Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Sept. 18, 2015… BMW Team RLL will start second and sixth in tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, the penultimate round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW Z4 he shares with Bill Auberlen, qualified second with a 2:04.490 minute lap of the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit during the 15-minute session. In the hottest of conditions so far this week (97F ambient, 113 F track) the BMW Motorsport driver continued to show the speed he displayed in practice. Werner was the quickest GTLM driver in the second practice and the second fastest in this morning’s final practice session. Auberlen and Werner stand third in GTLM driver points, eight points behind Patrick Pilet – today’s pole winner in the No. 911 Porsche with a lap of 2:04.396 minutes.
John Edwards qualified the No. 24 BMW Z4 sixth with a 2:04.968 minute lap, .572 seconds from the class pole. Luhr and co-driver John Edwards currently stand fourth (tied) in GTLM class driver points.
The early part of 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship saw 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 Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 24 machine. Currently, the No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 stand third and fourth (tied) in team points standings respectively. BMW stands second in the manufacturer points standings, eight points in arrears of Porsche.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “I think we are in a little bit more of a competitive situation with the Porsches compared to the last few races. I am pleased. The 24 car’s set-up maybe was not quite as good as the 25, and consequently it was a bit slower. I think both cars are where we need them to be. It is going to be a tough race tomorrow. It is going to be hot on the drivers, hot on the cars and, even though it is a relatively short race, it is going to feel like about six hours. It is going to be tough for these guys to do more than a stint. Driver changes will be important and it will be about driving hard and saving something for the end.”
Dirk Werner, driver (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, P2: “It’s good for everybody that we are back in the hunt for the pole position. We were very close today. Nine hundredths of a second is not a lot of time. It was a bit greasy on the track with the hot conditions, so it was not easy to drive. All in all, being on the first row for the race is very important, and we are beside our direct competitor in the championship. I think it looks very good and I am quite happy. It will be very hot tomorrow. We have done everything we could to cool down the cockpit and the driver, and we just have to see that the drivers can give their best performances, because the heat can really get to you and wear you out. The car should be good. I think over the long runs we have a good set-up, and the tires should hold on. I think we have a good shot for the podium for sure.”
John Edwards, driver (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, P6): “It was a pretty frustrating qualifying session. The past couple of practices have been all about traffic and just trying to find space, but now we had our own space and suddenly the car had a lot more understeer. Sure we will improve it and be better in the race, but it is a little disappointing to be so far back. Our cars aren’t very different, we have some minor changes and maybe those were affecting us a little bit more. Either way, we will have to dissect it tonight and figure out what the reasons are.”
The Lone Star Le Mans takes the green flag at 11:35 a.m. CT tomorrow 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 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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Werner P2, Edwards P6