PHOTO_BMWlaguna

BMW Team RLL – Monterey Grand Prix Preview

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – April 30, 2014 … BMW Team RLL brings its two BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars and the lead in the class Team and Driver cham­pi­onships to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 4 of the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Cham­pi­onship on May 4, 2014. Following the team’s third consec­u­tive podium – a second place finish at Long Beach by the No. 56 car of John Edwards and Dirk Müller – all BMW Team RLL drivers stand in the top-five with Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx leading the driver points and Edwards and Müller only 6 points back in fourth.

This year’s race at the historic 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit will be two hours long with GTLM and Proto­type cars racing together. BMW Team RLL has raced there since its first season in 2009 with best finishes of second place in 2010 and 2011.

We have been in a posi­tion to win at Laguna Seca on several occa­sions, once losing it on the last lap,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal, “and I think we have a good chance this year. We may not have the best pace for qual­i­fying but we have several things in our favor for this round. The Z4 GTLM is a more devel­oped car than it was last year. Unlike our main competi­tors, we have lots of setup and race data from last year and should be fast out of the trans­porter. We have proven reli­a­bility. The perfor­mance of the car in race config­u­ra­tion has been very strong and Laguna Seca has a lot of fast corners that work in our favor. With both cars in the cham­pi­onship hunt, we are looking for not just a podium finish but a win this weekend.

Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM “We leave Long Beach with the lead in the cham­pi­onship and I feel we are going to a track that should really suit the BMW Z4 GTLM. The weekend can’t come fast enough for me!”

Andy Priaulx, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM “Laguna is one of the most famous circuits in the world and I really can’t wait to tackle this chal­lenge. I will approach this race in the same way as Long Beach and I hope very much that my prepa­ra­tions will work as well for this race as it did for Long Beach. Our goal has to be to main­tain our cham­pi­onship standing and keep us in the hunt for the title. The last few races have shown many posi­tives and I am learning all the time when it comes to the rules and idio­syn­crasies of joining a new series. As a team we have all the funda­men­tals in place and it will now be fine tuning the details that will make us an even stronger challenger.”

John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM “I have a lot of good memo­ries from Laguna, including last year where we crossed the finish line in third, giving me my first podium as a BMW driver. This year’s race will be a lot different since it is only two hours long, so it will really be an aggres­sive battle in GTLM. Our car had speed last year to compete for the win and we’ve devel­oped it further since then, so I expect that Dirk and I will be competing for the top spot once again. It’s a very tight cham­pi­onship at the moment in GTLM so every posi­tion will be crucial this weekend.”

Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “After our great weekend in Long Beach with our first podium for this year we are hungry for more. John and I know Laguna Seca very well and we both know that our BMW Team RLL Z4 GTLM will suit this fantastic track. It is a great venue and the new two-hour format will give us another sprint race like Long Beach. Our engi­neer Chris (Yanchar) knows exactly what we both need to get the success there so I am very confi­dent we’ll add to our podium streak.”

The two-hour Monterey Grand Prix will take the green flag at 5:45 p.m. ET Sunday, May 4th. 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 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.

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.