WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ – January 23, 2015 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – BMW Team RLL will start the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona from the fourth and seventh GTLM class positions following this afternoon’s very competitive qualifying session at the Daytona International Speedway road course.
John Edwards, driving the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, qualified in the fourth starting spot with a lap of 1:43.966 minutes around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn circuit. His time was only 0.478 seconds slower than the pole winner. The top six qualifiers were separated by 0.498 second, only 1.271 seconds between the entire 12-car class. Edwards will share the No. 24 Z4 with Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann and Graham Rahal.
The No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM was qualified in the seventh position by Bill Auberlen, with a best lap of 1:44.024 minutes. He will co-drive with Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler and Dirk Werner in the twice-around-the-clock event.
“John did a great job, being P4, and it is so close,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Bill’s car was literally five one-hundredths of a second away from p4 or P3. It is typical of any other year – very, very tight. Where you qualify has no bearing on where you finish, so I am not too worried about that. I know we have a great driver line-up and it gives me a lot of confidence.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM (4th) – “It was a fun session. For today’s practice sessions and the race there is always so much traffic, so, even though qualifying doesn’t really matter, to go out and push without having traffic was enjoyable. We made some progress on the car today, after we kind of struggled with it at the end of the Roar test and it helped quite a bit. We are headed in the right direction. I think we still have a few changes to make the car really drivable, especially at night, so we can be comfortable throughout the entire 24 hours.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM (7th) – “We are not first, but we are not last. I feel we can definitely go racing. Our group has worked very hard during the winter and has given us a much more competitive car. Where you qualify here doesn’t matter. Give it a couple of hours, let everybody start to weed themselves out, and we will just claw our way slowly to the front.”
The 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona takes the green flag at 2:10 p.m. Saturday, January 24 with the first two hours of coverage on FOX beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Altogether, 15.5 hours will be broadcast on FOX Sports platforms. The hours from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. will be streamed live on IMSA.com. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 147 BMW motorcycle retailers, 122 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
The BMW Group
With its three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2014, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.118 million cars and 123,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2013 was euro 7.91 billion on revenues amounting to approximately euro 76.06 billion. As of 31 December 2013, the BMW Group had a workforce of 110,351 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 28 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.