Munich, 20 January 2015: BMW Team RLL will begin its seventh consecutive season of sports car racing competition at this weekend’s 53rd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona (US) celebrating a very special anniversary. The race marks the 40th anniversary of BMW’s first race in the US and BMW Team RLL will compete with the numbers 24 and 25 on its two BMW Z4 GTLM machines in honour of the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL racing cars that debuted at the same race four decades ago.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said: “We are looking forward to an exciting USCC season in 2015, in which BMW Team RLL will once again fly our flag in the GTLM class. Our mission is to return to winning ways with the BMW Z4 GTLM and strong drivers, and build on the great successes we have celebrated in North America in the past. After all, the 40th anniversary makes this a very special year for BMW of North America. We want to do everything in our power to ensure that we also have plenty of reason to celebrate from a sporting point of view.”
“Forty years ago, while BMW of North America was still in its infancy, BMW’s first national marketing programme in the United States was to go racing,” commented Ludwig Willisch, Chairman and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC. “BMW Motorsport introduced two BMW 3.0 CSL racing cars in North America for the 1975 IMSA season at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Those cars became legends and laid the foundation for the success BMW has enjoyed in the past four decades, where today we are the number-one luxury brand.”
2015 is the third season of competition for the BMW Z4 GTLM and this year two new chassis have been constructed and tested extensively at two pre-season tests at the Daytona International Speedway.
For the Rolex 24 at Daytona, BMW has assembled a team of stellar BMW drivers that include current BMW DTM stars Augusto Farfus (BR) and Bruno Spengler (CA). Spengler will be having his first 24-hour race start ever. Farfus and Spengler will co-drive the number 25 car with season-long drivers Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE), the latter pair having driven together in 2012 in a BMW M3 GT. Jens Klingmann (DE) and Graham Rahal (US) will join John Edwards (US) and Lucas Luhr (DE) in the number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM. Edwards and Luhr will drive the car for the entire season.
With the addition of the experienced Luhr, BMW Team RLL includes two of the top-three drivers on the all-time North American sports car racing victories list. Luhr stands third with 51 victories and Bill Auberlen stands second with 53. Both are chasing Scott Pruett (US) who has 59 wins.