Munich, 11th August 2014. Dirk Müller (DE) secured BMW Team RLL’s first podium finish in four United SportsCar Championship races. An excellent closing stint in the BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTLM he shares with John Edwards (US) assured them of second in the race in Road America (US). The sister car of Bill Auberlen (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB) finished eighth.
Müller had taken over the number 56 car after only eight laps of the 61-lap race from polesitter Edwards, who brought it in with damage to the front left after he saved the day by deftly avoiding the race’s first accident. In the final minutes of the race the German was chasing the winning Ferrari, while at the same time being hounded from behind by a Viper.
Auberlen started in the number 55 car and handed it over to Priaulx for the remainder of the race at the end of lap 24. At his only stop, Priaulx fell back two positions following a delay so he did not run over an errant air hose and incur a penalty. He lost two more positions during late race restarts. The class was won by the Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella (IT) and Pierre Kaffer (DE).
In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD, driven by Dane Cameron (US) and Markus Palttala (FI), won the team’s third victory of the season.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL):
“After lap two or three the day did not look like it was going to be a good one. The number 56 car was wounded aerodynamically and that slowed us a little bit on the straights. Dirk did a great job and he was able to hold off the Viper at the end. The Ferrari was able to pull away from us on the long straights. Congratulations to them for the win. We are really pleased with second place. We’re back on the podium.”
John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“It was a bit of relief for us to get the pole, as we didn’t expect to be so competitive here with all the long straights. Obviously, we played the strategy well after a bit of contact at the beginning. That gave us a shorter fuelling time on the second stop and got us back in the thick of things. It was a short race for me today, so this is mostly Dirk's day after he drove really hard at the end to hold the Viper off.”
Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“When I saw John have the incident only minutes into the race and the front was damaged I thought the race may be over for us. When it was my turn I used every trick in my book to chase and defend, and am proud that John and I could race BMW back on the podium.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Between qualifying and the race we tipped the handling of the car over a little bit, so it took us a little while to make some adjustments during our two pit stops. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication in the pits during Andy’s stop. In order to not run over an air line they had to back him up causing us to lose a few positions.”
Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“I think our pace was good at the end, but at the beginning and the middle we did not have the handling dialled in where we wanted it to be. Bill made a good start, but during the restarts both of us struggled. It was great for the 56 car to finish so well when they looked as if they were out of the race at the beginning.”