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BMW Motorsport Media Information. 2013 American Le Mans Series.

Interview with BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

Mr. Marquardt, a lot has changed for BMW going into the 2013 ALMS season. Is Sebring the start of a new era?

Jens Marquardt: “It certainly heralds a new phase of BMW’s involvement in motorsport in North America. A lot is going on there – you need only think of the merging of the ALMS and GRAND-AM Series in 2014. It was important for us to set ourselves up for 2013 in such a way that we are well positioned moving into the future. We have achieved that with the development of the BMW Z4 GTE.”

What do you expect from this car?

Marquardt: “In the BMW Z4 GTE, we see the potential to follow on from the success we enjoyed in 2010 and 2011. In recent years, the GT3 version of the BMW Z4 has emphatically proven its performance and reliability in many series around the world. The production model provides an excellent basis, from which to develop a competitive GT racing car. We have already achieved that in the GT3 area. We are now hoping to enjoy similar success with the BMW Z4 GTE.”

Will BMW Team RLL be challenging for race victories right from the word go?

Marquardt: “You can never predict something like that with a new car – particularly not in such a hard-fought championship as the ALMS. The first priority for us is to unlock the car’s potential step by step. It goes without saying we will also try to take any chance to record a top result, should the opportunity present itself. In BMW Team RLL we have the perfect crew for this job.”

What expectations do you have of new drivers Maxime Martin and John Edwards?

Marquardt: “This will be a learning year for both of them, but with our experienced drivers Dirk Müller, Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand, they have the best mentors you could possibly wish for in the ALMS. John is already well versed in North American motor racing, thanks to his time in the GRAND-AM Series. Maxime, on the other hand, has come to know the BMW Z4 GT3 very well and does not take long at all to feel comfortable at any new circuit. I am sure both newcomers will establish themselves as key figures at BMW Team RLL.”

BMW Team RLL also has a new tyre partner in Michelin …

Marquardt: “Yes indeed. We are very much looking forward to working together with Michelin, and are very optimistic our two BMW Z4 GTEs will benefit from the cumulated motorsport experience of Michelin. Tyre durability and performance play a crucial role in the ALMS – and not only at the gruelling endurance races at Sebring and Road Atlanta.”

Do you think the fans will miss the BMW M3 GT?

Marquardt: “I am certain of it. The BMW M3 GT was not only quick, but also a real looker. Furthermore, the car enjoyed huge success and claimed countless titles. However, I am sure the BMW Z4 GTE will soon win the hearts of the fans. This racing car is also extremely dynamic and cannot fail to impress with the irrepressible power it radiates.”