Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 15, 2015… The Circuit Of The Americas (COTA), in Austin, Texas, will host the penultimate round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the two-hour-and-forty-minute Lone Star Le Mans race on September 19.
BMW Team RLL recently completed a two-day test with both BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit with drivers Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner and John Edwards in attendance. Lucas Luhr was participating at the Goodwood Revival, driving a BMW Group Classic BMW 1800 TiSA. BMW’s best finish at COTA is a third-place finish for John Edwards and Dirk Müller in 2013.
Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand third in the driver points standings, eight points in arrears of Patrick Pilet. Seven points further back, John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand tied in fourth. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are third and fourth (tied) in team points standings respectively. BMW stands second in Manufacturer points, eight points behind Porsche and six points in front of Chevrolet (Corvette).
“It’s going to be a tough weekend for sure,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “In past years we have qualified reasonably well there, but COTA is a very fast circuit and has not really been to our liking in terms of our competitiveness on the long straights. And we are struggling with that again compared to the Porsche and Ferrari.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “We still have a chance at the championship, but we need to continue to improve. Our test at COTA went well and I’m confident we’re on the right track for the push at the end of the season.”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Certainly we need to get back on the podium if we hope to continue the chase for the championship. The test went well with me turning my first laps on the COTA circuit. It is a very technical track and I look forward to the race.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “I’m excited to come back to COTA. My first race here with BMW proved to be a hard fight, but Dirk (Müller) and I finished third after starting at the back of the field. Lucas (Luhr) and I have lost a bit of ground in the last few races this season, but no one has given in. The test went well with a lot of miles driven in very hot conditions. We’ve made progress and I believe we’ll show more competitiveness.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “COTA is a very cool, modern track. We need a very strong result with both cars to stay in the hunt for the championship and I know everybody is pushing hard for that.”
The Lone Star Le Mans takes the green flag at 11:35 a.m. CT Saturday, Sept. 19 and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 from 12:30 – 3:30 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.