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.
Bill Auberlen is always a threat at Lime Rock Park and has numerous victories at the 1.5-mile, seven-turn circuit. Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 M6 GTLM, will run one more race in the Stars and Stripes livery that debuted at Watkins Glen and are looking to get back on the podium after a fourth place finish at Mosport. Among the BMW successes at Lime Rock was the very first BMW win for John Edwards in 2013. Unfortunately, Edwards, Lucas Luhr and the No. 100 M6 have had their share of bad luck so far this season. The pair has a season’s-best eighth place finish at Watkins Glen. With six races complete in the 11-race season, BMW stands fourth in GTLM manufacturer points. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner are third in driver points. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand ninth.
Adding another layer of complexity for the team, IMSA has made additional Balance of Performance (BoP) changes to the class for this round. The BMW M6 will race with reduced boost and a two liters less fuel in the tank.
“Obviously for us it’s a race [Lime rock] that has a lot of importance because it’s the closest track to BMW’s headquarters,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “BMW has had a longstanding relationship with the track and of course being so close we expect to see a lot of people from BMW so we will strive hard to put out a good show. Lime Rock is a short and quick track, especially the corner coming on to the front straightaway that should fit well with the M6 so I think we will be in good shape.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “We just came from Mosport where we led the race and had an amazing car. The only issue was we got caught out by a full course caution which ended any chance to finish on the podium. Now we are headed to Lime Rock. As far as I know nobody has been there with the new spec of GTLM car so it’s a clean sheet of paper for everyone.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “Lime Rock Park has a very special layout and we have never driven the M6 there. So the first big challenge will be to find a good setup. The race will be very challenging as well. Handling the traffic will be a key to success and the track doesn’t give you any opportunities to rest, so it will be physically tough as well. ”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “My first win with BMW came at Lime Rock Park in 2013 in the American Le Mans Series. My first win in Grand Am GT was also at Lime Rock in 2010, so I have some great memories from this track. However, with the race being in July, the heat and humidity is going to be tough, especially since there aren’t any real straights to give us a break. It’s also the shortest track we go to so traffic will be a big challenge in the race. After a tough first half of the season for Lucas and me, we are ready to hit the reset button and get ourselves back to the top of the podium.”
Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “The first thing you have to say about Lime Rock is the area surrounding the track is really charming with some of the nicest countryside we go to. The track itself is actually very technical and challenging for a driver. Apart from the start-finish straight you have no chance to catch your breath. I like the track and have won there in the past, so I am looking forward to seeing what we can do with our BMW Team RLL M6. As always we will be pushing to the maximum”
The Northeast Grand Prix takes the green flag at 3:00 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 23 with the live broadcast beginning at 3:00 p.m. EDT on FOX. 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; 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 341 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 126 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.