Maxime Martin will join BMW Team RLL for the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) as the squad switches from the M3 to the Z4 model
Belgian Martin is a man familiar with BMW’s Z4 in its GT3 specification as a regular driver for the Marc VDS team who switched from Ford to the German manufacturer during the course of the 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series.
Since the switch Martin and the team have won four Blancpain races – all three hour races for GT3 cars.
He will returning drivers Bill Auberlen, Dirk Muller and Joey Hand, though John Edwards – also a regular with Stevenson Motorsports in the GT class of the Grand-Am Rolex Series – will fill in for Hand when the DTM schedule calls the American to Europe. For the longer races on the ALMS schedule – the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans – Uwe Alzen and Jorg Muller will join the team.
The GTE version of the Z4 will race for the first time at Sebring, the BMW team trying to take back the trio of titles – drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ – won by Corvette Racing in 2012.
“All of us at BMW Team RLL are very excited about the 2013 season with the new BMW Z4 GTE,” said team principal Bobby Rahal. “We had four great years with the BMW M3 GT and now want to compete on a par with our rivals with the BMW Z4 GTE as soon as possible. With any new car there is going to be a period of development, but we are excited about the upcoming season. This will be our fifth year with BMW and it’s obvious we have a great working relationship.”
“We are really looking forward to this new chapter of BMW racing in North America,” said Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO, for BMW of North America. “After two Manufacturer’s championships, two Team championships, one driver championship, and the Michelin GreenX Challenge championship for BMW Team RLL with the M3 GT, we now entrust the same strong team to deliver more trophies with our new Z4 GTE. We are absolutely convinced that BMW fans will again see great ALMS GT class racing in 2013.”