Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 29, 2015… BMW Team RLL will be racing for the GTLM class championship this weekend as the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship comes to a close at the 18th annual Petit Le Mans. The 10-hour-race, held at Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Ga., traditionally ends the North America sports car season and will be an exciting one for BMW fans. BMW Team RLL won its third race of the year two weeks ago at Circuit of the Americas to put the BMW only three points behind Porsche in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver points standings.
A win by BMW clinches the Manufacturer’s title. A win by the No. 25 Z4 also takes the Team championship and Driver’s crowns for Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner. If a BMW or Porsche does not win the race, BMW can clinch the Manufacturer’s title by finishing four points or at minimum two positions ahead of Porsche.
To bolster the lineup for the final race of the year, the team will add BMW Motorsport drivers Augusto Farfus to the No. 25 Z4 of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner. Jens Klingmann will join John Edwards and Lucas Luhr in the No. 24 Z4. Farfus and Klingmann drove with the team at both Daytona and Sebring this season.
Regardless of the final outcome, the 2015 season has been an excellent one for BMW Team RLL. Three race wins (Long Beach, Laguna Seca and COTA) equal the win tally from its 2011 championship season with the BMW M3. An additional four podiums (three second place and one third place finish) have put the team within reach of all 2015 titles.
“While we have won championships based on our finishes at Petit Le Mans , we have yet to win the race itself,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We have earned some podiums but it’s a very tough event. We have had incidents during the races that have kept us from doing well and other reasons to not do so well also so it’s been a little bit of a so-so event for us historically. However, as we saw at COTA, we can run competitively on circuits with long straights so I feel quite sure we can be a factor in the race. We just have to hope we have an incident-free race and I think that if we have that we can be right in the hunt. Of course being only three points out of the lead in the championship, there are a lot of good reasons we need to do well. We look forward to a tough, but good race.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “We have had an amazing season so far and we head into the last race virtually tied for the championship lead. We need to do exactly what we have been doing and let RLL and the BMW Z4 do what they do best and propel us to the top step of the podium. This last race is for all the marbles. Whoever wins this one wins all three championships.”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “The season has been very exciting so far with ups and downs for our team and our car. We always gave our best, and that enables us to fight for the championship at Petit. This will be a big challenge and we have to do a perfect race, but the whole team is highly motivated and the car should be very fast at this track. And we will keep pushing till the end!”
Augusto Farfus, driver No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “I’m happy to support BMW Team RLL once again at Petit Le Mans. I have done the race once before with Bill and Dirk in 2011. We finished third to help the team win the title. This year we’ll be doing the same thing. I always enjoy my trips to the States and this one will be very special because we are racing for the championship once again.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “The Petit Le Mans finale is always an intense race, but this year we are in the fight for a championship. Although Lucas and I are too far back to win the driver’s championship, we are still fighting hard to get BMW the manufacturer’s title. Since we’re not worried about driver points, we will be able to take some more risks both on track and in strategy, just like we did at Austin. Although it’s too bad that we can’t win the driver’s championship, there is something fun about being the wild card and taking some risk, so I’m looking forward to the race.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Petit is always a special event. We have to focus 100% on good strategy. If no mistakes I’m sure we can come on a high. I’m looking forward to it and everyone is very motivated and extremely focused on the job we have to do.”
Jens Klingmann, driver No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “I’ve raced at Daytona and Sebring this season, but Road Atlanta and the Petit Le Mans will be a new experience for me. I know BMW Team RLL and the Z4 quite well and I’ve been reviewing track data and on board footage from the race last year so I’ll be well prepared.”
The Petit Le Mans takes the green flag at 11:10 a.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 3 and will be broadcast live on a combination of FOX Sports 2 and IMSA.com from 11:00 a.m. ET. A three-hour recap will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1:30 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.