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BMW Team RLL Qualifies First and Third for Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen; Andy Priaulx Scores Pole, Dirk Müller Third

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – June 28, 2014 … BMW Team RLL posted a season’s best qual­i­fying effort in prepa­ra­tion for tomorrow’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen endurance race at Watkins Glen Inter­na­tional. The two BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars will start from the first and third GTLM class posi­tions in tomorrow’s race, the fifth round of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Triple World Cham­pion Andy Priaulx, enjoying his first race weekend at the classic Watkins Glen Inter­na­tional, drove the No. 55 BMW Z4 to the team’s first pole posi­tion of the season with a time of 1:44.084 minutes around the 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit. Priaulx and co-driver Bill Auberlen currently lead GTLM driver points following podium finishes at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. They finished sixth at Long Beach, but were back on the podium (second) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Dirk Müller placed the No. 56 BMW Z4 on the inside of the GTLM class second row with a time of 1:44.377 minutes – only .293 seconds from his team­mate. Müller and co-driver John Edwards currently stand tied for sixth place in driver points.

BMW loves to be at the front,” said Ludwig Willisch, Chairman and CEO, BMW of North America, who joined BMW Team RLL for the day.“We have won the IMSA six-hour at Watkins Glen before, and with this qual­i­fying result, we’ve earned the best chance for a successful effort in tomorrow’s six-hour.”

It is easy to call Bobby (Rahal) after getting both Z4s qual­i­fied so well,” said Jay O’Connell, RLL VP Tech­nology. “I think the fact we were here testing last month and got Andy and Dirk up to speed, as neither of them had driven here before, was well worth it and that showed in their perfor­mances today. It will be a busy race, and, while qual­i­fying may not matter that much, it is certainly fun to be up front and gives you a good feeling for the race. The race is going to be tough with traffic, 50 cars on a five and a half kilo­meter circuit. Ten cars per kilo­meter, unlike two in qual­i­fying, so that will keep us real busy. But we will strate­gize the best we can to keep the guys up front, and see if they can use the speed they showed in qual­i­fying in the last hour of the race.”

Andy Priaulx, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (1st) – “I am delighted with my first pole for BMW Team RLL. I have to thank BMW Motor­sport for sending me here to the States and to the guys here for giving me the car of the class today. They have worked on my perfor­mance over the last four races, have a great faith in me and have put me back to where I used to be. I am thor­oughly enjoying this and hope this is the first of many more good moments for me. Real­is­ti­cally, we have done the job today, but tomorrow is the key and there are points for then and not today. We have a good race car, but are a little bit weak in the traffic, so we need to keep focused, stay out of trouble and make sure we are there at the end.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (3rd) – “One and Three was thrilling and my time was almost iden­tical to P2. We had to work hard in the last free prac­tice to get the car right. It was much better, but still I was not totally happy as I couldn’t push where I wanted to. Big congrat­u­la­tions to Andy. It was a good team effort.”

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will take the green flag at 11:15 a.m. ET Sunday, June 29th. The race will be broad­cast live on Fox Sports 1 with coverage begin­ning at 11:00 a.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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