Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 5, 2017… BMW Motorsport drivers Alexander Sims and Martin Tomczyk qualified third and fifth respectively in today’s 15-minute qualifying session for tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, the eighth round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After yesterday’s practice was affected by rain, today’s sessions ran under beautiful Wisconsin skies. Unfortunately, rain is threatening to play a role in tomorrow’s race.
Sims was the quickest of the BMW Team RLL teammates, qualifying the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM in the third starting position with a lap of 2:02.211 minutes around the classic 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course. Sims’ time was .781 seconds in arrears of the pole winning Ford GT. The British BMW Motorsport driver and co-driver Bill Auberlen stand second in GTLM class driver points standings, seven points from the leaders. The duo have scored two wins so far this season, at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Tomczyk drove the No. 24 M6 GTLM to a 2:02.583 minute lap and will start fifth. Tomczyk and co-driver John Edwards finished third in the last round at Lime Rock Park, the duos third podium in the last four races. They stand seventh in GTLM driver points.
“That session did not quite turn out as we would have wished, but we feel confident for tomorrow’s race, said Neil Fife, BMW Team RLL Race Engineer. “Both cars showed competitive times. The 25 M6 showed best and the No. 24 car just missed out on a much better lap. We’ll keep pushing to get both on the podium tomorrow.”
Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P3): “With the inclement weather conditions yesterday and an issue with the car in the afternoon, today’s qualifying session was my first real chance to drive the car in anger. I don’t believe we are 100% there yet, but I am confident we are close enough that with a bit more work this evening we’ll have a strong race.”
Martin Tomczyk, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM (P5): “There is certainly more in the car, but things do not always work out as you plan. A small delay in traffic can add up to a large deficit in lap time around a circuit like this.”
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag at 1:35 p.m. CT Sunday, Aug. 6. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the race live beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. 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 344 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 127 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 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based 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 26th season of competition in 2017, the team had compiled 38 victories, 51poles,151 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 IMSA 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 and added two poles and three podiums in 2016. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, BMW Team RLL had won 13 races, 22 poles and 60 podium finishes.
Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.