Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 30, 2016… Following pole positions in rounds two and three of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, BMW Team RLL uncharacteristically struggled to post seventh and tenth place starting positions for tomorrow’s two-hour Continental Monterey Grand Prix.
Dirk Werner set the seventh fastest GTLM class time with a 1:23.571 minute lap around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit in the No. 25 M6 GTLM he shares with Bill Auberlen. Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 100 M6, qualified tenth with a 1:24.382 minute lap. Luhr and co-driver John Edwards are defending race winners. The pole position went to the No. 68 Ferrari with a time of 1:22.867 minutes.
This year is a historic one for The Ultimate Driving Machine® as Bavarian Motor Works celebrates its 100th anniversary. To mark the occasion both of the M6 machines will race with unique liveries and numbers significant to the marque. The number 100 M6, with John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, looks forward to BMW’s next century with an artistic theme. The number 25 M6, driven by Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner races in honor of BMW Motorsport’s first season racing in the US in 1975. The car displays images of four significant racing BMWs; the 3.0 CSL, M1, M3 and V12 LMR.
“It has been a bit of a struggle all weekend for us and several other teams,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Michelin has brought a new specification tire this weekend and some teams have had the chances to test them. We certainly haven’t been able to find the secret to get the tire to work yet. Frankly, we have never had this kind of challenge before. It’s going to be a late night for the guys.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P7) : “It was a challenging qualifying session for us. We have had to change the set up of the car for the new tires we have here this weekend, and we only have three practice sessions of data so far. This, added to the fact that the M6 is still a new car and it is the first time for it here at Laguna Seca, has made for a difficult few days for the team.”
Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM (P10) : “We have been struggling the whole weekend. Sometimes one car was a little bit better than the other and then the other way round. Qualifying really showed we are struggling, and at the moment I have no answer to that. Qualifying is one thing because you try to squeeze out the maximum on one lap, but I think that is not really our strongest point. Maybe we are a little bit better off in racing terms, which I really hope we can show tomorrow.”
The Continental Monterey Grand Prix takes the green flag at 11:15 a.m. PT Sunday, May 1 with the live broadcast beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. 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.
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.