Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 22, 2016… BMW Team RLL driver Dirk Werner qualified the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM in the second starting position for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix. He co-drives with Bill Auberlen. The German ace’s lap of 50.834 seconds around the classic Lime Rock Park circuit using the uphill chicane was only 86 thousandths of a second slower than the class pole sitter. That honor was earned by Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 Ford GT.
John Edwards, driving the No. 100 BMW M6 he shares with Lucas Luhr, set the eighth fastest time with a 51.431 second lap. Lime Rock Park, the shortest track the series visits, made for close company in today’s 15-minute session as the entire GTLM field was only separated by 0.697 seconds.
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 race with unique liveries and numbers significant to the marque. The number 100 M6 looks forward to BMW’s next century with an artistic theme. The number 25 M6 races for a third weekend with a Stars and Stripes livery in honor of the nation’s recent Independence Day and the BMW M3 GTR that won the Petit Le Mans race in October of 2001.
“Dirk and Bill have been fast all weekend and front row in the GTLM class for those guys is good,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “It was almost pole by the smallest of margins, and maybe if they hadn’t thrown the red he could have got it. I think we just got caught out a little bit with John by that red, so we have got a little bit of work to do. But that is still a very tight field, as half a second pretty much covers everybody, and that is not very much come race day.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P2): “Not a bad day for us here in Lime Rock. Our qualifying was unusual, because we had to do a drive through after three or four laps and that kind of destroyed my rhythm a bit. Then I needed to build up the rhythm again and I was lucky I could do a lap time before the session was red flagged. Overall I think we can be quite happy with the result, because we came here not knowing how our car would work on this track as it is a very special one. We did a lot of work in these two practice sessions, changed the set-up a lot, which is unusual as you don’t usually do that on a race weekend, but it made our car quick.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM (P8): “It is going to be a difficult race starting from P8 on a track where passing is pretty limited. We had our problem this morning, missed out on an hour’s practice and so we were always going to be on the back foot. It is disappointing, but we just will have to try to make up for it tomorrow.”
The Northeast Grand Prix takes the green flag at 3:00 p.m. ET tomorrow with the live broadcast beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET 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.