Long Beach (US), 13th April 2014.
Third race, third podium: BMW Team RLL scored a third consecutive podium in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, finishing second and sixth in Long Beach (US). John Edwards (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) scored their first podium of the season, racing the number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM to second place. After 75 laps of the 1.968-mile street circuit, the duo finished 5.408 seconds behind the winning Corvette of Jan Magnussen (DK) and Antonio Garcia (ES) in the 100-minute race.
Bill Auberlen (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB) had a disappointing finish in sixth after an excellent start in the number 55 car. As Priaulx entered the pit lane on lap 32 he nicked the wall and knocked off the right side mirror, costing them an extra 15 seconds for the mechanics to replace the door. However, sixth was enough for them to retain the lead in the driver points standings.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL):
“Second was a good finish for us today. We got held up in the beginning by one of the prototypes, and that really was the difference. It was unfortunate that Andy came in and just touched the wall and took the mirror off. By the time they replaced the door they had lost valuable time. I was disappointed for the 55 car, but they scored points and kept the lead.”
John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“This is my first podium of the year and my first podium at Long Beach. It was a really hard fight, especially with the prototype at the beginning when we lost too much ground, and with no yellows throughout the race we could never make it up. I am happy with second considering all the variables, but I really think we had the pace to pressure Magnussen and Garcia if we hadn’t fallen back at the beginning.”
Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“Sometimes there are second places that come easily, but this was not one of those. John did a fantastic job in the beginning and really had a good start. He made up one spot and was a solid second. With the prototype in front of all the GTLM cars but one, first place was gone. There were no yellows, which was good for the spectators, but unlucky for us. I had lots of understeer, which meant I could not attack, but my car was quick enough to keep Tommy Milner behind me.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“That was certainly not the finish we wanted! All you can ask for is to have a car capable of winning. We had that today, but a bit of bad luck cost us. Fortunately, we did not lose the lead in the championship. If that was our bad luck for the year we’ll take it.”
Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“From the moment the car left the pits to the moment I jumped out of it I felt really strong. Unfortunately, I had some bad luck. I got delayed by the prototypes and that cost us some seconds on the way into the pits. I lost the mirror and that cost us some more time. Unfortunately in a short race like this you can’t have that happen. There were no yellows and we just needed one to be back up there. It is just disappointing we are not where we wanted to be, but we are still leading the championship.”