Driver Spotlight: Bill Auberlen
Driver:, No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE
Although it was tough to come up short of the championship, how do you recap the season just completed?
“Not a lot of ups and downs. The season was amazing; we were always up. We were always leading, or top one, two or three in the championship. We were there, poised and positioned to win. It’s one of the best years we’ve had in a long time.
“I was finally back with a teammate who I got to team up with again, in Dirk Werner. The second time I went with him. He went to DTM, then came back. He knew the tracks. It came down to whoever was ahead at the final checkered flag, last race.
“We took a chance… they knew it was going to go red, we didn’t know it was going to go red. We came in… we ducked out of second place position and basically lost the championship.
“But Porsche was very strong at the end, and they were going to be hard to beat anyways. We’re coming back next year stronger than ever with the new equipment.”
How has early testing gone for the aforementioned new equipment, the BMW M6 GTLM?
“I know they’ve been testing it quite a bit. I’ve been it a bit as well. We’ve done three days at Sebring, now we go to Daytona, then another Sebring test.
“We have some work cut out for us, but so does everybody given it’s a new car.”
Do you hope to be back co-driving with Dirk again next year?
“I would hope to come back with Dirk. He did a fantastic job. We like a similar car, we’re similar in size, we have the same seat. A lot of stuff works well between us. I don’t see a real need to change.”
GTLM will be stacked, and interesting, next year given the new cars. How do you think BMW will fare?
“Shoot, it’s tough to pick. Ford coming in will be strong. A lot of new stuff, new equipment all coming in. Ford has a new car, Ferrari has a new car, we have a new car. One of the strong things out of the gate could be Corvette because they have a known quantity. Porsche also has a known quantity.
“If we can be reliable for the first few races and make it through the long endurance races, and get points, I think we’ll be good from there on.”
What are some of your offseason plans? Any fun things to get to do?
“Not too much extra! It seems you get booked with more and more stuff. You go to Germany and do events. You go to New York and do events. You go to Sebring, test, then Sebring again, Daytona and test, Las Vegas here for SEMA. Busy, busy, busy, just working.”