Laguna Seca was the site of BMW Motorsport’s second victory in 1975, the first year of IMSA competition.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Following a sweet victory in the streets of Long Beach on April 18th, BMW Team RLL will look for another West Coast win as the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship remains in California for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, on May 3rd.
The victory at Long Beach by Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, has moved BMW and the Auberlen/Werner duo to second place in both Manufacturer’s and Driver’s points standings. Teammates John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 24 Z4 GTLM, stand fourth in Driver’s points with three top-five finishes in the first three rounds of the season.
We’re second in points and very close to the lead Corvette. The battle is heating up!
Laguna Seca has an important place in BMW racing history. It was the site of BMW Motorsport’s second victory in 1975, the first year of IMSA competition for the brand in the US as well as the start of BMW of North America. Hans-J. Stuck finished second in the first 100-mile heat race and won the second, driving the now iconic BMW 3.0 CSL.
BMW Team RLL has finished second at Laguna Seca twice (2011, 2014) and third place twice (2012, 2013).
BMW Motorsport will also be in action for the first race of the DTM season at Hockenheim on the same weekend. BMW DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler drove for BMW Team RLL at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Farfus also drove at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
“Laguna Seca has always presented a challenge for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We’ve been close to winning the race on a couple of occasions. We’ve qualified reasonably well, we have had some podiums but never a win. We are in a little better situation with the car this year than last so that could help us. We have a few things we need to work on but, all in all, I think we will be in the hunt. When you are in a position to be on the podium every year, it doesn't take much to make that final step to the top and we are going to work hard to achieve that.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Here we come Laguna Seca! We’re coming off two podiums out of three races including the victory in Long Beach so the objective is to keep the momentum and podium finishes coming. We’re second in points and very close to the lead Corvette. The battle is heating up!”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Laguna Seca is a track I love to drive. It has a good flow and the atmosphere is just great. To reduce the gap to P1 in the points we need to have a strong result. Our car seems to be in good shape and the whole team has a great spirit right now. Bill and I will keep pushing!”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Monterey is one of my favorite places in the country, and that would hold true regardless of whether the racetrack was there or not! The track itself though is very well-known, and I’ve been fortunate to have plenty of success there, including my first GTE podium with BMW Team RLL in 2013. After a steady, but not stellar start to the season, I’m hoping that Lucas and I can get back on the podium. The twisty track at Laguna should suit our Z4 so I think we have a good shot this weekend.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “First, I have to say it was great for BMW Team RLL to get the first win of the year in Long Beach. My compliments to Bill and Dirk. They were on fire. We had good pace in our car and if we had not had the problem with the brakes it would have been great to get a BMW one-two finish. Laguna Seca is one of my favorite tracks in America and it is always a challenge, not just the Corkscrew that everyone talks about, but the entire circuit is actually very technical which I like. John and I will work hard and for sure we aim to have a good result, but with how close GTLM is this year until we are on track it is tough to say how our weekend will be.”
The Continental Tires Monterey Grand Prix takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. PDT Sunday, May 3rd and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. EDT.
BMW Team RLL