BMW TEAM RLL TOPS AT SEBRING 12 Hours







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: March 16, 2014
Categories: BMW, BMW Racing

BMW Team RLL steps on the podium at the Sebring 12 Hours and takes the lead in the USCC GTLM Drivers classification.

Sebring-12-Hour

Munich (DE), 16th March 2014. Second race, second podium: BMW Team  RLL finished third and tenth in the 62nd edition of the 12 Hours of  Sebring (US). The Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM, driven by Bill Auberlen (US),  Andy Priaulx (GB) and Joey Hand (US), took the chequered flag in third  place. It was the team’s second consecutive GTLM podium of the 2014  United SportsCar Championship (USCC). Auberlen, Priaulx and Hand had  finished second at the season-opening 24h Daytona (US). With their  third place at the second round at “Sebring International Raceway”,   the trio took the lead of the GTLM Drivers classification.

The Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM finished tenth. Driven by Dirk Müller, Dirk  Werner (both DE) and John Edwards (US), the car experienced a number  of problems during the race and finished nine laps in arrears of the  class winning Porsche. The Number 56 car had been pushed into the wall  by a competitor. Repairs over the next few hours cost precious time.  The race was slowed by more than five hours of caution periods, and  the crack BMW Team RLL strategy helped the Number 55 car regain a lost  lap, caused by a malfunctioning pit speed limiter just past the  midpoint of the race.

Round three of the 2014 USCC will take place in Long Beach (US) on  Saturday, 12th April.

BMW-Racing-Car

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):

“Today was certainly a tough day for us in many respects. A third  place finish by the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTLM and now the points lead is a  tremendous achievement given the ups and downs they went though over  the course of the race. Unfortunately, the day was ruined quite early  for the 56 car. At the end we didn’t have the pace to catch the  leaders, but now we head to Long Beach and a circuit much more suited  to the strengths of the BMW Z4 GTLM.”

Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“We ran into some of the worst luck I have ever seen. We had a great  car, we were up to second place and then we dropped to third place.  Then we got a speeding violation coming into the pit lane, and then we  got three more back to back before we determined the cause, which put  us a lap down. We fought back to the lead lap. Our BMW Z4 GTLM was  great. It sustained some damage early on and had a big understeer. We  tuned that out and we had something to go racing with and my last  stint was very strong.”

Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“My first stint was hardly a stint as I had so many safety cars. We  had a bit of contact with a prototype which damaged the bodywork and  there was then some understeer in the car. The team did a great job to  re-balance the car, which luckily wasn't badly damaged. My job was to  bring the car back in one piece, which I did. There were a couple of  crazy re-starts as there were so many cars out there and you were  locked in the battle from the moment you got into the car – I have  never had it like that before. It is full ten tenths, it is fun and it  makes you sharp and I am loving it.”

Sebring

Joey Hand (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“It was an interesting race for sure. We just kept trying to make the  car better and better. It wasn't as good as I thought it was going to  be, but it all came right and during that last twenty minutes I was  thinking, ‘Oh boy, this is turning into another dog fight!’ It wasn’t  our race to win today, but the reason why we have won championships in  this programme is because we get what we can get, and that is what we did.”

Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“This was one of those races which ultimately ended quite early for  us. We stayed positive and were hoping that we’d get the laps back  with all the caution periods. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.  Congratulations to the 55 guys!”

Dirk Werner (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“Unfortunately we had too many incidents today. The hit from a  Porsche that turned us in the wall put us back a number of laps and we  never really recovered. I hope the rest of the season will be better  for Dirk and John.”

BMW-Team-RLL

John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“There is not much we could have done today. Things that were not  expected to happen ultimately put us in the situation where we were  out of contention. It’s really too bad because we had a strong car. We  saw the Number 55 finish on the podium and we think we would have been  right up there too.”