Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 7th, 2015… BMW Team RLL has raced to the top of all GTLM class points standings as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship begins the second half of the 10-race 2015 season at the July 12 Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
After a winless 2014 season, the first half of 2015 has seen both BMW Z4 racing cars take a victory. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner won on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. in the No. 25 car and John Edwards and Lucas Luhr took the victory at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in the No. 24 machine. With podium finishes in every event except the 12 Hours of Sebring Auberlen and Werner are tied for the lead in the driver points standings. Edwards and Luhr stand in a tie for second place. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are second and third in team points standings respectively. Most importantly, BMW holds a four point lead in the manufacturer points standings.
BMW Team RLL has never reached the top of the podium at CTMP, finishing fourth and sixth last year. Beginning with this race, the next four events will be two-hours-and-forty-minutes in length before the season ending 10-hour Petit Le Mans.
“CTMP has always been a problematic race for us” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We had a really good chance to win there a few years ago, and then got penalized for avoidable contact. We have always been able to qualify well but when it comes to the race we have been at a disadvantage on that long uphill straight where you need the top speed. But this year I think we are a bit more competitive in that area. It is going to be tough, like they all are, but I am optimistic this year.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “What amazes me is we have been on the podium in four out of five races and we are only tied for first. That gives you an idea of how unbelievably competitive the GTLM class is. It’s the best of the best competing at the highest levels of sports car racing. Dirk (Werner) and I will just keep doing what we’ve been doing and that should get us to the front of the pack. We have all the tools to win it this year.”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “It is nice to be racing again just two weeks after our podium in Watkins Glen. Bill and I are in a good rhythm now and together with the whole team we want to keep pushing. The last time I drove at Mosport was together with Bill in 2011, so I need to work on getting up to speed quickly. I am sure Bill will coach me. The track is very special with its ultra fast corners and can be quite a big challenge, but that’s what we are looking for!”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “After a disappointing end to a promising day at the Six Hour, I’m ready to bounce back at Mosport. Our car has been quick the past few events and the high speed nature of the Mosport layout should once again suit the Z4. I’m confident we’ll be contending for the win. Although Lucas and I fell back in the championship, we are far from being out of it, especially as we’ve only reached the halfway point in the season.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “I love racing at Mosport. It is a very quick track. Turns one and two are very cool. After some good runs in the past races I think our BMW Z4s should be very good there as well, despite the fact that we are still a little bit slower on the straights then our competitors.”
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix takes the green flag at 12:05 p.m. ET Sunday, July 12 and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET. 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, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 123 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 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.