Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 31, 2016… The 7:13 a.m. sunrise over Daytona International Speedway’s third turn showed only one BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM racing car remaining in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. After a long night, the No. 25 of Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler and Dirk Werner, with Farfus behind the wheel, races in the 7th position. At 3 a.m., on lap 360, the No. 100 M6, with Lucas Luhr behind the wheel, suffered a heavy crash in turn one, impacting the front and rear of the car. Luhr was unhurt, but the damage from the suspected mechanical failure forced the team to retire the car from the race.
The No. 25 M6 continued its strong run with Dirk Werner and then Bill Auberlen driving the M6 through the early morning hours. When Auberlen handed off to Bruno Spengler for the second time in the race on lap 438 just after 5:30 a.m. the Californian was in third place. The crew made a second brake change on Spengler’s last pit stop before he gave the No. 25 M6 to Farfus.
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “We had to change brakes twice, so at the moment we have to see how the race develops. We are a little bit slower than the competition, but we are hanging in there . We have to carry on pushing and carry on doing the job we are doing now. I think everything can still happen, it is still a very long race and there is still a lot of stuff that can happen during the race. The team is doing a great job on strategy and at the end it is up to the traffic you get, but you have to get through it.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “We are very good through the infield, but lacking on the long straights. It is difficult. It is still a long race to go. We’ll see if there are any tricks up the BMW sleeves and just keep pounding away.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “It is still crazy out there. Still a lot of yellows because people are crashing or having problems, so it is a tough race. So far we have a good car and everything is running well. We had our little issues with a flat tire at the beginning, Augusto had some oil on the track and all sorts of different stuff, but the car is still running well and I hope we just keep on doing like we are doing now and will be there at the end.”
Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “Something failed, but I don’t know what exactly. There was some kind of explosion at the front right that made the bonnet go up, so I couldn’t see where I was going. I had two or three good hits .My best guess is the right brake disc exploded. It’s a shame because we were running well and we were right there in the hunt. It is just a shame for all the guys with a new car that had such a good performance for the first time running and they don’t get rewarded.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “That was a little more straightforward than the opening stint. I think everyone has kind of settled down a little bit and found a nice rhythm. It was nice to run in the top two most of the time and I led for most of one of the stints. Then Nick Tandy got by me in the final stint and we settled into P2. We are just ticking off laps right now to get to the end. It is nice to see we have some pace but the competition is definitely going to be tough. I think as we get into the last three or four hours of the race it is going to be a really intense battle between the Porsches, Corvettes and us.”
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.