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.
# # #
# # #