Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 22, 2015… BMW Team RLL will start fourth and fifth in tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway, in Alton, Va.
Lucas Luhr qualified the No. 24 BMW Z4 fourth with a 1:43.324 minute lap of the 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit. Luhr and co-driver John Edwards currently stand fourth in GTLM class driver points. The class pole was scored by the No. 911 Porsche 911RSR, of Nick Tandy, with a time of 1:42.532 minutes.
Bill Auberlen, driving the No. 25 BMW Z4 he shares with Dirk Werner, qualified fifth with a 1:43.356 minute lap during the 15-minute session. Auberlen was the fastest GTLM driver in the final practice session this morning with a lap of 1:41.953 minutes. Auberlen and Werner stand second in GTLM driver points.
As the team continues to develop the best set-up for the latest Michelin tire, both BMW Z4 GTLM cars showed a marked improvement in lap times today versus their performance at Road America, more than halving the lap time delta to the Porsches.
The first half of 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship 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. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 stand second and fourth in team points standings respectively. BMW stands second in the manufacturer points standings, three points in arrears of Porsche.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “It was a little disappointing to be out qualified by the Porsches. We are closer to the Ferrari, but ahead of the Corvettes, so that is good. It was hotter this afternoon than this morning and we have just had a couple of long races on the track so I am sure the different rubber was causing a loss of grip. Tomorrow is going to be a pretty tough day I think, but we are right in the middle of it so hopefully we will make a few changes to see if we can make the cars a little better and be there at the end.”
Lucas Luhr, driver (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, P4): “This morning we were very quick and we couldn’t reach the same lap times, but also the competition could not. But it seems like we dropped more than our competition, and this is just purely in our hands. We have to sit together and make a proper analysis of why we dropped so much from this morning. The car felt okay. I lost a little bit of general grip compared to this morning, but there was nothing on the car where I thought this is completely off now. We generally just lost a little bit of grip. Both the air and the track temperatures were hotter than this morning, but that is the same for everybody. We just need to find a way to deal with that a little bit better.”
Bill Auberlen, driver (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, P5): “This morning I was more than a second faster, the only GTLM car in the 1:41 minute bracket. This afternoon it was a different story. We are not where we need to be yet, but the team has made good progress since Road America and I’m confident we’re still in the fight.”
The Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET tomorrow 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 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.
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