Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Sept. 8, 2018… As the most recent GTLM class winners at Virginia International Raceway as well as defending winners here at Laguna Seca, BMW Team RLL has been keeping their heads down and focusing on readying both BMW M8 GTE racing cars for tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
Following three one-hour practice sessions over the last two days, today’s 15-minute qualifying session saw Alexander Sims qualify the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE fifth with a 1:22.972 minute lap. Jesse Krohn qualified the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE eighth with a time of 1:23.527 minutes on his sixth lap. The pole position was won by the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette, with the entire GTLM class separated by only .827 seconds. Sims will share the No. 25 machine with Connor De Phillippi and Krohn will co-drive the No. 24 with John Edwards. Last year, the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM of John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk won this race in a thrilling finish at the checkered flag.
Co-driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with Robby Foley this weekend, Bill Auberlen qualified the car in the seventh GTD class starting position with a 1:25.034 minute lap.
“While P5 and P8 qualifying positions may not say it, we are reasonably close and still have time to tune the set-up on both cars,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “This race hinges on traffic to a large extent and the correct strategy is paramount. Last year, we were not the fastest car but we were the smartest, playing the fuel correctly and holding off the Ferrari at the end to win. I have to say that win remains one of the most satisfying.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P8): “Unfortunately, I had a difficult time getting a clear run together on all of the segments when the tires were at their peak and missed the opportunity to put together a really good lap.”
Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P5): “The car was working quite well and I was fortunate to get two clear laps when the tires were optimum. I did find that the wind changed compared to this morning’s practice, affecting me particularly in turns six and nine, but I was able to deal with it.”
The America’s Tire 250 will take the green flag at 2:05 p.m. PT tomorrow and be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for 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 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, and X6 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 346 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.
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 almost three decades. Prior to the start of their 27th season of competition in 2018, the team had compiled 42 victories, 53 poles, 162 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. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two car program and has brought their total to 17 wins, 23 poles and 68 podium finishes as well as a second place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017.