Munich (DE), 26th July 2014. Despite both BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTLMs showing speed in practice and qualifying and taking their turns leading Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix, the race ended with neither car reaching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium.
Round seven of the 2014 United SportsCar Championship (USCC), the first race of the new sports car series held at the 2.435-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, was a dramatic affair. Contact from the extremely close competition ultimately slowed both BMWs, relegating Andy Priaulx (GB) and Bill Auberlen (US) to sixth and John Edwards (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) to seventh at the end of the 105 lap, 2hr 45 min race.
In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD, driven by Dane Cameron (US) and Paul Dalla Lana (CA), experienced bad luck and finished 15th.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“We got caught up in some incidents at re-starts and damaged the front of the number 56 car. I think we probably lost some downforce, and we were very slow on the straights. We were missing half the front bodywork and you can’t do that and expect to win. Our pace in the beginning of the race was good until that point. The 55 car had a physical race as well. All things considered, it was a very frustrating day.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“We were pretty much quickest in every practice session and qualified P2 and P5. I thought we had a chance here, but the problem was too much carnage on the track. Both cars got damaged and didn’t handle properly in the race. But the team was flawless and, along with Michelin, provided us with every tool we needed. The damage to the car ultimately slowed us. I feel bad for the team. We were lucky to have finished.”
Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“It was a tough race. We had a good first stint and were looking quite racy. Unfortunately, a prototype car hit me from behind, turned me round and damaged the car. At the re-start I was shuffled back from P1 to P6. The car was strong all weekend in terms of single lap pace, so I think there are some positives from our performance.”
John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I am trying to be optimistic, but unfortunately this was another race to forget. We were looking good at the start. The Ferrari made a mistake and we got in the lead with the 55 car in P2. With yellows bunching up the field it just became mayhem again. I lost some time in traffic, had some damage from traffic and slower PC cars.”
Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I had a blunt instrument for my fight today. Because of the damage at the front of the car I was down probably ten kilometers in top speed on the long straight. I found a way to drive around it and my lap times were actually quite good. At the start of the race when we were leading I thought this was our shot here, but then we got hit…”