Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Sept. 19, 2015… BMW Team RLL survived a very hot and humid afternoon at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, to finish first and seventh in today’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Lone Star Le Mans race, the penultimate round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The third victory for the team this season moves BMW to second place in GTLM Manufacturer points standings.
Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner took the victory in the No. 25 BMW Z4 for the duo’s second win of the season. They completed 72 laps of the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit during the race, finishing 1.993 seconds ahead of the No. 62 Ferrari. The balance of the race saw the No. 25 Z4 race as high as a solid third, but the win was in large part due to excellent BMW Team RLL strategy and management as Werner had exactly the amount of fuel necessary to win. In the closing minutes of the race both of the Porsches, which led the field for almost every lap, had to pit from the first two positions for fuel. Unofficially, Auberlen and Werner now stand second in GTLM driver points standings, only three behind the leader Patrick Pilet.
John Edwards and Lucas Luhr had a disappointing day, finishing seventh in the No. 24 Z4, after a late race puncture due to debris on the track forced the car to the pits nine laps from the checkered flag. Some consolation came from the fact that the No. 24 Z4 was awarded the DEKRA Green Challenge trophy as the most environmentally clean, fast and efficient GTLM competitor of the race. Unofficially, Edwards and Luhr stand fifth in GTLM driver points.
BMW Team RLL is now firmly back in the championship chase and the season-ending 1000-mile Petit Le Mans on October 3 will now settle all GTLM class titles. The race will be broadcast live on a combination of two platforms, FOX Sports 2 and imsa.com.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “I felt we could have a good day, but I didn’t know we were going to have to wait to that close to the end. It was a great day for the team and BMW. Great drives by Bill and Dirk, who both did a great job. We had to save fuel to make it, as did everybody. The Porsches had to stop two few laps ahead of us and it was just a matter at the end for Dirk to drive as hard as he could and save fuel. It worked out beautifully. After the last couple or three races this was pretty sweet.”
Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, P1): “Thanks to BMW Team RLL for gritting it out in the heat and the humidity. Days like today makes everything worth it. You give it your all every time you are in this car. We have been right in the championship all year long and now we are right at the front again.”
Dirk Werner (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, P1): “What a roller coaster of a the race. At the beginning somehow everything went against us. At the start we fell down about four positions. Then I also had one flat spot during my first stint, so couldn’t really go at a good pace. When Bill got in he was really quick. He overtook one Corvette and then he was that close to the leading pack. After the yellow where we again fell back to P6, because the Ferrari overtook us, the Falken Porsche overtook us, both Corvettes overtook us, that was a miracle how that we ended up first. Preparation paid off and then the team did very, very good work in calculating the fuel and giving me instructions. The car was just great over the stint. I think everybody can be so happy because we did just a crazy great job today.”
John Edwards (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, P7): “The puncture was a shame for us, but first of all congratulations to the guys in the 25 car. They did a great job. I think we could have had two BMWs on the podium today, even with the second yellow that kind of hurt our car. So it is really disappointing, but at the end of the day Lucas and I were already pretty far back in the drivers’ championship, so our main goal is to help BMW win the manufacturers’ title.”
Lucas Luhr (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, P7): “At the end we were unlucky with the puncture on our car. I think we could have finished third. That is the way it is, and that is how it goes sometimes. I am happy for the 25 car and BMW that we came out with a win here. It was a very tough, hot and close race so whoever came out of here as the winner deserves it.”
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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