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BMW Z4 GTE Unveiled

BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL have today unveiled the new for 2013 BMW Z4 GTE together with their driver line up for the ALMS season at a launch at Daytona International Speedway.

“As we approach the start of the ALMS season in mid-March, so the anticipation is gradually rising,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “All of us at BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL are very curious to see how the first few races pan out with the new BMW Z4 GTE. We are setting out on a development year, but are very confident we have once again developed a car that has the potential to win races and titles in the form of the BMW Z4 GTE. Seeing our drivers at this event, you could tell how much they are looking forward to the first race in Sebring.”

Team Principal Bobby Rahal added: “Obviously I am very excited to enter this new year with the BMW Z4 GTE. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the team for the new car.

“Certainly there will be a development period involved but ultimately I see no reason why we can’t be competitive with the great competition that exists in the GT category in the ALMS. Although this might be a development year in many respects, with the level of driver talent we have on the team – including the two new exciting additions with Maxime Martin and John Edwards – I think that ultimately we can have success and do much as we did in 2009, the first year of the BMW M3 GT, and work hard toward achieving maximum results in its first year.”

BMW Motorsport also announced the driving pairs for the coming season. Car #55 will be driven by Bill Auberlen and ALMS rookie Maxime Martin. Dirk Müller will contest all the races in the #56 car. 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.

Development of the new car began in July 2012 with BMW Motorsport engineers in Munich working to upgrade their successful GT3 spec Z4 to GTE.

The ACO 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.

The BMW Z4 GTE is considerably more compact than its successful predecessor, the BMW M3 GT.

All the dimensions of the BMW Z4 GTE have been modified to comply with ACO regulations.

The new car took to the racetrack for its maiden test outing in the second half of January. BMW Team RLL was integrated in the process throughout the entire development period. Engineers from the USA travelled to Munich in December to play their part in the assembly of the BMW Z4 GTE.

BMW Team RLL have also announced that the new car will utilise Michelin rubber as  the new Tyre Partner of BMW Motorsport in the ALMS. Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts returns to the programme once again.