Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 27, 2015… Following a sweet victory in the streets of Long Beach on April 18th, BMW Team RLL will look for another West Coast win as the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship remains in California for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, on May 3rd. The victory at Long Beach by Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, has moved BMW and the Auberlen/Werner duo to second place in both Manufacturer’s and Driver’s points standings. Teammates John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 24 Z4 GTLM, stand fourth in Driver’s points with three top-five finishes in the first three rounds of the season.
Laguna Seca has an important place in BMW racing history. It was the site of BMW Motorsport’s second victory in 1975, the first year of IMSA competition for the brand in the US as well as the start of BMW of North America. Hans-J. Stuck finished second in the first 100-mile heat race and won the second, driving the now iconic BMW 3.0 CSL.
BMW Team RLL has finished second at Laguna Seca twice (2011, 2014) and third place twice (2012, 2013).
BMW Motorsport will also be in action for the first race of the DTM season at Hockenheim on the same weekend. BMW DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler drove for BMW Team RLL at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Farfus also drove at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
“Laguna Seca has always presented a challenge for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We’ve been close to winning the race on a couple of occasions. We’ve qualified reasonably well, we have had some podiums but never a win. We are in a little better situation with the car this year than last so that could help us. We have a few things we need to work on but, all in all, I think we will be in the hunt. When you are in a position to be on the podium every year, it doesn’t take much to make that final step to the top and we are going to work hard to achieve that.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Here we come Laguna Seca! We’re coming off two podiums out of three races including the victory in Long Beach so the objective is to keep the momentum and podium finishes coming. We’re second in points and very close to the lead Corvette. The battle is heating up!”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Laguna Seca is a track I love to drive. It has a good flow and the atmosphere is just great. To reduce the gap to P1 in the points we need to have a strong result. Our car seems to be in good shape and the whole team has a great spirit right now. Bill and I will keep pushing!”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Monterey is one of my favorite places in the country, and that would hold true regardless of whether the racetrack was there or not! The track itself though is very well-known, and I’ve been fortunate to have plenty of success there, including my first GTE podium with BMW Team RLL in 2013. After a steady, but not stellar start to the season, I’m hoping that Lucas and I can get back on the podium. The twisty track at Laguna should suit our Z4 so I think we have a good shot this weekend.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “First, I have to say it was great for BMW Team RLL to get the first win of the year in Long Beach. My compliments to Bill and Dirk. They were on fire. We had good pace in our car and if we had not had the problem with the brakes it would have been great to get a BMW one-two finish. Laguna Seca is one of my favorite tracks in America and it is always a challenge, not just the Corkscrew that everyone talks about, but the entire circuit is actually very technical which I like. John and I will work hard and for sure we aim to have a good result, but with how close GTLM is this year until we are on track it is tough to say how our weekend will be.”
The Continental Tires Monterey Grand Prix takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. PDT Sunday, May 3rd and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. EDT. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
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; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based 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, 147 BMW motorcycle retailers, 122 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.
The BMW Group
With its three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2014, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.118 million cars and 123,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2013 was euro 7.91 billion on revenues amounting to approximately euro 76.06 billion. As of 31 December 2013, the BMW Group had a workforce of 110,351 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.
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, CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan, has been competing for over two decades. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the team had compiled 30 victories, 47 poles, 130 podium finishes, three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) and claimed 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. The following year, the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category and swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver – in 2011. In 2012 the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. The 2014 season brought a new challenge with the creation of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the team finished on the podium six times including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team will attempt to add to their 10 wins and 49 sports car podium finishes.