BMW Team RLL Prepares for Road America

by Bernie McGroarty on August 7, 2014, 8:40 am
”team rll at road america”

Road America is always a favorite stop for teams and drivers of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. More than four miles long, many of the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin circuit’s fourteen turns are some of the most challenging in the world. On August 10th, BMW Team RLL will race there for the sixth-consecutive year in the 2.75-hour Road Race Showcase.

Road America has been host to much of BMW Team RLL’s success. In 2009, Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand drove to the program’s first American Le Mans Series GT class victory at Road America from the team’s first pole position. The next year, Hand and Dirk Müller were the GT class winners. In 2011, the second and third steps of the podium were reached. In 2012, Auberlen and Jörg Müller were back on top of the GT podium. For a high-speed tour of Road America, join Bill Auberlen in the No. 55 Z4 during a practice lap from last year. Bill Auberlen – A Lap of Road America.

Unfortunately, the debut of the BMW Z4 GTLM in 2013 did not achieve the same result, with the team finishing seventh and eighth. This year, the team has failed to reach the podium in the last three rounds and will be racing for a good result to stop its fall in the standings. Currently, Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx stand third in driver points. John Edwards and Dirk Müller stand eighth. BMW is fourth in Manufacturer points.

“We have had a pretty good record of success at Road America,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We won it three times with the M3’s and have always had a good feel for that track. Last year was our first year to race the Z4 there and there was a pretty big disparity between our top end speed with the Corvette’s and everybody else and that really hurt us for sure. I think the car is a better car this year than it was last year and we will go back and give it our best shot to win another race.”

Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “It's been a tough couple of races lately, but we’re still close to the top of the championship standings and we’re going to a track we have won at quite a few times. In order to stay in the hunt, we need to get back on the podium.”

Andy Priaulx, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “I checked out this track a month ago at the M3-M4 press launch courtesy of BMW NA and was absolutely blown away with it! Yet another massive commitment road circuit in the US! The last races have been tough and I’m not expecting this to be any different and with that in mind I’m staying realistic but still remaining ambitious. We still have a chance to score big points and need to focus on this and get the maximum from the weekend.”

John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “Road America is right up there with the classics like Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca when it comes to American race tracks. The town of Elkhart Lake shows a lot of racing history, which makes this a great event. The GTLM field was especially tight at Indy, and I expect Road America to be no different. The weather made last year's race a little interesting at the start, and it remains the only time I've pulled off a 720 degree spin in a car without any damage. Hopefully this year's race will go smoother for us and Dirk and I can get back to the podium.”

Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “Road America is well known in Europe as one of the best circuits in the States. We’ve had good fortune there in the past and we will need to push hard for a good result this weekend.”

The 2.75-hour Road Race Showcase will take the green flag at 1:15 p.m. ET Sunday, August 10th. The race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.imsa.com.


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