lundi 4 mai 2015
BMW Team RLL takes 1-2 victory at Laguna Seca
John Edwards and Lucas Luhr drove the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM to victory in today's two-hour-and-forty-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The duo completed 108 laps of the 2.238-mile circuit, finishing 20.4 seconds ahead of teammates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner in the No. 25 Z4 GTLM. This marks the first win for BMW Team RLL at Laguna Seca, the first for Edwards and Luhr as co-drivers as well as the first for Luhr as a BMW driver.
Today's victory - the second for the team this season after Long Beach two weeks ago - comes almost exactly 40 years to the day after Hans-J. Stuck drove a BMW 3.0 CSL to the win in the second heat of the IMSA Camel GT Challenge race here in 1975 - also the second win of the season for Stuck and BMW Motorsport. The BMW Team RLL Z4 GTLM cars are competing this season in a similar livery to that of the CSL to commemorate that very first season of competition for BMW Motorsport in North America.
Unofficially, the win moves BMW into first place in the GTLM Manufacturers' points standings. Auberlen and Werner remain second in Drivers' points while Edwards and Luhr jump from fourth to third.
Dirk Werner, in the No 25 Z4 and Lucas Luhr, in the No. 24 machine started the race from the front row of the GTLM grid. Luhr was able to get by Werner in the opening laps and the teammates raced in first and second for the opening 40 minutes of the event.
The first pit stop for both BMWs came on lap 23 during the first caution period of the race. Luhr pitted the No. 24 Z4 from the lead and handed the car off to John Edwards. Werner remained in the No. 25 machine. A crowded pit lane delayed both BMWs and Edwards dropped to second and Werner to third.
With one hour complete, Edwards had regained the lead with some 14 seconds in hand. Further back in the field Werner, now in fourth spot, battled Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette.
Edwards had extended his lead to some 20 seconds before he pitted on lap 63 for his final stop of the race. Werner pitted on the following lap after a strong effort to move up to second place. He handed off to Auberlen and after the rest of the field cycled through their pit stops BMW Team RLL was back at the front of the GTLM field with one hour to go - Edwards in P1, Auberlen in P2.
Edwards and Auberlen were unchallenged for the remainder of the contest to deliver an outstanding 1-2 result for BMW as it celebrates its 40th anniversary of sports car competition in North America.
Photo : BMW