost too much ground, and with no yellows throughout the race we could never make it up. I am happy with second consid­ering all the vari­ables, but I really think we had the pace to pres­sure Magnussen and Garcia if we hadn’t been delayed at the beginning.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “Some­times there are second places that come easily, but this was not one of those. John did a fantastic job in the begin­ning and really had a good start and moved up to second. Unfor­tu­nately the proto­type in front us slowed us and allowed the leader get away. There were no yellows, which was good for the spec­ta­tors, but unlucky for us. I had lots of under­steer, which meant I could not attack, but my car was quick enough to keep Tommy (Milner) behind me.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “That was certainly not the finish we wanted! All you can ask for is to have a car capable of winning. We had that today, but a bit of bad luck cost us. Fortu­nately, we did not lose the lead in the cham­pi­onship. If that was our bad luck for the year we’ll take it.”

Andy Priaulx, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “From the moment the Z4 left the pits to the moment I jumped out of it I felt really strong. Unfor­tu­nately, I had some bad luck. I got delayed by the proto­types and that cost us some seconds on the way into the pits. I lost the mirror and that cost us some more time. Unfor­tu­nately in a short race like this you can’t have that happen. There were no yellows and we just needed one to be back up there. It is just disap­pointing we are not where we wanted to be, but we are still leading the championship.”

Round Four of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship, the Monterey Grand Prix, will take place at Laguna Seca Raceway, in Monterey, Calif., on Sunday, May 4th. The race will be broad­cast live on Fox Sports 1 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 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, 119 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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