Official release: BMW Team RLL improved from their starting positions to finish fourth and sixth in today’s Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. After a wet morning warm up session, the 2.75-hour race was held under sunny skies and ran caution free.
The No. 56 BMW Z4 GTLM of John Edwards and Dirk Müller finished fourth, completing 126 laps of the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit during the event. Müller started from fifth place and held his ground for the first stint, pitting on lap 40 to hand over to Edwards. Moving up to fourth, Edwards pitted for fuel and new Michelin tires on lap 82. He raced to within 6 seconds of a podium position, but ultimately had to settle for fourth.
Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx also had a solid day, finishing sixth in the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTLM after starting tenth. Priaulx took the green flag with Auberlen running the middle stint from lap 43 to 83. Racing eighth in the closing stages of the race and with positions seven and sixth in sight, Priaulx made a strong move on lap 115 to take both spots. He held onto sixth for the remaining 13 minutes of the race.
Separately, in the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD, driven by Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala, finished third.
“We knew CTMP would be a challenge for us,” said Gordon McDonnell, BMWNA Motorsport Manager. “BMW Team RLL did a great job to finish fourth and sixth, so hats off to the guys for a strong performance. I think we have to be really happy with the points we collected here this weekend. Congratulations also to the Turner Motorsport team for finishing third with the Z4 GTD.”
“Realistically fourth is pretty darned good,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Early on we got separated as the Corvette and Viper got away from everybody, and we just couldn’t chase them down. But I am pleased with fourth and sixth based on where we qualified. The car’s pace was pretty good. We were just not quite fast enough, but we will keep on pushing. I am very pleased with the job the drivers did. They were opportunistic and were able to pass. We had great pit stops today thanks to our guys. All in all we have got to be happy with where we ended up.”
John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (4th) – “It was really hard work just to come fourth. Our pace was decent and we got through traffic pretty well. It is not an easy track and even when you are by yourself you are working really hard here. I am exhausted but pleased with the result.”
Dirk Müller, driver No. 56 Z4 GTLM – (4th) – “We had a good start, very good stints and John and I had a car that we could push. We ended up fourth and I think that was our best possible result so we are happy. We had a clean race, not a scratch on the car apart from some knocks from behind, as usual. I had fun in the car and so did John. We were pushing like crazy and that was the maximum we could have done.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (6th) – “We went in the right direction today. I gained a position and then Andy got in the car and got two more. Good driving and great racing today. We can be pleased with our performance.”
Andy Priaulx, driver No. 55 Z4 GTLM – (6th) – “The car was transformed today. The guys did a great job last night, as they changed everything. We had a good solid day and those are good points for me and Bill. This keeps us in some sort of contention for the championship, although it is going to be tough to beat the Corvettes. The battle I had was awesome. I closed and closed on the Falken Porsche and just slipped by on the inside in turn one as the leader went through. I went all through turn two on the outside and he was very fair with me. It was quite edgy and then there was the Corvette. He was defending really heavily but I came through, saw a gap and took it.”
In other BMW racing action today, Maxime Martin converted his first DTM pole position to his first DTM victory today at Moscow Raceway, in Moscow, Russia. He led wire-to-wire to score the third win for the BMW M4 DTM this season. More information on BMW Motorsport’s DTM program can be found at www.bmw-motorsport.com.
Round Seven of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the Brickyard Grand Prix, will take place on the road course at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, Ind., on Sunday, July 25th. The race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.imsa.com.