Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Sept. 16, 2016… A disappointing qualifying session will see BMW Team RLL start from the seventh and ninth GTLM class positions in tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Lone Star Le Mans race, the penultimate round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Dirk Werner qualified the No. 25 M6 in the seventh position with a 2:05.230 minute lap around the 3.4-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas. Werner and Bill Auberlen, the winners of last year’s event, currently stand fifth in GTLM driver points. The No. 100 M6 will start from the ninth position, following a 2:05.738 minute lap by John Edwards. The result is doubly disappointing for the No. 100 machine as the car could not come to terms with the changing conditions after posting a strong practice three performance that saw Edwards post the fourth fastest class time (2:03.570 minutes), only .190 seconds from the GTLM class leader. Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand ninth in GTLM driver points. The GTLM class pole went to Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford GT.
“It was another hot qualifying session,” said Jay O’Connell, RLL VP Technology. “Both cars and drivers tried hard, but just don’t have the pace right now to get on the pole. I think we have a reasonable balance for tomorrow. In the heat we are looking for a good consistency and we are looking forward to the race. Last year it was a really strategic battle, which paid off, and certainly we will look at that option for tomorrow and see if we can move one of our cars up onto the podium one way or the other. We will try every trick we have got to get there.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (7th): “They were difficult track conditions and it was a bit frustrating. It was a bit like VIRginia, where the car doesn’t feel bad at all and you think you should be in a good position, but just the pace is missing. Compared to the fastest cars, it is a big gap. I hope for the race we can be consistent and just hang on in there. Maybe with good pit stops and a clean race we can get some points. We have to sit together and just check out where we can still improve our package.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM (9th): “It wasn’t a good session for us obviously. We have to look at the data and see why, because we made changes to help the front a little bit since yesterday afternoon in the heat, and if anything it was worse today. It is quite difficult to know what you are going to get in the heat. The car was much better this morning, even relative to our competitors, but obviously the heat affected us quite a lot more than them.”
The Lone Star Le Mans takes the green flag at 12:35 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 17 with the live broadcast beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 and IMSA.tv. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
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.
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