BMW Team RLL Qualifies Second and Third at Long Beach

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – April 11, 2014 … BMW Team RLL equaled its best qual­i­fying effort of the young 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Series by placing its BMW Z4 GTLM machines in the second and third starting posi­tions for tomorrow’s Sports Car Show­case at Long Beach race.

Switching places from Sebring, today’s 15-minute session saw Bill Auberlen qualify the No. 55 Z4 in second with a lap of 1:18.091 minutes around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn tempo­rary street circuit. Auberlen’s lap was only .152 seconds in arrears of the pole sitter Jan Magnussen, in the No. 3 Corvette. Dirk Müller drove the No. 56 Z4 to third with a 1:18.246 minute lap.

Last year BMW Team RLL raced to a 1 – 2 finish at Long Beach in only the second race for the new BMW Z4 GTE.  With podium finishes at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring this year BMW Team RLL leads the GTLM Team and Driver points standings.

It was an excel­lent qual­i­fying effort and I think everyone is pleased with the cars,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “A good day today should make for a better day tomorrow.”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (2nd) – “Judging from last year, we have defi­nitely made a step forward. We were on pole for most of the session, but at the end the Corvette went by. Today we were P2 in the first prac­tice, P1 in the second and now P2 in qual­i­fying. If we can just stay in that area tomorrow I’ll be happy. It’s always a tough race here and this is an extremely compet­i­tive field. We’ve been consis­tently at the front today and I hope that bodes well for another great finish.”

Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (3rd) – “I had a lack of grip in the second prac­tice so we lost valu­able prepa­ra­tion time for qual­i­fying. We were defi­nitely behind, but well done to everyone on a great recovery. We can now focus all of our atten­tion on the race.”

Part of the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend that is cele­brating its 40th anniver­sary this year, the Sports Car Show­case at Long Beach takes the green flag at 6:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 12th. Fox Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the race begin­ning at 6:00 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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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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