Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 31, 2016… With 10 hours complete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona BMW Team RLL has moved both BMW M6 GTLM racing cars to the sharp end of the GTLM field, each M6 having spent time in the lead of the race. The No. 100 M6, with John Edwards back behind the wheel, races in first place. Augusto Farfus, in the No. 25 M6 stands 7th, having dropped back from second while battling traffic. All eight drivers have either double or triple stinted in their time behind the wheel.
BMW DTM driver Bruno Spengler, in his second Rolex 24 for BMW Team RLL, drove a strong triple stint as he chased the second of two laps lost hours earlier in the race when a tire was cut on lap 66 during Bill Auberlen’s first stint in the car. Augusto Farfus, the last of the No. 25 M6 quartet to drive, was back with the leaders on lap 233. The Brazilian then had the honor being the very first BMW driver to lead a race in the brand new M6 GTLM, taking the GTLM class lead on lap 271.
Following workmanlike stints by co-drivers Lucas Luhr, Graham Rahal and Kuno Wittmer, John Edwards races the No. 100 M6 at the front of the GTLM field after he was able to jump his teammate on a restart.
Augusto Farfus, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “I am very happy. The M6 was a lap down and I managed to get the lap back and take the lead. The important thing here is to stay with the lead group. So far the car is good with no problems so I am very optimistic. However, there is a long way to go. Let’s get this night done and then tomorrow afternoon we get back to the business.”
Kuno Wittmer, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “Both of my stints went quite well. There was a lot of traffic and a lot of fighting in the GTLM class. At one point I saw two other competitors going side by side and clipping mirrors. It is not the time to do things like that. It is difficult to pass as the other guys seem to have more top end. Even with that I think our package is very strong and we will be there at the end.”
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “I enjoyed that, but we were a little bit unlucky with the pass around as we didn’t get one, so we could not get the lap back we are missing, but it is still a long race so we still have a lot of chances to do that. At the moment we are struggling a little bit with the balance of the car, and hopefully through the night it will come to us a little bit. At the moment we are not in the greatest state, but it is a long race, positions will change so we have to keep on pushing and see what the outcome is.”
Graham Rahal, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “I had a good couple of stints and just really trying to pound laps. I had a good battle with Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) and the Corvettes are really fast right now, so that was very difficult. My job is to hand the thing off in the best shape I can. Reliability- wise I would say the car feels really good, the braking is good. If we continue like that we should be fine.”
Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “Our car is running fine and we have some little and very minor issues with the doors vibrating a little bit by the window. Other than that it is okay. However, I think we make our lives too hard in the pit stops because we have twice brought the cars in at the same time. Other than that it is good and I am having a lot of fun. The traffic is very tricky, especially with the PC cars because they start fighting you and they are quick on the straights and slow on the corners. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you get unlucky.”
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 340 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 124 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, 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.