Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 2, 2015… While the BMW M6 GT3 will contest race events and series with FIA GT3 regulations as of next season, BMW Motorsport is also working on a new challenger for the elite class of North American GT racing: the BMW M6 GTLM. The plan is to return for an eighth season with BMW Team RLL and field the newly developed racing car in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2016.
“Using the basis of our new BMW M6 GT3 to develop a car for the WeatherTech Championship was a logical step,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The BMW M6 GTLM has all the essential ingredients to thrill fans in the USA and Canada. We are keen to continue our works commitment on the other side of the Atlantic at the highest level since the WeatherTech Championship is a fantastic stage with a high quality field and legendary venues. We feel right at home there.”
Ludwig Willisch, Chairman and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC, added: “Success in motor racing helped us prove The Ultimate Driving Machine claim in North America forty years ago and continues to be an important part of the BMW marketing strategy to this day. As the largest market for BMW M in the world, we are eager to delight our fans with the BMW M6 GTLM in the 2016 WeatherTech Championship.”
Bobby Rahal, Team Principal BMW Team RLL said, “A new car, a very competitive field and the hundredth anniversary of BMW means 2016 will be an exciting year. I am thrilled that RLL will continue to represent BMW’s motorsport program in North America for an eighth season. The M6 GTLM will be the third model we have raced since 2009 (M3 (2009-2012); Z4 (2013-2015) and we look forward to the challenge.”
BMW Motorsport engineers derived the BMW M6 GTLM from the BMW M6 GT3, and the BMW M6 GTLM took part in the official “Balance of Performance” tests performed by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) for GTLM homologation alongside GT3 testing by the FIA and ACO in Ladoux, France. Subject to final approvals by IMSA, based in North America, the BMW M6 GTLM is expected to race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2016. Like the GT3 version, the car is powered by a lightly modified version of the V8 production engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology from the BMW M6 Coupé.
In the previous three seasons, BMW Team RLL contested the American Le Mans Series and the United SportsCar Championship with the BMW Z4 GTLM and celebrated five victories and an additional 15 podiums to date. Further milestones in the recent GT history of BMW in North America include winning the title in the American Le Mans Series in 2001 with the BMW M3 GTR (Drivers’, Team and Manufacturer titles), as well as with the BMW M3 GT in 2010 (Team and Manufacturer titles) and 2011 (Drivers’, Team and Manufacturer titles).
The 2016 season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opens with the 24 Hours of Daytona on 30th/31st January. This is followed by a further ten events for the GTLM teams, which will take them to some of the most iconic racetracks in North America. As is tradition, the “Petit Le Mans” in Road Atlanta will provide the spectacular stage for the season finale on 1st October.
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; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based 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 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 123 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.
The BMW Group
With its three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2014, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.118 million cars and 123,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2013 was euro 7.91 billion on revenues amounting to approximately euro 76.06 billion. As of 31 December 2013, the BMW Group had a workforce of 110,351 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.
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, 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 the 2015 season, the team had compiled 30 victories, 47 poles, 130 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 will attempt to add to their 10 wins and 49 sports car podium finishes.
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