Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 19, 2015… BMW Team RLL will be racing for an overall victory at this weekend’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Oak Tree Grand Prix as round eight of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is held at Virginia International Raceway, in Alton, Va., on August 23 featuring a GT race as the headlining event.
BMW arrives at the 3.27-mile, 18-turn circuit three points in arrears of Porsche in the GTLM class Manufacturer points standings after disappointing fifth and sixth place finishes at Road America on Aug. 9. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand second in the driver points standings. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand fourth. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are second and fourth in team points standings respectively.
“At VIR you have to have a good handling car, but I still think of it as a horsepower track because it has a very long straightaway,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “It is clear something should be done about the Balance of Performance because the BMWs and Corvettes didn’t even have a look in at Road America. It was pretty silly if you ask me.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “This year continues to be one of the most competitive I can remember. Early on, it seemed to be the Corvettes that posed our biggest challenge. Now Porsche has won the last three rounds. I think the championship will come down to the last race and this weekend’s GT only event will be a very good indicator of who will be the favorite for the title.”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “VIR is another track in our calendar with a wonderful layout that is quite unique. I have great memories of it because I won my first American sports car race there in 2007. As a team we have to work hard before and during the race to get back in shape for the championship fight. I am ready to push hard again.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Last year’s race at VIR was an intense one. We were close to the fight for the win, but didn’t quite have the pace to force our way past anyone. However, our car has been faster this year than it was last year so I’m hopeful that we can move up the podium as we move into the most crucial part of the season. Although Lucas and I have dropped back a bit in the points, BMW is still in a tight battle for the manufacturer’s championship and we don’t plan on letting Porsche steal it away from us in the last part of the season.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “VIR is awesome, it is one of my favorite tracks in the USA. I miss seeing the Oak Tree. There was something quite special about that. The circuit is so fast but also surprisingly technical – a real challenge for a driver. John and I still have a chance for the drivers title and so do our teammates. More importantly, we are in a very big fight for the manufacturer championship. We have to get as many points as possible this weekend. With only two rounds after VIR, as usual every point is important and now this late in the season we cannot afford to lose any.”
The Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET Sunday, August 23 and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 1:00 – 4:00 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, 149 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.