Werner P2, Edwards P6
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Sept. 18, 2015… BMW Team RLL will start second and sixth in tomorrow's two-hour-and-forty-minute Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, the penultimate round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW Z4 he shares with Bill Auberlen, qualified second with a 2:04.490 minute lap of the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit during the 15-minute session. In the hottest of conditions so far this week (97F ambient, 113 F track) the BMW Motorsport driver continued to show the speed he displayed in practice. Werner was the quickest GTLM driver in the second practice and the second fastest in this morning’s final practice session. Auberlen and Werner stand third in GTLM driver points, eight points behind Patrick Pilet - today’s pole winner in the No. 911 Porsche with a lap of 2:04.396 minutes.
I think we have a good shot for the podium for sure.
John Edwards qualified the No. 24 BMW Z4 sixth with a 2:04.968 minute lap, .572 seconds from the class pole. Luhr and co-driver John Edwards currently stand fourth (tied) in GTLM class driver points.
The early part of 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship saw both BMW Z4 racing cars take a victory. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner won on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. in the No. 25 car and John Edwards and Lucas Luhr took the victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 24 machine. Currently, the No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 stand third and fourth (tied) in team points standings respectively. BMW stands second in the manufacturer points standings, eight points in arrears of Porsche.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “I think we are in a little bit more of a competitive situation with the Porsches compared to the last few races. I am pleased. The 24 car’s set-up maybe was not quite as good as the 25, and consequently it was a bit slower. I think both cars are where we need them to be. It is going to be a tough race tomorrow.
It is going to be hot on the drivers, hot on the cars and, even though it is a relatively short race, it is going to feel like about six hours. It is going to be tough for these guys to do more than a stint. Driver changes will be important and it will be about driving hard and saving something for the end.”
Dirk Werner, driver (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, P2: “It’s good for everybody that we are back in the hunt for the pole position. We were very close today. Nine hundredths of a second is not a lot of time. It was a bit greasy on the track with the hot conditions, so it was not easy to drive. All in all, being on the first row for the race is very important, and we are beside our direct competitor in the championship. I think it looks very good and I am quite happy.
It will be very hot tomorrow. We have done everything we could to cool down the cockpit and the driver, and we just have to see that the drivers can give their best performances, because the heat can really get to you and wear you out. The car should be good. I think over the long runs we have a good set-up, and the tires should hold on. I think we have a good shot for the podium for sure.”
John Edwards, driver (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, P6): “It was a pretty frustrating qualifying session. The past couple of practices have been all about traffic and just trying to find space, but now we had our own space and suddenly the car had a lot more understeer. Sure we will improve it and be better in the race, but it is a little disappointing to be so far back. Our cars aren’t very different, we have some minor changes and maybe those were affecting us a little bit more. Either way, we will have to dissect it tonight and figure out what the reasons are.”
BMW Team RLL