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BMW Team RLL Qualifies 1st and 4th at Road America; Edwards — Pole, Auberlen — 4th

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 9, 2014 … John Edwards drove to the second GTLM class pole posi­tion for BMW Team RLL in the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Cham­pi­onship season in this afternoon’s qual­i­fying session for Sunday’s 2.75-hour Road Race Show­case at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Edwards’ lap of 2:03.747 minutes was set on his fourth round of the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit and was one of only four qual­i­fying times in the 2:03-minute bracket. Edwards and co-driver Dirk Müller currently stand eighth in GTLM driver points.

Bill Auberlen qual­i­fied the No. 55 Z4 GTLM in the fourth posi­tion, only 0.217 seconds from his team­mate, with a 2:03.964 minute lap. Auberlen and co-driver Andy Priaulx (pole winner at Watkins Glen Inter­na­tional) currently stand third in GTLM driver points.

Road America has been host to much of BMW Team RLL’s success. In 2009, Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand drove to the program’s first Amer­ican Le Mans Series GT class victory after earning the team’s first pole posi­tion. In 2010, Hand and Dirk Müller were the GT class winners. In 2011, the second and third steps of the podium were reached. In 2012, Auberlen and Jörg Müller were back on top of the GT podium. Last season, the team finished seventh and eighth in the first race for the Z4 GTLM at Road America.

I am very pleased with our pace,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “We have improved the Z4 from last year, when we qual­i­fied seventh and ninth. Now we just have to be ready for what comes on race day — where it is a very different world. We need to have a good start and a good clean race. If we look after each other we should have a chance at the podium.”

John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (1st) – “That was a really fun session. The first two quick laps I did, I was just missing putting all the sectors together. I had found most of what was in the car except I didn’t put it all together in one lap. So on that final lap to feel like I got it all together was a good feeling. When combined with the Conti­nental GS pole, for me it is two poles this weekend after two qual­i­fying sessions. As a driver I like qual­i­fying, but we need to keep the momentum for the race. Obvi­ously, the traffic is always an issue for us so we need to keep our heads down and try to get back on the podium.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (4th) – “Essen­tially we are not in bad shape, consid­ering we are an entire prac­tice session behind because we had to repair contact damage from the first session. We have been conser­v­a­tive to make sure we get it to a good place. We have a good race car, and I think we lacked about two tenths in qual­i­fying. That is not bad.  We are on the second row, but you always want to be the front car.”

The 2.75-hour Road Race Show­case will take the green flag at 1:15 p.m. CT Sunday, August 10th. The race will be broad­cast on Fox Sports 1 with coverage 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 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: 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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