Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug.5, 2014 …Road America is always a favorite stop for teams and drivers of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. More than four miles long, many of the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin circuit’s fourteen turns are some of the most challenging in the world. On August 10th, BMW Team RLL will race there for the sixth-consecutive year in the 2.75-hour Road Race Showcase.
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 at Road America from the team’s first pole position. The next year, 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. For a high-speed tour of Road America, join Bill Auberlen in the No. 55 Z4 during a practice lap from last year. Bill Auberlen – A Lap of Road America.
Unfortunately, the debut of the BMW Z4 GTLM in 2013 did not achieve the same result, with the team finishing seventh and eighth. This year, the team has failed to reach the podium in the last three rounds and will be racing for a good result to stop its fall in the standings. Currently, Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx stand third in driver points. John Edwards and Dirk Müller stand eighth. BMW is fourth in Manufacturer points.
“We have had a pretty good record of success at Road America,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We won it three times with the M3’s and have always had a good feel for that track. Last year was our first year to race the Z4 there and there was a pretty big disparity between our top end speed with the Corvette’s and everybody else and that really hurt us for sure. I think the car is a better car this year than it was last year and we will go back and give it our best shot to win another race.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “It’s been a tough couple of races lately, but we’re still close to the top of the championship standings and we’re going to a track we have won at quite a few times. In order to stay in the hunt, we need to get back on the podium.”
Andy Priaulx, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “I checked out this track a month ago at the M3-M4 press launch courtesy of BMW NA and was absolutely blown away with it! Yet another massive commitment road circuit in the US! The last races have been tough and I’m not expecting this to be any different and with that in mind I’m staying realistic but still remaining ambitious. We still have a chance to score big points and need to focus on this and get the maximum from the weekend.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “Road America is right up there with the classics like Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca when it comes to American race tracks. The town of Elkhart Lake shows a lot of racing history, which makes this a great event. The GTLM field was especially tight at Indy, and I expect Road America to be no different. The weather made last year’s race a little interesting at the start, and it remains the only time I’ve pulled off a 720 degree spin in a car without any damage. Hopefully this year’s race will go smoother for us and Dirk and I can get back to the podium.”
Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “Road America is well known in Europe as one of the best circuits in the States. We’ve had good fortune there in the past and we will need to push hard for a good result this weekend.”
The 2.75-hour Road Race Showcase will take the green flag at 1:15 p.m. ET 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.
# # #
Journalist note: Photography for editorial purposes as well asinformation about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.
# # #