Munich (DE), 15th September 2016. This year’s tenth IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race will see BMW Team RLL arrive at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (US), with BMW’s newest GT class competitor, the BMW M6 GTLM, ready for the penultimate race of the 2016 season.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 28, 2016… In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, the two BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLMs finished fifth and eighth in the race that was only for GT cars. It was the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner that finished ahead of the No. 100 sister car of John Edwards and Lucas Luhr. The leading cars completed 90 laps of the 3.27-mile, 18-turn VIRginia International Raceway in the two-hour-and-forty-minute race that had just one full course yellow six minutes from the checkered flag. The GTLM class win went to the No. 3 Corvette.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 27, 2016… BMW Team RLL will start the Michelin GT Challenge at the VIRginia International Raceway, the ninth round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, from fifth and sixth after a very close and very hot 15 minute qualifying session for the GTLM class. As this race is only for GT cars, the class will be at the head of the grid.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 23, 2016… The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is a special event for BMW Team RLL as it is the only IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season to feature only GT class cars. This would make Virginia International Raceway a fine place to celebrate the first victory for a BMW M6 GTLM racing car.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 7, 2016… After starting at the rear of the entire 41-car field in today’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, the two BMW Team RLL M6 racing cars finished in the third and eighth positions in the GTLM class. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 100 M6 GTLM, had a strong day to finish third, scoring the duo’s first podium of the season and the 60th podium finish for BMW Team RLL since 2009. Teammates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, finished eighth. Both cars completed 70 laps of the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit in the two-hour-and-forty-minute race. The GTLM class win went to the No. 4 Corvette.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 2nd, 2016… BMW Team RLL is looking to Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for a repeat of the magic the classic road racing circuit brought to the team when it raced to its first BMW victory in 2009 to see the BMW M6 GTLM reach the top of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM class podium.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 23, 2016… The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix turned into a demolition derby for BMW Team RLL as both BMW M6 GTLM racing cars ended the day on the wrecker. Both cars were pushed off the track by the same competitor’s car in Lime Rock Park’s downhill turn in different incidents, ending up in the tire wall and out of the race. The No. 25 M6, driven by Dirk Werner in second place at the time, was on the receiving end of a large impact. Luckily, Werner was unhurt. The race was won by the No. 4 Corvette C7.
The race started with promise for the No. 25 M6 of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner. Werner, starting the race from outside of the front row, jumped into the lead on lap two and held it for more than one hour, only relinquishing the point on lap 63 following a very strong move in the uphill chicane by the No. 62 Ferrari of Toni Vilander. As Auberlen was putting on his helmet, ready to takeover in a scheduled stop ten laps later, Werner was drilled into the wall on lap 89. He was taken to the infield care center and released. Bill Auberlen did not drive.
For the No. 100 M6 the race ended almost as soon as it began. John Edwards, starting from the eighth place position, was hit in the downhill turn on lap 5 and spun into the tire wall at the beginning of the main straight. Damage to the car forced its retirement. Lucas Luhr did not drive.
The Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 racing cars finished sixth and seventh in the GTD class.
“Totally unnecessary driving by both drivers of the same car was responsible for eliminating both of our cars from the race,” said an angry Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “I told the officials if it was the last corner of the last lap of the race I could understand it, but we were only just over half way through the race. Obviously I am pretty upset about it. Dirk was doing a great job and the 25 car was in a position to win this race and was competitive enough to do it. Unfortunately we didn’t get far with the 100 car. We certainly expect the officials to do something about it.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (dnf): “That was a really bad outcome for how the race started. I was able to get up the front right from the start and stay there for a long time. When I lost the lead I was bumped and had to go straight in the chicane. Then the race was finished when someone put me in the tires in the last turn, which is a fast turn. I think that was unnecessary in the middle of the race. I am very unhappy and hope this is not how we want to keep on racing. Thanks to the team the car was good again as it was in the last couple of events, and for sure the car was good enough for a podium.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM (dnf): “We have had a lot of bad luck this season and this time it was contact with another car in a really high speed portion of the track. It was a bit of a scary one, but fortunately the hit wasn’t too bad, but it seemed to mess something up from the spin and the hit, so we could not continue.”
Round Eight of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, will be held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Sunday, Aug. 7. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 3 – 6 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 341 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 125 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan, has been competing for over two decades. Prior to the start of their 25th season of competition in 2016, the team has compiled 37 victories, 49 poles, 144 podium finishes, three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) and claimed an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. The following year the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category and swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver – in 2011. In 2012 the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. The 2014 season brought a new challenge with the creation of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the team finished on the podium six times including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team earned three wins, two poles and a total of eight podium finishes to finish second in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships. Prior to the start of the 2016 season BMW Team RLL had won 13 races, 20 poles and 57 podium finishes.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 22, 2016… BMW Team RLL driver Dirk Werner qualified the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM in the second starting position for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix. He co-drives with Bill Auberlen. The German ace’s lap of 50.834 seconds around the classic Lime Rock Park circuit using the uphill chicane was only 86 thousandths of a second slower than the class pole sitter. That honor was earned by Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 Ford GT.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 19, 2016… Up next on the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar for BMW Team RLL is the Northeast Grand Prix, at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn. Only 90 miles from BMW NA headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, the two-hour-and-forty-minute race will be the very first GTLM contest at the classic circuit that has played a part in BMW of North America’s history for decades.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 10, 2016… Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, finished fourth in today’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix, at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. The duo completed 119 laps of the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit during the two-hour-and-forty-minute race. Teammates John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 100 M6 GTLM, finished ninth after power steering repairs in the first hour of the race cost the pair 11 laps.