BMW Team RLL looks to repeat past success at Road America

BMW Team RLL heads to Road America, the site of three victories in the past four American Le Mans Series seasons.

Munich (DE), 7th August 2013. Following fifth and sixth place GT finishes at Mosport (CA) three weeks ago, BMW Team RLL heads to Road America, in Elkhart Lake (US), the site of three BMW Team RLL victories in the past four American Le Mans Series seasons.

The 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit is Team Principal Bobby Rahal’s favourite track in North America, and BMW Team RLL raced the BMW M3 GT to the top step of the podium in 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2009, Bill Auberlen (US) and Joey Hand (US) drove to the programme’s first victory at Road America from the team’s maiden pole. The next year, Hand and Dirk Müller (DE) repeated as winners. In 2011, the second and third steps of the podium were reached. Last year, Auberlen and Jörg Müller (DE) roared back with the victory.

#55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin
#55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin

Photo by: Michael Tan

The first five rounds of the 2013 American Le Mans Series have seen the new BMW Z4 GTE race to GT class victory at both Long Beach (US) and Lime Rock Park (US). BMW stands second in the GT Class Manufacturer points and Dirk Müller has a five point lead in the GT Driver standings. John Edwards (US) will substitute for Hand in the no. 56 BMW Z4 GTE this weekend, as Hand enjoys a week off following an excellent seventh at the inaugural DTM race in Moscow (RU) on 4th August.

Auberlen, sharing the no. 55 BMW Z4 GTE with Maxime Martin (BE), will celebrate his 500th professional start at Road America as the BMW ace continues to add to one of the most impressive racing resumes in the world.

Auberlen, Edwards and Martin will also compete in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series that will share the bill with the ALMS at Road America. Auberlen and Edwards will also race in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series. The two series will merge to become United Sports Car Racing in 2014.

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal of BMW Team RLL):
“We have obviously had good success in the four years at Elkhart Lake. I think the fast sweeping corners have always played to one of the strengths of a BMW. Getting through all the circuit’s fast corners – Turns 1, 3, 7, the Carousel, Turns 12, 13 and 14 – has been a major reason for our success. This year the BMW Z4 GTE has shown it is also a very good handling car. We have been at a deficit on top speed but have been in the same situation years before with the BMW M3 GT, especially 2009 and 2010, and yet we still won there, so it will be interesting to see how we fare.”

Bill Auberlen (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 55):
“Road America is one of my favourite tracks in the world and I will get to race it three times this weekend – ALMS GT, Rolex GT and CTSCC GS. That will be a unique experience for me and I hope for three first place finishes. Five hundred professional race starts is a record I will be extremely proud of.”

Maxime Martin (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 55):
“I’m really excited to discover this classic track. I think it is one of the longest of the year, so it will not be easy to learn. As always, I will have the experience of Bill to help me.”

Dirk Müller (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 56):
“We are now starting the second half of the season and I am still leading the championship, which feels great. Road America is one of my favourite race tracks in the world and I am thrilled to come back with our new BMW Z 4 GTE. The track should suit us a bit better than Mosport. John is back to help us out and it’s going to be a big weekend full of great racing.”

John Edwards (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 56):
“The last race I ran with BMW Team RLL was at Lime Rock a month ago, but it feels like six months. We knew Lime Rock would suit us, and we capitalised on that with a win. Unfortunately we’ve been expecting both Mosport and Road America to be tougher tracks for us, so, although we’re always competing for a win, we know the competition will be as tough at Road America as it was at Mosport. My biggest goal is doing what I can to help Dirk maintain the lead in the championship. We will be racing hard to win, but I know we will all have our eyes on the bigger picture with the championship as we enter the second half of the season.”

BMW Team RLL

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Bobby Rahal , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Maxime Martin , John Edwards
Teams Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Article type Preview
Tags bill auberlen, bmw team rll, bobby rahal, dirk müller, john edwards, maxime martin