Team Report: BMW Team RLL Finishes Fifth and Sixth at Road America. Auberlen/Werner 5th, Edwards/Luhr 6th
Source: BMW Motorsport
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 9, 2015… BMW Team RLL finished fifth and sixth in today’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner finished fifth in the No. 25 Z4. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 24 machine, finished one position behind in sixth. The race was won by the No. 911 Porsche.
The venerable Road America circuit has historically been a very successful race track for BMW Team RLL, but today was an exception. Neither BMW Z4 was able to meet the pace of the rest of the GTLM class after recent Balance of Performance adjustments relegated the BMWs to be one second off most of the field and two seconds off the winning Porsche.
The race began with the No. 24 Z4 of John Edwards starting from fourth and Bill Auberlen sixth in the No. 25 machine. Both BMWs and the rest of the GTLM class took to the pit lane on lap 14 under the only caution period of the race. Edwards stayed in the No. 24 while the crew fueled and fitted new Michelin tires. He reentered the race in fifth place. Dirk Werner took over for Auberlen in the No. 25 Z4 and after service was the last GTLM car to leave the pits. As the race passed the one hour mark Edwards held the fifth spot, Werner the eighth. Both cars made their second pit stop under green with just over an hour left in the race. Lucas Luhr took over for Edwards on lap 40 and, one lap later, Werner entered the pits for his stop. After the rest of the GTLM field cycled though Werner and Luhr raced in the sixth and seventh positions respectively. Werner brought the No. 25 Z4 in early for a splash of fuel allowing him to make it to the end. With thirty minutes remaining Luhr was fourth with Werner right behind him in fifth. Luhr had to stop for fuel six laps from the end falling to sixth.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “It was a very disappointing day. We did the best we could with what we had. The BoP adjustments that have been given to Porsche and Ferrari over the last few races is not balanced. I know it is going to be a tough last part of the year if it continues like this.”
Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, 5th): “The team ran a great strategy and we had as good a car as we have ever had here, but I think the series has given a little too much to people who didn’t need it. Now the Porsches have run away and the Ferrari is just behind them. We had good battles with the Corvette and the Falken car, but it was a very tough day in the office.”
Dirk Werner (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, 5th): “It definitely was a difficult race because the pace, especially of the Porsches, was just too fast. There was no way for us today to drive onto the podium. We were fighting with the Corvette, which seemed to be a fair fight. I was trying to hold off the No. 3 Corvette to maybe get the lead in the driver points, but towards the end Katherine Legge in the Delta Wing braked at the exit of turn 13 and I was forced to slow.”
John Edwards (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, 6th): “On days like today there is not too much you can do. We are two seconds off the Porsches. We will have a post race team meeting to review the situation, but at the end of the day we are not going to find two seconds.”
Lucas Luhr (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, 6th): “Two seconds a lap time difference, even more sometimes, no matter what that is not correct. Something needs to be done. On our side, I think we did what we could. Maybe we missed a little bit because we got washed out on Friday’s practice, but for sure we didn’t miss two seconds.”
Round Eight of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be held at Virginia International Raceway, in Alton, Virginia, on August 23rd. The two-hour-and-forty-minute Oak Tree Grand Prix will be broadcast live from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports One.
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.
Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.