Werner seals Auberlen’s hometown party

April 19, 2015

Werner seals Auberlen’s hometown party

April 19, 2015


Bill Auberlen is in party mode tonight. The BMW ace is a local hero here in Long Beach after scoring his second victory here on home soil in the past three years.

However, you can bet the first man he is going to buy a drink for is teammate Dirk Werner. After starting on pole, Auberlen led the pace lap….and that’s it. Ferrari’s Giancarlo Fisichella went charging past on the green flag and jumped into the lead.

tudor_longbeach_apr18_15_race_7Auberlen held second until the mid-race pit stop but an issue with refueling the BMW Z4 put Werner back to fifth spot and with a 10 second deficit.

While the Redondo Beach-based Auberlen was bemoaning the fortunes of the No.25 team, Werner went to work. The German picked off both Corvettes, moved past his teammate Lucas Luhr and then set chase after the race-leading Ferrari of Pierre Kaffer.

With 11 minutes to go, Werner was in sight of Kaffer’s Risi Ferrari and charged through into the lead after Kaffer ran wide at the end of the back straight.

From that point forward, Auberlen and the BMW crew were ready to start the party planning!

“This is a special win as it has been a long time for our team. On top of that it is my home race,” Auberlen said.

“Between Dirk and myself we pretty much checked off every box this weekend. We won, we had pole and the lap record in qualifying and Dirk brought it home with the win and a new lap record in the race. You can’t do much better than that.

tudor_longbeach_apr18_15_race_2“When it came to the race the extent of my lead was on the pace lap. I wanted to get a really strong jump off the hairpin but (Giancarlo) Fisichella in the Ferrari passed John Edwards in the sister car and then it went by me. I was thinking there was nothing I could do. I then just hunted him down and stayed with him and we were really close.

“He made no mistakes and I was waiting for one. So then we went off strategy as when he stayed out I came in and we had a little issue in the pits with a long fuelling. We saw our lead go away, but you never give up in racing and Dirk proved that with his stint.”

The victory was BMW’s first in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Kaffer and Fisichella held on for second while championship leaders Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia took third.

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