40th anniversary of the first major BMW victory in North America
BMW Team RLL ready to tackle a special edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring
BMW Team RLL and BMW Motorsport are ready for the second round of the 2015 United SportsCar Championship (USCC): They return to Florida for the renowned “12 Hours of Sebring” (US) which will be held this Saturday (21st March). This year sees the 63rd edition of the endurance classic, and for BMW Motorsport it is a very special one.
BMW celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first major sports car racing victory in the US. The triumph of the BMW 3.0 CSL at the 1975 “12 Hours of Sebring” marked the start of the history of BMW Motorsport in North America. To honour this anniversary, the two BMW Z4 GTLM will race at Sebring with special liveries that pay homage to the winning BMW 3.0 CSL.
BMW Team RLL finished second (No. 25) and fourth (No. 24) at the season-opening “Rolex 24 At Daytona” (US). Last season, the team reached the podium at Sebring, claiming third place. As he did at Daytona, BMW DTM works driver Augusto Farfus (BR) will drive the number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM along with season-long drivers Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE). MW works driver Jens Klingmann (DE) will join John Edwards (US) and Lucas Luhr (DE) in the number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM.
Supporting BMW Team RLL at Sebring will be many members of the 1975 BMW Motorsport team, including Jochen Neerpasch, the first managing director of BMW Motorsport GmbH as well as drivers Brian Redman (GB) and Hans-Joachim Stuck (DE).
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“We have always been able to get our BMWs to work well over the bumps which is very, very important at Sebring – particularly the last turn, Turn 17 as well as Turn 1, where it is quite rough. Being able to fine tune the dampers and other integral areas really have made a difference in our performance over the years. We have won twice with the BMW M3s in the past five years and we had a reasonable race there last year. Certainly we hope for better this year, it being the 40th anniversary of the first win with the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975. I was at that race and in those days you dreamt about driving one of those cars. It was a great win and is obviously a proud moment for BMW Motorsport and BMW. We anticipate there will be a lot of cheering and a lot of people hoping to see another great result.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“After a great run at Daytona and a crazy close finish – only 0.46 seconds from victory – we’ve set our sights on victory at Sebring. It’s time to make history again.”
Augusto Farfus (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
‘‘I’ve raced at Sebring in 2010 with the BMW M3 GT2. It has been a great experience. Sebring is very technical due to the track’s characteristics. BMW Team RLL did an awesome job in Daytona and we missed the victory by less than a second. Sebring should fit our car much better and it would be great to get a victory as a 40th anniversary present!”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Sebring is always a big challenge and a great event. I like to drive this track and I am confident we will have a good race. I know the whole team is highly motivated. Especially knowing that a BMW won the race 40 years ago. We will push to make it happen again!”
John Edwards (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“It’s been a long break since Daytona, so I’m anxious to get back in the BMW Z4. Sebring is going to be a special weekend with the 40th anniversary celebrations so we’ll have some added pressure to repeat a BMW win 40 years later! Although I only joined BMW Team RLL two years ago, my first race with BMW was also at Sebring, so the 12 Hours has been a little bit of a personal celebration for me. Sebring is always one of the coolest races we go to. That’s partially due to the track itself, but mostly because the fans don’t get more entertaining than at Sebring.”
Jens Klingmann (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Sebring is one of race tracks I’ve always dreamt of racing on. It’s a very challenging and bumpy track, but the layout fits better to our BMW Z4 GTLM compared to Daytona. I want to support the team once again as good as I can and hopefully make a big step towards the podium.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I’m looking forward to my first Sebring with BMW and it is an honour to race on such a special anniversary. I like Sebring because with all its bumps it is very challenging and hard for the car and the driver. The circuit suits our BMW Z4 GTLM better than Daytona and I hope that we can bring our two cars to the podium there to celebrate in style.”