The debut season for the BMW Z4 GTE has been very successful.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – BMW Team RLL will race for two important championships at the American Le Mans Series season-ending and series-finale 16th annual Petit Le Mans. Dirk Müller will race for the driver’s championship in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE with John Edwards and Uwe Alzen this weekend. He enters the race second in the GT driver battle, 16 points behind the leaders.
The trio will also be racing the No. 56 machine for the Michelin Green X Challenge trophy, awarded by the tire manufacturer to the most clean, fast and efficient car in the class. The No. 55 Z4 GTE will be shared by Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin and Jörg Müller at Petit.
“We have had competitive races at Road Atlanta in previous seasons with the M3 GT,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Last year we were doing very well, but got involved in an incident during the night with a car that had the lights off and was going very slowly. That really took us out of the chance to win the race. A couple of years ago we won the team and manufacturer’s championships on the last lap, so we just need to do the best we can, stay out of trouble and see how the race plays out.
Rahal continued, “I think the first season with the Z4 GTE has been fantastic. We didn’t quite know what to expect with the new car and a new tire partner in Michelin. There were a lot of new elements to the year for us but I think anybody can be happy with winning two races and four pole positions. We have come a long way in a short time. Obviously I would love to see Dirk win the Drivers Championship. He has done a great job this year.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “Petit Le Mans is one of my favorite races in the world. This year I have an amazing crew, an amazing team and the incredible BMW Z4 GTE. Max (Martin), Jörg (Müller) and I will fight like crazy to get to victory lane.”
Maxime Martin, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I'm really excited to race at Petit Le Mans. I have watched this race many years on TV and now it is my turn to race it! I'm sure we have a good chance, with my teammates Bill (Auberlen) and Jörg (Müller), to finish the season strongly.”
Jörg Müller, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I'm very happy to come back to Petit this year, especially because it will be such a historical event as the last ALMS Race. After my big accident at Spa this year it's very important for me to be back racing. I'm really looking forward to supporting BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTE – “This year was my first Sebring 12 Hour and will also be my first Petit Le Mans. I've been to the race multiple times as a fan and in support series, so I've had my eye on competing in the main show for many years. Road Atlanta is an intense track, so I'm excited for the challenge of Turn 1 and the esses at night time!
This season has been a good one so far with BMW Team RLL, as Dirk and I have one win together and multiple podiums. Dirk can still win the Drivers Championship, so we're focused on a strong close of the year. I'm confident that we'll have a great car and a chance at the win in the final endurance race of the season."
Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTE – “This is going to be a very special race. The last race of the season and the final one for the ALMS is around the corner and we are still fighting for the championship. The 1000 miles of Petit Le Mans are very demanding and as a team, we are really focused and willing to fight for a win. I am pleased to have John (Edwards) and Uwe (Alzen) back in the 56 car. I wish BMW and Joey good luck in Hockenheim at the DTM finale.”