Munich (DE), 30th June 2014. The beginning of BMW Team RLL’s Six Hour of the Glen story was better than the ending, as the team was unable to capitalise on its excellent starting positions (first and third) at Watkins Glen International Raceway (US). The day of struggle ultimately ended with sixth and tenth place finishes in the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship.
The number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM of John Edwards (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) finished sixth after completing 185 laps of the 5.43 kilometre track. Their race was marred by Edwards having to take evasive action due to a spinning competitor during the second hour and dropping from third to ninth. Bill Auberlen (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB) had an unfortunate day in the number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM, having to make ten pit stops to their teammates’ six, for a myriad of problems after starting from BMW Team RLL’s first pole position of the season.
A stop-and-hold penalty for avoidable contact by Auberlen just before the third hour combined with three punctures left them in tenth, their worst result of the season and drops them out of the lead in the driver points. The race was won by the Corvette of Jan Magnussen (DK) and Antonio Garcia (ES).
In the GTD class the winner was the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD driven by Dane Cameron (US) and Markus Palttala (FI) after leading for 169 of the 178 laps.
Jay O’Connell (VP Technology BMW Team RLL):
“Our cars were well-balanced and fast, but it was difficult to show that today with everything that happened. Hopefully, we have had all our bad luck. It is a tough day when you end up P6 and a lap down in tenth.”
John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“It was a very exciting race, but not necessarily in a good way. We had an issue right after one of the re-starts where I came round the corner, a Prototype had spun and I had to go off to avoid it. As I went off to the right, he turned the wheel and backed out to the right, so I had to go even further off. It cost me seven positions. It is surprising in a six-hour race we can’t recover from that, but there was a really long period of green flag running and we needed yellows to catch back up.”
Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I had three thrilling stints and loved them all. I was really quick in all of them and put no scratches on the car. The BMW Z4 GTLM ran well. Unfortunately, we had really tough luck. John had to avoid an accident and made the best of the situation; he went outside and lost seven positions. Considering the alternative, we’ll accept a sixth place finish.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“That was a weird and very challenging day and it makes it much, much worse when you have a great car, but a lot of bad things go against you. I can’t remember the last time the car was that good and felt so connected. However, nothing went our way. We just hope it is now behind us. We leave second in the points, but at least we are still near the top.”
Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“We had a relatively good start, but that’s really all we had today. Unfortunately, in the areas where we needed to pass we weren’t quite strong enough. It opened Bill to bad luck and the call for avoidable contact went against him this time. Better luck in Canada.”