Munich (DE), 15th September 2016. This year’s tenth IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race will see BMW Team RLL arrive at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (US), with BMW’s newest GT class competitor, the BMW M6 GTLM, ready for the penultimate race of the 2016 season.
The team will be racing for its fourth podium finish of this year, still gunning for the first GTLM class victory for the new car. To date, the team has scored very promising results at three of North America’s classic circuits; second place at Sebring and a third place finish at both Watkins Glen and Road America.
Last year’s IWSC race at COTA saw BMW Team RLL score the last of three wins in the 2015 season with the BMW Z4 GTLM as Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE) finished the season strongly, ultimately finishing a close second in the driver’s championship.
The team closes the development season chapter of the BMW M6 GLTM at this weekend’s two-hour-and-forty-minute contest at COTA and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, in Braselton (US) in two weeks time. As with any new racing car testing has been at the top of the engineers list. The past two weeks following the race at VIRginia International Raceway at the end of August have seen the team criss-cross the country to complete a very rigorous testing schedule that included two days at Circuit of the Americas and one day at Road Atlanta.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“We’ve had a pretty good record at COTA. We were on pole a couple of years ago with Joey Hand and then last year we won a great fuel strategy race. We were able to defeat the faster Porsches on fuel strategy which was fun. It’s clear the BMW M6 GTLM likes tracks with fast corners, which of course Circuit of the Americas has a lot of so we should be competitive.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM):
“It’s been a bit of a tough start for the BMW M6 GTLM. We have been in position to win a few races, but Lady Luck was not looking down upon us. We have been on the podium a few times but have just missed the top step and now hopefully at COTA it’s time to bring home the victory.”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM):
“Our testing at COTA went quite well. We certainly made improvements to the car, but this race – especially with the heat we usually have there this time of the year – can make it very difficult. A development year is always challenging because the progress you make does not always immediately result in victories, but it is all part of moving the program forward.”
John Edwards (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM):
“COTA is always a tough race. Tyre management will certainly be one of the keys to success. Our recent testing has answered many of this year’s remaining questions and I believe we may see some gains in the next two races. Our podium at Road America has helped our spirit because Lucas and I have not had much luck, but I’m confident our time is coming.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM):
“Going into the final two rounds of the season John and I are working really hard to get a couple of good results for the No. 100 BMW M6. This season has been one of the most up and down ones I have ever experienced in America, with sadly more downs than ups. COTA is a track I like a lot as it is very challenging – especially the higher speed corners. We know we have the pace to be competitive in GTLM which is so close this year, but pretty much anything that can go wrong has gone wrong for us.”