Joey Hand, paired with Bill Auberlen in #55, was not originally scheduled to run at COTA. He returned to the US between DTM races at Oschersleben and Zandvoort to substitute for Auberlen’s regular partner Maxime Martin, who returned to Europe to run a Marc VDS Z4 in the title-deciding Blancpain Endurance series race at the Nürburgring on September 22. Hand took the pole at COTA in a wet qualifying session. Edwards qualified #56 fourth, but the car started last because the team had not appropriately marked tires for qualifying.
The Z4s, clearly down on horsepower to the Corvettes and Vipers, gained an edge by pitting early at COTA. Auberlen came in just 45 minutes into the race to turn the car over to Hand, while Edwards came in soon after to hand off to Müller. The cars moved forward in the field, eventually running in second and third behind the #3 Vette. The #4 Corvette, driven by Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin, exited the race with transmission problems. The duo had led drivers’ points coming into COTA; they left tied for third behind Müller.
Team principal Bobby Rahal said, “I’m disappointed for the team. There’s such a deficit in straight-line speed, it just hurts our ability to race those other guys. But the Z4 ran beautifully and handled well. The pit strategy was solid; we passed the Ferrari and both Vipers in the pits, so we made up a lot of places. We did our best; and 3rd and 4th are not so bad, and we’ll try again at VIR. The Circuit of the Americas is fabulous… world class. I haven’t been to anything else built like this in this country, perhaps ever. It’s great to come to race tracks like this because you really feel like they have invested in the sport. It was fun to start the race, but of course you know I’d rather be in one of the cars.”—Brian S. Morgan
Back to News