The FINANCIAL -- Road America, the venue for round seven of the 2015 United SportsCar Championship (USCC) next weekend (7th to 9th August), has seen more BMW Team RLL success than any other circuit in North America. The venerable four-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake (US) is a personal favourite of team principal Bobby Rahal (US) and his team has won races there for BMW three times (2009, 2010, 2012), finishing second twice (2011, 2014).
This season BMW arrives at Road America with a four-point lead in the GTLM class Manufacturer points standings, by virtue of two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first six races of the ten-race season. Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE) stand second in the driver points standings. John Edwards (US) and Lucas Luhr (DE) stand third. The number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM and the number 24 sister car are second and third in the team points standings respectively, according to BMW Group.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal , BMW Team RLL):
“We have been pretty competitive on the faster circuits like Mosport and Watkins Glen this year, and we've always had a good track record at Elkhart Lake. We have won there several times and have been on the podium every year but one, so both of those things make me feel reasonably good about our chance to do well. The series has just given a BoP allowance to Porsche and Ferrari, so it will be interesting to see the effect of that. The Corvettes were obviously quite quick at Mosport and will be fast again. Elkhart Lake is more than just long straights, however. There are difficult, fast corners and the BMW Z4 GTLM cars have an advantage on those.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Road America is one of the highlights of the schedule. It's one of the best, most challenging circuits in the world. We have had great success there in the past and with the BMW Z4 GTLM I have great hopes for standing on the top step of the podium once again.”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Road America is a great drivers circuit. It has a good flow of long, high-speed straights mixed with hard braking zones where you can overtake. It is the track where I celebrated my first ALMS victory in the GT category, and there is always good racing. The GTLM competition is so strong at this point in the season that you cannot afford to lose even a few seconds on any stint. Every time in the car has to be treated like a short sprint race.”
John Edwards (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Road America has a wonderful history and atmosphere. Despite our concerns last year that the BMW Z4 GTLM would not be strong there, I was able to put the car on pole and Dirk Müller and I finished second. The car is stronger this season in areas of weakness shown last year so I am confident we can score points. Lucas and I are coming off a strong second at Mosport and we plan to carry that momentum to Road America.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“From the driver’s point of view Road America is a very technical circuit. You have to be sure to minimise compromises that must be made on every lap to maximise your performance into the next corner or onto the next straight. It is also in a beautiful countryside location, so the entire experience is something quite rare. With four races left in the championship the weekend is sure to be an intense one.”