BMW Team RLL Secures Front Row at Grand Prix of Baltimore.

by Bernie McGroarty on August 30, 2013, 10:39 pm
Bill Auberlen sets qualifying record, Joey Hand second.

”almsbaltimore”

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 30, 2013 . . . BMW Team RLL will start Saturday’s American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Baltimore from the front of the GT class grid. The 1-2 qualifying effort was the second such result this year for the BMW Z4 GTE in its debut year. The previous front row sweep came in Round 4 at Lime Rock Park in July.

Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE on the pole with a 1:29.560 minute lap around the 2.02-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit to set a new qualifying record. He will co-drive with Maxime Martin in tomorrow’s two-hour contest. Joey Hand qualified the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE second with a 1:29.795 minute lap. He will co-drive with Dirk Müller. Both BMW racers set their quickest times on the seventh lap of nine in the 15-minute session, and were the only cars in the 11-car GT class to qualify in the 1:29-minute bracket.

“Because this is a street circuit that emphasizes handling and braking, I felt we could be strong here,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Certainly, Qualifying showed that. Obviously, I am pleased with the performance of the cars, but as we’ve seen in previous years here we’ll need some luck in the race tomorrow.”

Bill Auberlen , driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (1st) – “I am obviously in very good company on the front row and I could not be prouder. All my laps were clean and fast. I was last in the queue and when I went through the chicane the last time I saw the tires had been moved so perhaps someone could have gotten a quicker lap. We were low on fuel so I may not have been able to defend. Luckily the flag came out to end the session.”

Joey Hand, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (2nd) – “Congratulations to Bill and the 55 guys on the pole. I never like to be second, but I’m happy with my performance and to have both BMW Team RLL cars on the front row. The front row is a great place to start, but you can’t win it at the start. Tomorrow’s race will be about being smart and putting ourselves in a position so Dirk can bring home a victory.”

Live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The Grand Prix of Baltimore is scheduled to be broadcast on ABC television at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 1st. ALMS.com will stream in-car footage throughout the race and the full live feed for international views. More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.


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