Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Oct. 14, 2013 . . . BMW Team RLL will race for two important championships at the American Le Mans Series season-ending and series-finale 16th annual Petit Le Mans. Dirk Müller will race for the driver’s championship in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE with John Edwards and Uwe Alzen this weekend. He enters the race second in the GT driver battle, 16 points behind the leaders. The trio will also be racing the No. 56 machine for the Michelin Green X Challenge trophy, awarded by the tire manufacturer to the most clean, fast and efficient car in the class. The No. 55 Z4 GTE will be shared by Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin and Jörg Müller at Petit.
The debut season for the BMW Z4 GTE has been very successful. The No. 55 machine won at Long Beach and the No. 56 car won at LimeRockPark. The team has also scored four additional podiums, four pole positions, and eight top-5 finishes.
“We have had competitive races at Road Atlanta in previous seasons with the M3 GT,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Last year we were doing very well, but got involved in an incident during the night with a car that had the lights off and was going very slowly. That really took us out of the chance to win the race. A couple of years ago we won the team and manufacturer’s championships on the last lap, so we just need to do the best we can, stay out of trouble and see how the race plays out.
Rahal continued, “I think the first season with the Z4 GTE has been fantastic. We didn’t quite know what to expect with the new car and a new tire partner in Michelin. There were a lot of new elements to the year for us but I think anybody can be happy with winning two races and four pole positions. We have come a long way in a short time. Obviously I would love to see Dirk win the Drivers Championship. He has done a great job this year.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “Petit Le Mans is one of my favorite races in the world. This year I have an amazing crew, an amazing team and the incredible BMW Z4 GTE. Max (Martin), Jörg (Müller) and I will fight like crazy to get to victory lane.”
Maxime Martin, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m really excited to race at Petit Le Mans. I have watched this race many years on TV and now it is my turn to race it! I’m sure we have a good chance, with my teammates Bill (Auberlen) and Jörg (Müller), to finish the season strongly.”
Jörg Müller, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m very happy to come back to Petit this year, especially because it will be such a historical event as the last ALMS Race. After my big accident at Spa this year it’s very important for me to be back racing. I’m really looking forward to supporting BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTE – “This year was my first Sebring 12 Hour and will also be my first Petit Le Mans. I’ve been to the race multiple times as a fan and in support series, so I’ve had my eye on competing in the main show for many years. Road Atlanta is an intense track, so I’m excited for the challenge of Turn 1 and the esses at night time! This season has been a good one so far with BMW Team RLL, as Dirk and I have one win together and multiple podiums. Dirk can still win the Drivers Championship, so we’re focused on a strong close of the year. I’m confident that we’ll have a great car and a chance at the win in the final endurance race of the season.”
Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTE – “This is going to be a very special race. The last race of the season and the final one for the ALMS is around the corner and we are still fighting for the championship. The 1000 miles of Petit Le Mans are very demanding and as a team, we are really focused and willing to fight for a win. I am pleased to have John (Edwards) and Uwe (Alzen) back in the 56 car. I wish BMW and Joey good luck in Hockenheim at the DTM finale.”
Qualifying and live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com at 1:50 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 18th and Saturday, Oct. 19th at 11:30 a.m. respectively. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The race is scheduled to be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and 2 television per the following schedule; 11:00am – 12pm EDT on FOX Sports 2, 2:30pm – 6:30pm EDT on FOX Sports 2, 6:30pm – 8pm EDT on FOX Sports 1, and 8pm – 9:00pm EDT FOX Sports 2. ALMS.com will stream in-car footage throughout the race and the full live feed for international views. More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.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 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 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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