The Circuit Of The Americas (COTA), in Austin, Texas, will host the penultimate round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the two-hour-and-forty-minute Lone Star Le Mans race on September 19.
BMW Team RLL recently completed a two-day test with both BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit with drivers Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner and John Edwards in attendance. Lucas Luhr was participating at the Goodwood Revival, driving a BMW Group Classic BMW 1800 TiSA. BMW’s best finish at COTA is a third-place finish for John Edwards and Dirk Müller in 2013.
Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand third in the driver point’s standings, eight points in arrears of Patrick Pilet. Seven points further back, John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand tied in fourth. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are third and fourth (tied) in team points standings respectively. BMW stands second in Manufacturer points, eight points behind Porsche and six points in front of Chevrolet (Corvette).
“It’s going to be a tough weekend for sure,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal.
“In past years we have qualified reasonably well there, but COTA is a very fast circuit and has not really been to our liking in terms of our competitiveness on the long straights. And we are struggling with that again compared to the Porsche and Ferrari.”
Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “We still have a chance at the championship, but we need to continue to improve. Our test at COTA went well and I’m confident we’re on the right track for the push at the end of the season.”
Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Certainly we need to get back on the podium if we hope to continue the chase for the championship. The test went well with me turning my first laps on the COTA circuit. It is a very technical track and I look forward to the race.”
John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “I’m excited to come back to COTA. My first race here with BMW proved to be a hard fight, but Dirk (Müller) and I finished third after starting at the back of the field. Lucas (Luhr) and I have lost a bit of ground in the last few races this season, but no one has given in. The test went well with a lot of miles driven in very hot conditions. We’ve made progress and I believe we’ll show more competitiveness.”
Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “COTA is a very cool, modern track. We need a very strong result with both cars to stay in the hunt for the championship and I know everybody is pushing hard for that.”
The Lone Star Le Mans takes the green flag at 11:35 a.m. CT Saturday, Sept. 19 and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
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