Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – May 2, 2015… The West Coast swing of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship continues to be a good one for BMW Team RLL as the team swept the front row of the highly competitive GTLM class in today’s qualifying session for Sunday’s two-hour-and-forty-minute race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif. Two weeks ago the team captured its first TUDOR victory with a win from the pole for the No. 25 Z4 GTLM of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner at the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.
Where Auberlen scored the pole at Long Beach, today it was teammate Werner posting a 1:22.362 minute lap of the classic 2.238-mile road course to best the GTLM class. The pole was Werner’s second (Baltimore, 2011) and the 20th for the team since 2009.
Lucas Luhr drove the No. 24 BMW Z4 to the outside of the front row with a lap of 1:22.610 minutes. He will co-drive with John Edwards in tomorrow’s race.
BMW currently stands in second place in the GTLM Manufacturers’ points standings, five points behind Chevrolet. Auberlen and Werner stand second in Drivers’ points. Edwards and Luhr stand fourth.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “Frankly, I didn’t think we would be as competitive as we were. It was a nice job by the team, Dirk and Lucas. There is no guarantee you are going to win from where we are, but it is a nice place to start the race from.”
Dirk Werner (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, pole): “I am very happy. It was a lot of work in practice. We had to do quite a few set-up changes, and if you read through the notes it is amazing how much we changed the car. But it paid off, because in qualifying we had a good car and we came up with the right strategy. Thanks to everybody in the team, because that was a lot of fun to drive this car today. We can have a good evening, but tomorrow the race comes and that is a completely different story.”
Lucas Luhr (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, 2nd ): “I had it going, but then I pushed a little bit too much in turn six and lost the rear a little bit on the entry. I didn’t do a full spin. It was like a three quarters spin. After that I tried a slow lap to clean up the tires and try again but it didn’t work. The car feels good. Tomorrow is the big day.”
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 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.