Joey Hand returns to team up with Dirk Müller.
Munich (DE), 17th July 2013. The opening four rounds of the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) have seen the new BMW Z4 GTE race to GT class victory at both Long Beach (US) and Lime Rock Park (US). Round five will be held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville (CA) on 21st July. BMW Team RLL will focus on increasing Dirk Müller’s (DE) lead in the Driver points and moving to the top of the Manufacturer and Team points.
Bill Auberlen (US) and Maxime Martin (BE) scored the first victory for the BMW Z4 GTE at Long Beach in the no. 55 car, but a broken differential at the next round at Laguna Seca saw them finish out of the points. They began the season with fourth (along with Jörg Müller, DE) at Sebring and scored another fourth place finish most recently at Lime Rock Park. Without the disappointment of Laguna Seca the duo would certainly be standing higher than fifth in the Driver points, 18 in arrears of Müller.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal of BMW Team RLL):
“Historically, Mosport was our most challenging race with the BMW M3 GT. I think the demands of the circuit made it very tough on the tyres that we had and, as a result, while we could qualify well we were hampered by those demands in the race, so we really couldn’t maintain the pace. We showed well in terms of pure pace but we didn’t have the longevity. This year on the Michelin tyres that won’t be as much of an issue. Mosport will be the first circuit of the season with a very long straightaway and, knowing our deficit in straight line speed against the Corvette, Porsches and others, it’s going to be very interesting to see whether we can make up for that through the fast corners where the BMW Z4 GTE excels. Points and performance-wise we are doing much better than I thought we would be so far this season. Dirk is leading the Driver championship and we are close to the lead in both the Manufacturer and Team standings, but now the real tests come starting with Mosport.”
Bill Auberlen (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 55):
“The new BMW Z4 GTE has been as amazing as we had hoped and we have had a few very good performances. Now Max and I need a bit more luck. We had a long, hard day at Lime Rock and managed a good finish. Now we are going to an incredible track: Mosport. I can't wait to put the throttle down and put a giant smile on my face.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 55):
“I'm really looking forward to racing in Mosport. I have heard a lot about the track. It looks like it is a really impressive one. Bill knows it well and will help me to get up to speed quickly.”
Joey Hand (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 56):
“I'm excited to get back in the BMW Z4 GTE with my BMW Team RLL boys. It feels like forever since the Long Beach race. I really want to do my part to keep my buddy Dirk Müller in the lead of the championship along with the team. Mosport is a fun track and it has definitely had its ups and downs for us as a team. We've led there many times but I've never won there. I'd love to change that statistic.”
Dirk Müller (BMW Z4 GTE – car number 56):
“l am really looking forward to one of my favourite race tracks. This one is a big driver’s track and we definitely would like to keep the momentum going. Our win at Lime Rock was a big push. John will be there to observe and help Joey and me. No doubt that will be a big help.”
BMW Team RLL