Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 4, 2015… Road America, the site of Round Seven of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, has seen more BMW Team RLL success than any other circuit in North America. The venerable four-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis. is a personal favorite of team principal Bobby Rahal and his team has won races for BMW three times (M3: 2009, 2010, 2012), finishing second twice (M3: 2011; Z4: 2014).
This season BMW Team RLL arrives at Road America with a four point lead in the GTLM class Manufacturer points standings by virtue of two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first six races of the ten-race season. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand second in the driver points standings. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand third. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are second and third in team points standings respectively.
“We have been pretty competitive on the faster circuits like Mosport and Watkins Glen this year and we’ve always had a good track record at Elkhart Lake,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We have won there several times and have been on the podium every year but one so both of those things make me feel reasonably good about our chance to do well. The series has just given a BoP allowance to Porsche and Ferrari so it will be interesting to see the effect of that. The Corvettes were obviously quite quick at Mosport and will be fast again. Elkhart Lake is more than just long straights, however. There are difficult, fast corners and the BMW Z4’s have an advantage on those.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Road America is one of the highlights of the schedule. It’s one of the best, most challenging circuits in the world. We have had great success there in the past and with BMW Z4 I have great hopes for standing on the top step of the podium once again.”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Road America is a great drivers circuit. It has a good flow of long, high speed straights mixed with hard braking zones where you can overtake. It is the track where I celebrated my first ALMS victory in the GT category and there is always good racing. The GTLM competition is so strong at this point in the season that you cannot afford to lose even a few seconds on any stint. Every time in the car has to be treated like a short sprint race.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Road America has a wonderful history and atmosphere. Despite our concerns last year that the Z4 would not be strong there I was able to put the car on pole and Dirk (Müller) and I finished second. The car is stronger this season in areas of weakness shown last year so I am confident we can score points. Lucas (Luhr) and I are coming off a strong second at CTMP and we plan to carry that momentum to Road America.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “From the driver’s point of view Road America is a very technical circuit. You have to be sure to minimize compromises that must be made on every lap to maximize your performance into the next corner or onto the next straight. It is also in a beautiful countryside location so the entire experience is something quite rare. With four races left in the championship the weekend is sure to be an intense one.”
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag at 2:05 p.m. CT Sunday, August 9th and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 3:00 – 6:00 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.