Woodcliff Lake, N.J. - July 24, 2014 . . .
BMW Team RLL will start from the second and fifth starting positions in tomorrow’s 2.75-hour Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The race is the seventh round of the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and marks the first time BMW Team RLL has raced at the most famous racetrack in North America.
John Edwards qualified the No.56 BMW Z4 on the outside of the GTLM class front row with a time of 1:22.442 minutes around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit – only .064 seconds from the pole winning Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella. The result is the third time this season the No. 56 Z4 has qualified second. Edwards and co-driver Dirk Müller stand fifth in GTLM driver points.
Bill Auberlen qualified the No. 55 BMW Z4 fifth with a time of 1:22.563 minutes, .185 seconds from the pole time. The entire 10-car GTLM class qualified within .859 seconds, the top-seven within some .300 seconds. Auberlen and co-driver Andy Priaulx currently stand in a tie for second in GTLM driver points.
“I think the team did a good job today,” said Jay O’Connell, VP Technology RLL
“John certainly got the most out of 56 car by putting in a really strong performance and qualifying second. Bill was equally strong in the 55 car with some fast sectors, but just couldn’t put a complete lap together. Having the top seven cars qualify within three tenths of a second is impressive. It should be quite a race tomorrow.”
John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM
– (2nd) – “This is a hard track to get a rhythm, and that makes it hard to get every sector put together for the whole lap. There are three really hard braking zones, and that is where things can get a little wrong. If you get two right and one just a little off, when the times are half a tenth separating most of the positions, that can make a huge difference. It was a little nail biting and I think the guys on the timing stand may have written us off when we were down in P6. It didn’t look like we were going to go any quicker. Fortunately I got all my sectors together in the end and we are just a half a tenth off P1. I think we can be happy with our effort today.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM
– (5th) – “Andy and I have been P1 most of the time in today’s free practice. In the first session we were P1 right to the very end until we dropped a place or two, but knew we had a good car. In the second session we were solidly in P1, but now we qualified P5. We tried a bit of a gamble and it did not pay off. We are making the change back and should go racing with a very strong car.”
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.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com
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.
Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com