For the first time in the American Le Mans Series, BMW’s racing efforts in GT will center around a car other than its M3. BMW Motorsport officials announced that BMW Team RLL is turning to the BMW Z4 for the 2013 ALMS season.
“This change in model shows that we are focussing fully on the BMW Z4 as an all-encompassing GT car,” said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director. “The BMW Z4 GT3 has been very successful on the GT3 scene in recent years, and has proven its ability to win races. I am confident this car will also play a major role as a GT car in the ALMS.”
The BMW Z4 has won four race in the FIA GT1 World Championship as well as the Italian GT championship in Europe during the 2012 season. Meanwhile, the BMW M3 GT finished its competitive career in the ALMS with a stellar record.
The BMW Z4 GTE will contest its first season in 2013. In July 2012, BMW Motorsport engineers began work on developing a GTE version of the BMW Z4 GT3, which would comply with ACO regulations. The regulations stipulate that electronic aids that may be used on the BMW Z4 GT3, such as ABS and DSC, are not permitted on a GTE car.
BMW Motorsport also announced the drivers for the coming season. Car number 55 will be driven by Bill Auberlen and ALMS rookie Maxime Martin. Dirk Müller will contest all the races in the car number 56. Joey Hand and John Edwards will alternate as the two-time ALMS GT champion’s driving partner. Edwards will stand in for Hand when he is unavailable due to his parallel commitment in the DTM. Jörg Müller (#55) and Uwe Alzen (#56) will bolster the squad at the endurance races at Sebring and Road Atlanta.
The 2013 ALMS season starts with the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 16 from Sebring International Raceway. BMW Team RLL is the defending GT winner.