Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 22, 2014 . . .
Something old and new is up next for BMW Team RLL when it comes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to contest Round 7 of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on a circuit that combines part of the legendary speedway and a newly revised infield road course.
The Brickyard Grand Prix was part of the GRAND-AM series beginning in 2012 so Bill Auberlen and John Edwards have raced there twice, but the revised circuit effectively means this year’s event will be brand new for everyone at BMW Team RLL.
The original Indy road course hosted the United States Grand Prix from 2000-2007. The 2.439-mile, 14-turn revised Indy road course was finished this year and was first used on May 10 for the new IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis, a lead-in to the 98th Indianapolis 500.
BMW Team RLL has failed to record a podium finish in the last two rounds at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. With their long straights, both circuits play to the top speed advantages of the competition. The Indy road course also has a very long straight so a July 17th Balance of Performance adjustment by series that reduced the minimum weight of the BMW Z4 GTLM by 15 kilograms (33 pounds) may not be enough to move the BMW up better than the fourth place finish realized most recently at Mosport.
Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx stand in a tie with two other drivers for second place in driver points, but the class leaders now have a 19 point advantage. John Edwards and Dirk Müller stand fifth in driver points. BMW is third in Manufacturer points, only two points behind Porsche and ten points from Corvette.
“I think Indianapolis Motor Speedway has done a fantastic job with the new road racing circuit,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner
. “The Indy car race was great and I feel that the IMSA race will be equally as good. It’s going to be tough for us because it’s another fast circuit with a long, long straightaway. It has some interesting corners in the infield, but certainly the front straightaway is very, very long. We finished fourth at Mosport and we just have to keep doing our best despite our disadvantage. Right now the Corvette is the dominant car and the Viper is probably the next dominant car. If you’re not one of those two manufacturers it’s a tough race for you but we’ll keep pushing and see what we get.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM –
“It's been a tough couple of races recently and Indy will not be any easier. Our top speed deficit was painfully obvious at CTMP. Both Andy and I have to focus to make every lap count and put a stint together that keeps the No. 55 car as high up the order as we can. We don’t have anything in reserve.”
Andy Priaulx, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM –
“Indy will be another new challenge for me, as this is a track that I have not driven before. So far my race preparations for the previous races have worked out ok so I will not change this process. I am very conscious that since coming back from Le Mans Corvette have been pretty much untouchable so we need to hope that soon we can close this gap and stay in the fight for the championship. Bill and I will keep pushing to keep the title fight alive.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM
– “I saw my first ever F1 race at Indy and that was a big part of getting me into racing. I think the new layout will help the Z4 since it adds some cornering where we would have been flat out otherwise. We put a good race together in Mosport, but lacked a little bit of pace to the frontrunners, but there have been some BoP changes since then so we will see how that affects the racing this weekend. Although Dirk and I had some bad luck in a couple races early in the year, the championship is still very tight from P2 to P7, so we will be pushing harder than ever to move back up the standings.”
Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM –
“Indy will be a new experience for me. I’ve never been to the 500 and I’m looking forward to seeing the home of the great race. We have reviewed video from the IndyCar race in May and will have to work hard for a good result as the track will certainly favor our competitors.”
The Brickyard Grand Prix will take the green flag at 5:45 p.m. ET Friday, July 25th. The race will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 with coverage beginning at 5:30 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
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; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy 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, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 120 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 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.
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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, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 30 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming 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. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles - Manufacturer, Team and Driver.
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