BMW Team RLL will be racing for the GTLM class championship this weekend as the 2015 United SportsCar Championship (USCC) comes to a close at the 18th annual Petit Le Mans (US). The 10-hour-race, held at Road Atlanta (US), traditionally ends the North American sports car season and will be an exciting one for BMW fans.
BMW Team RLL won its third race of the year two weeks ago at Circuit of the Americas (US) to put BMW only three points behind Porsche in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver points standings.
A win by BMW clinches the Manufacturers’ title. A win by the number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM also takes the Team championship and Drivers’ crowns for Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE).
To bolster the lineup for the final race of the year, the team will add BMW Motorsport drivers Augusto Farfus (BR) to the number 25 car of Auberlen and Werner. Jens Klingmann (DE) will join John Edwards (US) and Lucas Luhr (DE) in the number 24 sister car. Farfus and Klingmann drove with the team at both Daytona (US) and Sebring (US) this season.
Regardless of the final outcome, the 2015 season has been an excellent one for BMW Team RLL. Three race wins (Long Beach, Laguna Seca and COTA) equal the win tally from its 2011 championship season with the BMW M3 GT. An additional four podiums (three second and one third place finish) have put the team within reach of all 2015 titles.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“While we have won championships based on our finishes at Petit Le Mans, we have yet to win the race itself. We have earned some podiums, but it’s a very tough event. We have had incidents during the races that have kept us from doing well and other reasons to not do so well also, so it’s been a little bit of a so-so event for us historically. However, as we saw at COTA, we can run competitively on circuits with long straights, so I feel quite sure we can be a factor in the race. We just have to hope we have an incident-free race, and I think if we have that we can be right in the hunt. Of course, being only three points off the lead in the championship, there are a lot of good reasons why we need to do well. We look forward to a tough, but good race.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“We have had an amazing season so far and we head into the last race virtually tied for the championship lead. We need to do exactly what we have been doing and let BMW Team RLL and the BMW Z4 GTLM do what they do best and propel us to the top step of the podium. This last race is for all the marbles. Whoever wins this one wins all three championships.”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“The season has been very exciting so far with ups and downs for our team and our car. We always gave our best, and that enables us to fight for the championship at Petit. This will be a big challenge and we have to do a perfect race, but the whole team is highly motivated and the car should be very fast at this track. And we will keep pushing till the end.”
Augusto Farfus (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I’m happy to support BMW Team RLL once again at Petit Le Mans. I have done the race once before with Bill and Dirk in 2011. We finished third to help the team win the title. This year we’ll be doing the same thing. I always enjoy my trips to the States, and this one will be very special because we are racing for the championship once again.”
John Edwards (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“The Petit Le Mans finale is always an intense race, but this year we are in the fight for a championship. Although Lucas and I are too far back to win the drivers’ championship, we are still fighting hard to get BMW the manufacturers’ title. Since we’re not worried about driver points, we will be able to take some more risks both on track and in strategy, just like we did at Austin. Although it’s too bad that we can’t win the drivers’ championship, there is something fun about being the wild card and taking some risk, so I’m looking forward to the race.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Petit is always a special event. We have to focus 100% on good strategy. If no mistakes I’m sure we can come out on a high. I’m looking forward to it and everyone is very motivated and extremely focused on the job we have to do.”
Jens Klingmann (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I’ve raced at Daytona and Sebring this season, but Road Atlanta and the Petit Le Mans will be a new experience for me. I know BMW Team RLL and the BMW Z4 GTLM quite well and I’ve been reviewing track data and on board footage from the race last year, so I’ll be well prepared.”