It goes a little something like this: when BMW started building performance vehicles that would become predecessors of the Ultimate Driving Machine®, it also decided to thrillingly strut across the fine line between road and raceway. Now, over four decades after the inception of BMW Motorsport, we continue to innovate for the pursuit of high-performance. In 2012, BMW Team RLL placed 2nd in the GT class Team championship, but there’s even more reason for excitement this coming year. Brace yourself for the 2013 season of the American Le Mans Series, because the BMW Z4 GTE is here.
GRAND-AM Continental Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL
GRAND-AM Rolex Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL
GRAND-AM Continental Circuit of the Americas
GRAND-AM of The Americas
Twelve Hours of Sebring
Barber Motorsports Park
GRAND-AM Continental Barber Motorsports Park
ALMS at Long Beach
Long Beach, CA
GRAND-AM Continental Road Atlanta
GRAND-AM 200 at Detroit
Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY
ALMS Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park
Grand Prix of Mosport
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Elkhart Lake, WI
Road Race Showcase
Elkhart Lake, WI
Grand Prix of Baltimore
Laguna Seca Raceway
Circuit of the Americas
Lime Rock Park - Street Turner
Lime Rock Park
Lime Rock Park - Grand Sport
ALMS at VIR
Petit Le Mans
BMW Team RLL Finish 3rd and 4th at Petit Le Mans.
BMW and Joey Hand will continue working together with BMW Team RLL at ALMS.
ALMS Series at Long Beach
Long Beach, CA
Road Race Showcase
Elkhart Lake, WN
Baltimore Grand Prix
Petite Le Mans
GRAND-AM of the Americas
Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY
Elkhart Lake, WS
Kansas City, KS
Rolex 24 at Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR), based in Hilliard, Ohio, has been competing for over a decade. Co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner, Bobby Rahal, and CBS LATE SHOW host, David Letterman, the team has compiled 22 victories, 31 pole finishes, two series championships (1992, 2010), and an Indianapolis 500 championship (Buddy Rice, 2004).
In 2009, the team joined BMW of North America to race the M3 Coupe as the BMW Team RLL in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). During the 2010 season, the team took home the ALMS Manufacturer and Team championships. They achieved even greater success in 2011, completing a sweep of all ALMS GT class titles.
In 2012, Team RLL defended their Sebring and Road America victories, adding an additional four podiums throughout the season.
To oversee the BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Team, Bobby Rahal chose longtime right-hand man and childhood friend, Jim Prescott. Prescott previously directed the high-profile Toyota Championship Program, which included driver Danica Patrick and acted as Rahal's crew chief for 16 of his 17 CART seasons.
As technical director for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Jay O'Connell will continue his success in open-wheel and sports car racing by strengthening the operations of the ALMS team's engineering department and its programs.
After graduating from Cornell University in 1988 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, O'Connell worked with Ford Racing CART and Jaguar Racing Formula One until 2002. O'Connell also redesigned the Panoz LMGT2 chassis, which won the 12 Hours of Sebring, and headed a team of 25 engineers working on the 2007 Shelby GT500 as their SVT Chief Vehicle Engineer for the Ford Motor Company.
Robert “Bobby” Woodward Rahal has established himself as a legend in the world of American auto racing, taking on the roles of both team owner and driver after winning three Indy Car championships and the 1986 Indianapolis 500. He added to that legacy in 2004 by winning the Indy 500 as a team owner, becoming the second person to ever win the race as both.
As a driver, Rahal raced in Indy Car, Can-Am, Formula One and NASCAR. Rahal was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2004.
In 2011, Auberlen contested his 250th race in an M3 and not only represented Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series, but also lined up successfully in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge—with BMW, of course.
Auberlen claimed his first victory for the brand in 1997 when he won the Drivers' title in the IMSA GTS-3 with Team PTG in a BMW M3. This win would prequel his success at endurance classics such as Daytona and Sebring, where he won the GT class at both circuits in 1997 and 1998.
In 1999 and 2000, Auberlen successfully competed for BMW Motorsport at the wheel of a BMW V-12 LMR prototype.
In 2004, he also set a record in the GRAND-AM Series by winning six straight races before going on to claim the GT championship at the wheel of an M3, yet again.
Co-driving with Joey Hand in 2009, Tommy Milner in 2010 and Dirk Werner in 2011, Auberlen has underlined his position as one of the world's best sports car endurance drivers by finishing third in GT Driver points with both Milner and Werner. In 2011 he and Werner co-drove to five podiums, including runner-up finishes at both Sebring and Road America. In 2012, Auberlen and Jörg Müller achieved a season highlight by placing first at Road America and fourth at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
In GT racing Dirk Müller is regarded as one of the best in the world. And he didn't have to wait long for his first big title: Müller won the GT class in the 2000 American Le Mans Series(ALMS), and became a BMW works driver the following year. He claimed one victory with BMW at ALMS before switching to touring car racing in 2002.
In 2007 Müller returned to the endurance circuit and immediately won the FIA GT Championship with Ferrari. When BMW of North America was planning its ALMS comeback for 2009, Müller was the most logical choice as a driver.
His fine performances were a crucial factor in winning both the Team and Manufacturer titles in 2010. In 2011 Müller and Hand shared three victories and an additional three podium finishes to clinch the year's GT Driver championship and Team and Manufacturer titles for a second season.
In 2012 Dirk Müller, Jonathan Summerton and Joey Hand won the GT class during the 12 Hours of Sebring in the number 56 BMW M3 GT. At Long Beach, Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished in second, which kicked their season off to yet another strong start.
Motorsport is a family tradition in the Hand household, as Joey's father made a name for himself successfully stock car racing. Soon after, Joey would launch his career in karting before taking a step up to single-seater racing.
2004 brought a new start for BMW on the GT racing scene. Hand ended his debut season in the GRAND-AM Series with one win and six podium finishes. After a stint with Panoz, Hand returned to BMW in 2009. Together with Auberlen, he helped the team to its first victory in the GT class, a pole position and the fastest lap in Mid-Ohio.
In 2011 Hand enjoyed a year of firsts, starting with an overall win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. To that, the California native added a 12 Hours of Sebring victory with BMW teammates Dirk Müller and Andy Priaulx.
Hand and Müller would go on to two more GT wins and an additional three podiums shared at the ALMS GT Driver's championship. Hand also earned his first start at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing third with Müller and Priaulx again. By 2012 Hand defended his 12 Hours of Sebring title with Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton, and in addition to placing first at Sebring, Hand and Müller placed second at Long Beach in 2012.
Throughout his career Jörg Müller has regularly proven to possess the qualities that constitute a top-class endurance driver. This year he aims to draw on his considerable experience to celebrate further success in GT racing alongside BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for 2013.
Earlier Müller gained experience with other manufacturers, competing in the 24-hour race at Daytona, and in two 24-hour races in Spa-Francorchamps.
In 2000 he was able to drive the BMW V-12 LMR, with which BMW had won the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with two additional ALMS wins. In 2001 Müller won the GT class at the wheel of a BMW M3 GTR. And in 2010 he played a crucial role in the victorious return of BMW Motorsport to the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
In 2012 Jörg Müller and Bill Auberlen achieved a season highlight by placing first at Road America and fourth at the 12 Hours at Sebring.
Although John Edwards is only in his early twenties, he’s already written Motorsport history. On January 17, 2004, the then 12-year-old won a race at the Skip Barber Series in Daytona, becoming the youngest winner ever of a single-seater race. This success not only won him publicity in the U.S., it also gave him notoriety in Europe. As a consequence of his success, Edwards raced for Formula Renault in 2005 and 2006 as the youngest driver to be issued an FIA racing license.
By 2007 Edwards made his way back to the United States. He gained further experience in the Atlantic Championship, securing the title in 2009 after winning the Star Mazda Championship a year earlier.
In 2010 Edwards switched to the GT class of the GRAND-AM Series, where he continued to accumulate numerous race victories. He first came into contact with BMW in 2009, leading him to class victories for the Schubert Motorsport team in the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 2010.
Maxime is regarded as a late starter in the world of Motorsports. He began his career in the MINI Challenge in Belgium in 2005, and won second place in the overall rankings on his very first attempt. That same year he went on to win the MINI Challenge World Final in Misano. In 2006, at the age of 20, he then started driving in the Belgian Formula Renault. Since 2008, the son of racing legend Jean-Michel Martin has generally been involved in GT Sport – and with great success.
Maxime took second place in the Driver’s rankings in 2012 in the Blancpain Endurance Series and also celebrated successes in the ADAC GT Masters. In addition he finished fourth in both the BMW Z4 GT3 from Marc VDS Racing at the Nürburgring and the Spa Francorchamps 24 Hour Races.
In the 2013 season 26-year-old Maxime has been promoted to BMW works driver and will take over from Marco Wittmann in his role as test and development driver in the DTM. At the same time he will take part in all ten ALMS races in a BMW Z4 GTE next to Bill Auberlen. He will also be on-site for seven of the ten DTM racing weekends. Maxime celebrated his debut in North America at the end of January during the 24 Hours of Daytona in a Turner Motorsport GT Class BMW M3.
When it comes to success there is no compromise for Alzen. He can barely disguise his irrepressible ambition at the race track. In contrast, only one thing counts for him in the cockpit: utmost concentration. Combined with his talent and experience at marathon races, this makes him a true asset to the BMW Motorsport driving line up.
Uwe Alzen practically has a place reserved on the top step of the podium at his home circuit. Thirty-four class victories and nine overall wins in the VLN Endurance Championship speak for themselves.
In 1993 he won the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps and finished second overall at the classic in Le Mans in 1998 – by the side of Jörg Müller. Just a year later he went on to win the GT3 class. In addition he also competed in the DTM for Opel and Mercedes, claiming a total of six victories. Alzen was triumphant on two occasions in the Porsche Carrera Cup (1992 and 2007) and won the Porsche Supercup in 1994. In 2012, Alzen along with his teammates Jörg Müller and Bill Auberlen, crossed the line in fourth place at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Turner Motorsport, headquartered in Amesbury, Mass., is one of the largest independent BMW performance and tuning facilities in North America. Turner also campaigns one of the most successful independent BMW racing teams in the world, competing with four BMW M3 Coupes in both the GRAND AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Rolex Sports Car Series
Professionally racing BMW’s exclusively since 1998, Turner Motorsport has competed in over 235 races, winning six championships - two in World Challenge Touring Car and four in GRAND AM series - for The Ultimate Driving Machine®. The most recent titles came in 2011, where both the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sports team and drivers’ championship were secured. Turner Motorsport driver Paul Dalla Lana also won the 2011 BMW Sports Trophy as the most successful privateer BMW driver in the world.
In only his second full year of professional sports car racing, Paul Dalla Lana drove in a combined 22 GRAND-AM races - winning the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sports (GS) Driver Championship to lead Turner Motorsport to the GS Team Championship and BMW to the GS Manufacturer’s title. In Rolex Sports Car Series competition Dalla Lana finished on the podium three times, winning two races. Paul Dalla Lana rejoins the Turner Motorsport team for 2012 after three full seasons of Grand-Am racing. In those three seasons Dalla Lana has co-driven with Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand, Billy Johnson, Rafa Matos and Boris Said. Since his impressive Grand-Am debut, Dalla Lana has competed worldwide in several professional motorsport series. Dalla Lana competed in 30 races in 2010, piloting a BMW E92 M3 in the Continental Challenge, a BMW M6 in the Rolex GT, as well as a BMW 330i in the Canadian Touring Car Championship. Dalla Lana started professional racing in the 2008 Mobil 1 GT Sprint series in Canada. A racing enthusiast all his life, Dalla Lana has raced everything from motorcycles to off-road trucks, having competed in the 2009 Tuareg Rally in Morocco, and finished the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Dalla Lana started the 2011 season with a fifth place finish at the 24 hours of Dubai in the No. 77 Need for Speed 2 BMW Z4 GT3. He followed that strong start with three wins and eight top 3 finishes in the 2011 season. When not piloting a racing car, he is a successful real estate developer in Toronto, Canada.
Bill Auberlen has driven BMW cars in more races than any other driver in the world. He has raced prototype and GT cars for BMW Motorsport at tracks from Le Mans to the Nürburgring, Silverstone and Adelaide. He currently drives for BMW of North America in the American Le Mans Series and for Turner Motorsport in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Bill started racing with Turner Motorsport in 2001 and has been a champion or title contender every year since. He scored back-to-back driver championships with Turner in 2003 and 2004 in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series and added the BMW M3's first Grand-Am Cup win in 2005. Bill and Turner have scored victories together every year since they started racing in Grand-Am, including both GT and GS wins.
Will Turner, owner/driver of Turner Motorsport, has personally raced in over 115 professional races with BMW since 1998, with 50 career victories as driver and/or team owner. Turner made a brief appearance in the Rolex GT class this past season. In 2009, Turner finished eighth in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge ST point standings, finishing first at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and capturing seven top tens with his Turner Motorsport Team. In 2007, Turner placed tenth in the Continental Tire GS driver points standings, earning five top tens and four poles during the GS season. Turner was ranked third worldwide in the BMW Sports Trophy points standings after winning the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge ST Championship in 2006. Between 1998 and 2003 Turner began competing in SPEED World Challenge and earned three wins and 43 top 10s during the six year stretch.
Michael Marsal didn't grow up racing cars, but ever since his passion turned toward a profession, he has been flat out. After first getting the taste for speed behind the wheel of a formula car at Road America, Marsal moved up to drive a 911 in Porsche Club of America competition and quickly went from racer to winner, picking up trophies from tracks around the country.
Continuing to push his career forward, Marsal looked for the next step up the ladder and found it in GRAND-AM. A one-off start on the streets of Trois-Rivieres in 2009 turned into a full-time ride with BMW powerhouse Turner Motorsport in 2010. Marsal impressed as he jumped to the top Grand Sports class, sharing the driving duties with Joey Hand. The duo scored two wins and seven podium finishes, taking the championship battle to the very last lap of the season, ultimately finishing second in what could only be classified as an outstanding rookie year.
2011 saw Marsal and Hand teamed up once again, but they didn't enjoy the same racing luck as they had in 2010. While the results were not what he had been hoping for, Marsal still took a lot out of the 2011 season, finishing races and continuing to develop his racecraft in the highly competitive category. He also showed well in his Rolex Series debut at Daytona, and was called up to Rolex action for Turner Motorsport as the team introduced the No. 93 machine later in the season. An avid BMW enthusiast and active Porsche racer in the PCA ranks, Marsal balances his on-track pursuits with his full-time studies.
Boris Said's name will be familiar to any North American racing fan, from road racing to NASCAR. That's because he is one of the most versatile racers in the world - competing in multiple racing series and a wide variety of cars. Said has been driving in select events for Turner Motorsport since 2005. He co-drove the entire 2006 Grand-Am Cup GS season with that year's Champion, Anders Hainer, in a Turner BMW E46 M3. In 2005, he was the overall winner of the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring - the first American to do so. Said will be bolstering the Turner team's already stellar 2012 Rolex 24 lineup, aiming to add the GT class victory to his two previous Daytona 24 Hour wins. Said will also be driving the #97 with Michael Marsal for the full 2012 Continental Tire Series season.
Fourteen years after Chip Ganassi established a world-class IndyCar operation, he and Felix Sabates expanded their Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates NASCAR operation with the addition of the No.01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class. Scott Pruett, the five-time Rolex Series Champion (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) and four-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner (1994, 2007, 2008, 2011), competed in his ninth consecutive season for CGRFS in 2012.
Pruett and Memo Rojas ended the 2010 season with nine victories in 12 races (75% winning percentage), five poles, 11 podiums, 11 top 10 finishes and 729 laps led. The pair completed the most successful season in GRAND-AM history, breaking the win record, five track records and winning the championship by 40 markers, the most in GRAND-AM history.
In 2011, Pruett and Rojas started the season with a win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Graham Rahal and sports car racing talent Joey Hand in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley. The No. 01 finished the GRAND-AM season with five wins for their second consecutive championship in the series.
Pruett and Rojas defended their championship in 2012 behind the wheel of the No. 01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley. They began the 2013 season as they did in 2011 – with a win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. This year they were supported by Ganassi drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball.
The Sacramento, California native continues his assault on the sports car record books this season with returning co-driver Memo Rojas from Mexico City. Pruett is the most successful Daytona Prototype pilot ever,holding career records for wins (36), pole positions (32), podium finishes (74) and laps led (4,184). He and Rojas hold the distinction of being the most successful driving pair in series history.
Pruett, a five-time Rolex Series Champion (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011), six-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winner (1994, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013) and record holder for GRAND-AM wins in a single season, has never finished outside of the top-two in the season championship. His GRAND-AM experience is just the latest in a career filled with countless titles and trips to victory lane.
Pruett’s racing resume boasts nearly every major racing series, including NASCAR, CART, IMSA GTO/GTU/GTP, SCCA Trans Am and IROC, where he’s accumulated 11 major championships over the past 27 seasons. From his first title in 1981 at the World Karting Championship to his latest GRAND-AM Sports Car Series Championship, Pruett is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of racing.
In 1993 Rojas got his start in racing and made his mark by finishing an impressive third overall in the Mexican National Karting Championship. Just one year later he captured the Mexican National Championship with the Herdez Competition Team.
Before joining TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2006, Rojas competed in the 2004 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup, where he became the first Mexican in 20 years to compete in a European top level Championship series. The majority of Rojas’ success has come in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, which includes four prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona victories, and 23 wins – with five in 2011.
He holds the distinction of being the first Mexican driver to win a U.S.-based championship when he took the GRAND–AM Rolex Sports Car Series titles with Pruett in 2008, then earning four more titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 30 years and is considered one of the most successful, as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the IZOD IndyCar Series and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
The 12-month span beginning in February of 2010 saw Ganassi have one of the greatest years in the history of auto racing, when he became the first owner to ever win the four most prestigious races in the United States. He claimed victories in the Daytona 500 (NASCAR), the Indianapolis 500 (IndyCar), the Brickyard 400 (NASCAR) and the Rolex 24 at Daytona (GRAND-AM).
In 2011 Ganassi’s teams won both the IZOD IndyCar Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sport Car Series Championships – the 13th and 14th overall for the organization. In 2011 the team also scored a one-two finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in addition to finishing first at the Rolex 24 in 2012 and 2013. Ganassi’s team launched a new, two-car IZOD IndyCar Series program and reached its second run of four consecutive titles (1996-1999, 2008-2011), earning nine total championships for the Target Indy car program.
Felix Sabates is one of the most widely known and respected team owners in the NASCAR garage – a result of his over 20 years in the sport and his keen business sense.
Sabates first entered the world of stock car racing as an owner in 1987, when he purchased a research and development team from then-owner and popular Charlotte businessman, Rick Hendrick. SABCO Racing was founded and a new NASCAR Cup competitor entered the scene.
In his 11 seasons running full-time Cup teams, Sabates and Team Sabco picked up seven wins, 33 top fives, 104 top 10s and 15 poles in nearly 600 starts. His teams finished in the top five in points in two different seasons – both by Kyle Petty.
During the 2000 season, Sabates and then CART owner Chip Ganassi announced a partnership that would form Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS), beginning in 2001, along with a new partnership with Dodge Motorsports.
The two-car operation that Sabates and Ganassi initially started with has now grown into a multiple car program in partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., as Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Sabates and Ganassi also field a Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, where the team has won an unprecedented four Rolex 24 at Daytona (2010,2011,2012, 2013) and five championships in the No. 01 car.
Juan Pablo Montoya wasted no time making his presence known in the NASCAR world after transitioning from open-wheel cars to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS).In 2010 Montoya captured his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, making him the only foreign-born driver to win multiple races in NASCAR’s elite series. The 2009 season saw Montoya become the first Hispanic, first Formula 1 driver and first Indianapolis 500 winner to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Since his debut in the NSCS, Montoya has accumulated two wins, nine pole positions, 20 top-fives and 49 top-10s in 217 starts. He was the series’ Rookie of the Year in 2007 and became the only foreign-born driver to win multiple races in the elite series after his 2010 victory at Watkins Glen.
Prior to joining the NASCAR ranks, the Colombian native participated in several forms of open wheel racing. He has 137 starts between the CART, INDYCAR and Formula One Series, where he’s tallied 18 wins, 26 poles, 60 top-five and 79 top-10 finishes, and has won the Indianapolis 500, Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Monaco Grand Prix.
Charlie Kimball is a successful young racecar driver, forging a career in the highly competitive world of open wheel racing. Kimball, who began racing go-karts at age 9, was accepted into Stanford University and chose to bypass admission to follow his dream to become a racecar driver.
Kimball has a history of breaking the mold. In 2005 Kimball shattered the European stereotype that “Americans are not fast” by becoming the first American in 11 years to win a British Formula 3 race. He went on to secure two track records and several Formula 3 victories in both Britain and Europe. Kimball has also raced in the Formula 3 Euroseries and World Series by Renault. In 2009 Kimball returned to the U.S. to race in the Firestone Indy Lights series, looking to build his oval racing experience. In 2010 he finished 4th overall, piloting the No. 26 Levemir® FlexPen® Novo Nordisk sponsored car for the AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport team.
Kimball joined the newly formed Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing team in 2011 for his rookie season in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Kimball went on to record two top-ten finishes in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk IndyCar and became the first driver in history with diabetes to qualify, start and finish the Indianapolis 500.
In November 2011 Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced a multi-year extension of their partnership, securing Kimball as the driver of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car, beginning with the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. In 2013 Kimball placed first in Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team.
After four successful seasons with the M3 GT, BMW of North America begins a new chapter in American motorsport with the BMW Z4. More compact and with a lower center of gravity than its predecessor, the Z4 GTE takes every advantage of the smaller package to keep BMW at the sharp end of the GT class. Under a sculpted hood, a race-tuned 4.4-liter V-8 engine delivers 480 horsepower. By every standard the Z4 GTE is engineered to drive BMW straight to the top of the podium.
Currently campaigned by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Team Sahlen, the high-performing BMW–Riley Daytona Prototype competes in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
By 2011 its growling 500hp, V-8 engine propelled the team to some of their most important victories in North American racing. Backed by one of the leading chassis in GRAND-AM, it’s a racecar that’s been engineered to exhilarate—and dominate.
Power has always been a dominant gene in the lineage of BMW Motorsport, and the M3 GS is the latest heir apparent to impressive performance. Simply put, it looks fast because it is. With a top speed of 155 MPH, well–sculpted aerodynamics, and the brute force of a V–8 engine that harnesses 414 HP, this coupe makes a good chase for aspiring competition.
From its lightweight V–8 power unit, widespread use of carbon–reinforced plastic,
and an all-aluminum suspension, the M3 is an agile force to be reckoned with.
It boasts a power–to–weight ratio of only 5.5 pounds per hp.
At first sight, front fenders house three large air intake scoops beneath the
radiator grill, which are arranged and calibrated precisely to the requirements
of its V–8 and ancillary units. They open to supply the naturally-aspirated
engine with a sufficient flow of air.
A six-speed sequential transmission allows uninterrupted power
flow from the longitudinally–mounted engine to the rear wheels.
Near–perfect 50/50 weight distribution, from its aluminum engine and
brake system, to the top of a low weight carbon fiber roof, allow for
high–speed cornering while providing tremendous confidence and control.
The dark material of the M3's carbon fiber roof visually lessens the height of its
roof pillars. But the innovation of this unique, woven structure far exceeds aesthetics.
It successfully incorporates aerospace technology to maintain a low
center of gravity and lower overall weight.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – May 11, 2013 . . . Dirk Müller and John Edwards, driving the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, scored a third place finish in today's four-hour American Le Mans Monterey race. A second consecutive podium finish for the No. 56 machine and a win for the No. 55 car at Long Beach in only the third race of the new program keeps BMW in second place in the GT class manufacturer point standings and moves Müller to the top of the GT class driver points.
Müller started the car from the eighth starting position and by lap 27 had moved up to fourth. Just past the first hour, on lap 45, he moved to third and stayed there until handing off to Edwards on lap 57 during the race's third caution period. Edwards remained in third until what could only be considered as a move-of-the-race move gave him second with an in-an-out dodge through slower traffic. A mistake on a restart cost him one spot, but he held onto third for his first ALMS podium finish.
Unfortunately, the No. 55 Z4 GTE of Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin suffered a broken differential shortly after the mid-point of the race and had to retire on lap 85. Auberlen started the car from the fifth position and ran strongly in third for most of his first stint. A pitstop to replace damaged rear body work dropped him back one lap, but he was back on the lead lap before handing off to Martin on lap 83. Only two laps later Martin was back in the pits in a cloud of oil smoke and, ultimately, out of the race.
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 20, 2013 — The streets of Long Beach, California continue to be the favorite stomping grounds of BMW Team RLL as they finished 1-2 in today’s American Le Mans at Long Beach race. In only the second race for the new BMW Z4 GTE, the team beat a very competitive GT class field with excellent strategy set in place during the first hour of the two-hour contest around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. BMW Team RLL has finished with at least one car on the Long Beach podium, including a win from the pole in 2011, for five consecutive years. Today’s victory puts BMW in a tie with Chevrolet at the top of the GT Class Manufacturer points. The win was also the first for the new BMW-Michelin partnership.
Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin, driving the Frozen Black No. 55 Z4 GTE, won the race, finishing 6.578 seconds ahead of the No. 56 Z4 GTE of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller.
Martin started in the No. 55 car from the fourth spot. A spin on lap two dropped him to the rear of the field, but the first of three long caution periods in the first hour of the race gave the 55 crew the chance to reverse their fortune. Pitting Martin after 25 minutes, on lap 16, Auberlen got behind the wheel with a full tank of fuel and new Michelins. During the second caution period Auberlen pitted twice more for fuel only. When the race went green with 44 minutes run, the die was cast for the veteran to not return to the pits for the remainder of the race. A third caution during which the rest of field pitted allowed for a bit more breathing room for fuel conservation and Auberlen to cycle to the second position as the race went green just past the first hour. On lap 66 with 15 minutes left in the race, Auberlen took the lead and drove to his first win at the Long Beach.
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Sebring – March 16, 2013 — For more than eight hours a top result was in reach for BMW Team RLL at the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season opener at the “Sebring International Raceway” (US). While in the end technical problems in the final third of the race denied Bobby Rahal's (US) squad a shot at a possible podium finish, BMW Motorsport was able to draw a positive conclusion after the race debut of the newly developed BMW Z4 GTE. The two cars showed a promising pace, finishing fourth and seventh in the GT category after 12 hours.
Bill Auberlen (US), Maxime Martin (BE) and Jörg Müller (DE) were able to battle it out at the front of the field with the Frozen Black No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE for most of the endurance classic, before the trio lost time and positions due to an issue with the power steering. After 330 laps, final-stint driver Müller crossed the line in fourth. The No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, driven by Dirk Müller (DE), Joey Hand (US) and John Edwards (US), delivered an equally strong race, even leading for several kilometers in the BMW Z4 GTE's maiden ALMS race. However, a problem with the front left strut with three and a half hours to go made repair work necessary. Dirk Müller lost many positions, dropping down from second. Hand ultimately took the checkered flag in seventh. Corvette's Oliver Gavin (GB), Tommy Milner (US) and Richard Westbrook (GB) claimed victory in the GT class.
Nevertheless, BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL had every reason to be satisfied with the first outing of the BMW Z4 GTE in race conditions – on one of North America's most challenging circuits. All six drivers, including the series newcomers Martin and Edwards, were able to record competitive lap times with the new car and challenge the strong competition at the front of the GT pack. In addition, the engineers collected valuable insights over the course of the weekend, which will now be used for further development of the car and getting it prepared for the second ALMS race at Long Beach (US) on April 20.
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 27, 2013— The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target BMW Riley ended 24 hours of hard fought sports car racing at the 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona in the same position from which it started: First.
Starting from the pole-position, CGRFS co-drivers Scott Pruett, Charlie Kimball, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Memo Rojas completed 709 laps in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic at the Daytona International Speedway to secure the famous pyramid-shaped trophy and Rolex watches. The car led a total of 420 laps and set the fastest lap of the race at 1:41.177 minutes on Lap 180.
The victory is the second overall Rolex 24 win for BMW with CGRFS. The first win came in 2011. Since the program began in 2010, the combination has combined for the GRANDAM Daytona Prototype Manufacturer’s championship in 2010 and 2011 and the Team and Driver titles (Pruett and Rojas) in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 21, 2012 — BMW Team RLL finished its fourth season of American Le Mans Series competition with third and fourth place GT class finishes at the 15th annual 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans. The team’s seventh podium finish of the year, that included victories at Sebring and Road America, gave BMW third place in the GT class Manufacturer’s Championship. BMW Team RLL finished second in the Team Championship.
Bill Auberlen, Jörg Müller and Jonathan Summerton co-drove the No. 55 BMW M3 GT to a third-place finish in today’s race, completing 374 laps of the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. The result was the fourth podium finish of the season for the No. 55 machine. Auberlen and Müller shared the win at Road America.
The No. 56 machine was shared by Dirk Müller, Uwe Alzen and Summerton. The trio finished fourth, completing 373 laps to make it three podium finishes for the No. 56 M3 GT this season, including the victory at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring.
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. — September 15, 2012 — BMW Team RLL finished the inaugural American Le Mans Series race at Virginia International Raceway with the No. 55 M3 GT of Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller in fourth place and the No. 56 M3 GT of Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton in ninth place. The disappointing result ended the team's drive for a third consecutive GT class championship as Corvette Racing clinched the 2012 GT titles.
For the second consecutive race, a first turn altercation after the race start between prototype cars brought out the yellow flag and caused the balance of the field to scramble behind them. Müller, starting from the outside of the GT class front row, was forced onto the grass on driver's left and fell back to the tenth position. Auberlen, who had started from the seventh spot, had a bit more time to react and took to the grass on the inside of the corner, moving up to fourth. The two M3 GTs raced mid-field before pitting just before the races second yellow flag waved. Auberlen came in on lap 28 to hand off to Jörg Müller. Four laps later and just past the one hour mark Müller entered the pits and Jonathan Summerton took over. With one-and-one-half hours complete, Summerton held the third spot. Müller was two positions back in fifth. As the clock ticked past the mid-point of the race Summerton continued to hold the third spot. Müller was sixth.
Jörg Müller pitted the No. 56 M3 GT on lap 63 for fuel and new Dunlop tires. He remained in the car for a second stint. Summerton pitted five laps later to hand the No. 56 back to Dirk Müller. With one-and-one-half hours remaining the No. 56 held onto second, only some seven seconds behind the leader. The No. 55 moved up to fifth.
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. — September 1, 2012 — BMW Team RLL experienced a disappointing day at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge after a controversial call by the race steward took the lead of the race away from the No. 55 M3 GT on lap 21 with a one minute penalty for avoidable contact. Ultimately finishing in eighth place, the call ended what could have been a great day for Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller.
The No. 56 M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fourth after starting from the rear of the field. The move was required after the team elected to change to a new set of Dunlop tires for the race. Hand started the car and by lap 15 had moved up to sixth. Pitting from fourth on lap 26 he handed off to Müller. Müller challenged for third a number of times but was unable to make it stick, finishing fourth at the checkered flag.
The first 20 laps of Jörg Müller's race were outstanding. He started the No. 55 M3 GT on the outside of the front row and made it through a first turn of spinning prototype class cars with only minor damage. He moved to second as the race went back to green and on lap nine he took the lead with a quick-thinking, inside move in turn one after the leader was held up. Twelve laps later he was forced to the pits to serve the penalty that was determined to occur in the front straight chicane.
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. — August 18, 2012 — For the third time in four seasons of American Le Mans Series competition, BMW Team RLL drove a BMW M3 GT across the Road America finish line first to win the four–hour Road America Road Race Showcase.
Today it was Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller who took the GT class victory in the No. 55 BMW M3 GT, racing past the checkered flag 2.63 seconds ahead of the No. 45 Porsche and the balance of the 13-car class. The duo completed 97 laps of the 4.048-mile circuit in the four-hour contest. Auberlen, who took the program's very first win here with Joey Hand in 2009, started the race from the fourth position. He drove the opening 21 laps before handing off to Müller just before the race's first full-course caution period. Müller cycled to the front as the balance of the field pitted and then drove 30 laps before pitting from the fifth spot to hand the No. 55 machine back to Auberlen. The Californian was forced back to the pits only one lap later to tighten the left rear wheel. He returned to the race in 11th with only the Team RLL mantra "Focus Forward" in mind as he stormed up to fourth-place in 17 laps. Auberlen pitted on lap 76 for new Dunlop tires and fuel, returning in fifth and, as luck would have it, just before the race's third full-course caution flag flew. With 38 minutes to go he cycled to the lead as the race went back to green. One more yellow flag slowed the race, but Auberlen was not to be beaten.
The No. 56 M3 GT of Dirk Müller and Jonathan Summerton ultimately finished 10th after Müller was forced off course by a competitor two laps before the finish and was unable to continue. The incident dashed team hopes for a 1-2 BMW finish as the cars had been running in that order near the closing stage of the race.
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Woodcliff Lake, NJ - August 4, 2012 — Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller drove the No. 55 BMW Team RLL M3 GT to a third-place GT class finish in today's 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge after starting the race from the pole position. The finish also netted the No. 55 M3 GT its second Michelin Green X Challenge trophy of the season. BMW Team RLL teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished fifth in the No. 56 M3 GT after starting from seventh.
The team's fourth podium finish of the season keeps BMW second in Manufacturer points, 20 points behind Chevrolet. Hand and Müller, the 2011 class driver co-champions, move back to second in Driver points. Auberlen and Jörg Müller hold onto sixth place.
"With all the restrictions the series has placed upon us, and the freedoms they have given to the competition, we are just not fast enough, "said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. "There is an obvious imbalance evident in the last few races and I hope that the ALMS will do the right thing. When you know you don't have the pace you have to rely on strategy and luck. This week the Corvette had an incident and we got lucky again. We need to get back to fair and equal footing and give these guys a run for their money."
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July 22, 2012 — BMW Team RLL persevered through today's 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Mosport to finish fourth and eighth in the GT class. Limited by technical regulations that have reduced the M3 GT's top speed, the fans that lined Mosport's 2.459 miles were unable to watch the 2010 and 2011 GT class champions in their familiar positions at the front of the field.
Joey Hand and Dirk Müller were fourth at the checkered flag in the No. 56 M3 GT to stay third in the GT driver standings. Müller started the car from the sixth position and ran as high as third before pitting on lap 30 for fuel and tires. On lap 62 he pitted to turn the car over to Joey Hand. Hand pitted once more for tires and fuel in the final 49 laps of the race, but was unable to move up to a podium finishing position for the third consecutive race.
Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller finished eighth in the No. 55 M3 GT. Auberlen started the car from the third spot and took advantage of the race's first caution period to pit for fuel and tires on lap 14. Running as high as second he was only seven seconds behind the class leader at the one hour mark. Forced to the pits under green on lap 51 for new tires he handed off to Jörg Müller who returned to the race in the ninth spot one lap down to the leaders. Müller moved up to sixth before needing new tires just before the two-hour mark. He rejoined the race in the eight spot, holding that position to the checkered flag. Auberlen and Müller remain sixth in GT driver points.
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July 2, 2012 — BMW Team RLL will bring a streak of three consecutive podium finishes in the first three races of the 2012 season, including a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, to the July 7th American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn. Since the team's 2009 season debut at least one BMW Team RLL M3 has finished on the podium at BMW of North America's home track. A third place finish in 2009 led to a double podium 2-3 result in 2010. Last year's eventual GT driver co-champions Joey Hand and Dirk Müller won the race after starting from the pole and leading every lap.
Often described as a "bull ring," Lime Rock Park's 1.5 miles is a fast ride through just seven corners. Only turn three is left-handed. In fact, it will take longer to read this release than Joey Hand's record setting pole time last year of 50.925 seconds.
Hand and Müller currently stand second in GT driver points following a win (with Jonathan Summerton) at Sebring, a second place finish at Long Beach and a fourth place finish at Laguna Seca in the No. 56 BMW Team RLL M3.
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June 26, 2012 — With seven races of the 13 race 2102 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series complete, BMW Power is back on top of the Daytona Prototype class. It is familiar territory for 2010 and 2011 class champion Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, but this season has been very different than the domination shown in previous years where the duo won 14 of 24 races.
A myriad of rules changes combined with new designs introduced by the competition had held the No. 01 BMW Riley to four podium finishes (two-seconds, two-thirds) in the first six races of the year, but the team broke through at the Road America 250 on June 23rd for their first victory of the year. Pruett and Rojas now hold a five point lead in the driver point standings and CGRFS leads the team points by an equal amount.
CGRFS recently announced the entry of a second BMW Powered Daytona Prototype for the inaugural Grand-Am race at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27th. The No. 02 Chevron sponsored entry will be driven by 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and 2012 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray.
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May 12, 2012 — Although both BMW Team RLL M3 GTs led the GT class for a significant part of the six-hour American Le Mans Monterey race, they ultimately finished in the third and fourth positions.
Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller completed 232 laps of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit bringing the No. 55 BMW M3 GT home in third place, scoring their first podium together and delivering the team's third consecutive podium of the season.
Joey Hand and Dirk Müller finished just behind their teammates in fourth place. Both drivers were on the receiving end of aggressive contact by competitors during the race, with Hand getting the worst of it while leading. Rear ended by the second place Corvette just past the mid-race mark, the No. 56 M3 GT would ultimately lose the rear fascia and diffuser affecting the car's aerodynamic balance for the remainder of the race.
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April 14, 2012 — With a second place GT class finish by the
No. 56 BMW Team RLL M3 GT in today's American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race, BMW is tied for the manufacturer's point lead. The second podium of the young ALMS season for Joey Hand and Dirk Müller solidifies their lead in the driver's standings.
The defending GT driver co-champions started the race from the class pole with Hand at the wheel of the No. 56 BMW M3 GT. Hand led the race for the opening 16 laps until a prototype ran into him causing a puncture of the right rear tire. Hand pitted for fuel and four new tires, returning to the race in the seventh position. The race's only caution period brought him back to the pits on lap 41 where Bobby Rahal made a bold strategic move to not change tires and jump the field in the pits to send the BMW Motorsport driver out in the lead. Müller lost the lead, but drove a strong stint to extend BMW Team RLL's Long Beach podium streak to four years.
Teammates Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller, driving the No. 55 M3 GT, finished out of the points in 11th. Müller, making his first start at Long Beach, was the victim of a first lap accident that forced him to the pits for lengthy repairs to replace the radiator. He returned 13 laps down to the leaders, but put his head down, setting some of the fastest laps of that part of the race. He handed off to Auberlen during the race's only caution period and the Californian, who podiumed here in both 2009 and 2010, did not disappoint his home race fans as he circulated at a very fast pace until the checkered flag.
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April 9, 2012 — Following a four–week intermission after BMW Team RLL's GT class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring American Le Mans Series curtain-raiser, the second act of the team's ALMS GT class title defense will be set in the streets of Long Beach, California on April 14.
Last year Joey Hand and Dirk Müller had starring roles as Long Beach race winners and, ultimately, GT class driver's champions. This year's story has begun much as the last with Hand and Müller sharing a second consecutive Sebring 12 Hour victory – this time supported by Jonathan Summerton, of Kissimmee, Fla., as third driver.
Only two hours long, the Long Beach race is not only the shortest of the season, but the tight confines of the 1.968–mile, 11–turn temporary street circuit set a stage for high drama and conflict.
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March 17 2012. — Sebring, March 17th 2012. BMW Team RLL had an excellent start
to the 2012 American Le Mans Series season. At the 60th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring
(US) the No. 56 BMW M3 GT claimed overall victory in the GT class after 307 laps of
the "Sebring International Raceway" and a dramatic final stage of the race. Over the
course of the thrilling marathon, Dirk Müller (DE), Joey Hand (US) and Jonathan
Summerton (US) shared the driving duties. Last year, Müller and Hand (along with
Andy Priaulx) crossed the line as winners in the BMW M3 GT at the season opener.
The sister BMW M3 GT, Number 155, was driven by Jörg Müller (DE), Bill Auberlen
(US) and Uwe Alzen (DE). The trio finished the race, which saw a combined field of
ALMS GT cars and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) GTE entries, in fifth
overall and scored fourth place points in ALMS GT class.
Summerton experienced a perfect debut in sports car racing by making it to the top
step of the podium. With today's win, a BMW M3 has now emerged victorious in the
GT class of this event for the fourth time: 1997, 1998, 2011 and 2012. BMW
claimed overall victory in 1975 with the BMW 3.0 CSL, as well as with the BMW V12
LMR in 1999. With BMW M celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, this historic win
comes as the perfect present.
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Mar 12, 2012 — Munich, March 12th 2012. BMW Team RLL launches the defense of its titles in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the 12 Hours of Sebring (US) this Saturday. The "Sebring International Raceway" is the oldest circuit in North America and this year hosts the spectacular endurance race for the 60th time.
This is not the only important anniversary this year: BMW M is celebrating its 40th birthday in 2012. A BMW M3 has triumphed in the GT class at Sebring on four occasions — 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2011. BMW also has two overall victories to its name. In 1975 the BMW 3.0 CSL won in Florida, while the BMW V12 LMR prototype crossed the line first after 12 hours in 1999.
Joey Hand (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) return to the ALMS as reigning GT champions. This year they will once again alternate behind the wheel of the No. 56 BMW M3 GT. Twenty-three year old Jonathan Summerton (US) will join them as the third driver in Sebring, and will also line up at a further three races over the course of the season.
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