BMW Team RLL – Monterey Grand Prix Preview
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 4/29/2014, 1:06 p.m.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 30, 2014 . . . BMW Team RLL brings its two BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars and the lead in the class Team and Driver championships to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 4 of the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship on May 4, 2014. Following the team’s third consecutive podium – a second place finish at Long Beach by the No. 56 car of John Edwards and Dirk Müller – all BMW Team RLL drivers stand in the top-five with Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx leading the driver points and Edwards and Müller only 6 points back in fourth.
This year’s race at the historic 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit will be two hours long with GTLM and Prototype cars racing together. BMW Team RLL has raced there since its first season in 2009 with best finishes of second place in 2010 and 2011.
“We have been in a position to win at Laguna Seca on several occasions, once losing it on the last lap,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal, “and I think we have a good chance this year. We may not have the best pace for qualifying but we have several things in our favor for this round. The Z4 GTLM is a more developed car than it was last year. Unlike our main competitors, we have lots of setup and race data from last year and should be fast out of the transporter. We have proven reliability. The performance of the car in race configuration has been very strong and Laguna Seca has a lot of fast corners that work in our favor. With both cars in the championship hunt, we are looking for not just a podium finish but a win this weekend.
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “We leave Long Beach with the lead in the championship and I feel we are going to a track that should really suit the BMW Z4 GTLM. The weekend can't come fast enough for me!”
Andy Priaulx, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTLM – “Laguna is one of the most famous circuits in the world and I really can’t wait to tackle this challenge. I will approach this race in the same way as Long Beach and I hope very much that my preparations will work as well for this race as it did for Long Beach. Our goal has to be to maintain our championship standing and keep us in the hunt for the title. The last few races have shown many positives and I am learning all the time when it comes to the rules and idiosyncrasies of joining a new series. As a team we have all the fundamentals in place and it will now be fine tuning the details that will make us an even stronger challenger.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTLM – “I have a lot of good memories from Laguna, including last year where we crossed the finish line in third, giving me my first podium as a BMW driver. This year's race will be a lot different since it is only two hours long, so it will really be an aggressive battle in GTLM. Our car had speed last year to compete for the win and we've developed it further since then, so I expect that Dirk and I will be competing for the top spot once again. It's a very tight championship at the moment in GTLM so every position will be crucial this weekend.”