The Centurions: Bill Auberlen

July 7, 2012

The Centurions: Bill Auberlen

July 7, 2012

Celebrating the achievements of the centurions – Bill Auberlen is the fourth driver celebrating his 100th ALMS start joining Jan Magnussen Joerg Bergmeister and Butch Leitzinger.

The Californian hot-shoe celebrated the milestone by putting his BMW on pole for today’s Northeast Grand Prix.

Team-mate, close friend and fellow Californian Joey Hand holds Auberlen in high esteem.

“Bill and I have become really good friends over our years of driving together. He’s a great mentor to me, and he doesn’t do that for a lot of people,” Hand said.

“He’s basically taught me everything – he gives me information and did the same thing back when I was new with BMW and sports cars. Being teamed up with him is the best thing that could have happened to me in racing. He just doesn’t miss anything.

“Bill is highly intense. You see it when he leaves the pits; he wants to be the fastest. I was always a little more mellow but took that attitude and tried to do the same thing. The first time I drove with him was 2001, and we were teammates from 2005 through 2010. I hope he saw my passion for racing and a high level of intensity. It’s always fun to help somebody, particularly if that person shows well. Maybe he saw I could win and that with some help from him, I could win more.

“When we’re on the road, he’s my family. We share rental cars, hotel rooms… we eat breakfast and dinner together. Every morning we stop at McDonald’s and get McDonald’s together – sometimes I have to drive because he has to have his pancakes and sausage…

“Bill has systems and he sticks to them. He’s definitely more sorted out than I am. I’m more into winging it. I don’t know which hotel we’re going to; he has directions printed out. I don’t fold my clothes; he has them nice and tidy. A lot of people ask if Bill is high-maintenance, and I would say he’s not. He is just very switched on to everything – especially with anything that has to do with cars.

“There’s a lot of stuff I can do, but the difference with Bill is that he can build the car from the ground up. He can build the engine; he can tune the engine even with today’s computer controls. He built a motorcycle and a boat from the ground up. He’s one of those guys that when I have a question, I go to him. The only other person I go to is my dad. He just knows a lot of stuff.”

Auberlen talks fans through what it takes to get around Lime Rock Park in this BMW video.

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