Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – June 26, 2021 . . . BMW Team RLL will start from the second row of the GTLM class in tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Connor De Phillippi qualified the No. 25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE third with a quick lap of 1:41.357-minutes around the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen International – 0.413 seconds in arrears of the polesitting No. 3 Corvette. John Edwards qualified fourth with a 1:41.932-minute lap in the No. 24 MOTUL BMW M3 GTE.
The driver lineup for the race will be anchored by the four 2020 full-season drivers; Connor De Philippi and Bruno Spengler in the No. 25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, and John Edwards and Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE. Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus will serve as additional co-drivers in the No. 25 and No. 24 M8 GTE, respectively.
Focusing exclusively on the four endurance races that comprise the Michelin Endurance Cup in the final season of competition of the BMW M8 GTE, the team has already scored three podium results in the first two races. A third-place finish at the Rolex 24 At Daytona to start the season was followed up by a double-podium (second and third places) result at the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March.
“I believe we are close enough that we have a real chance tomorrow,” stated Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Of course, it’s a long race and Watkins Glen is always a challenge, but we had a good test here earlier in the month in hot conditions and it looks to be warm tomorrow.”
Bill Auberlen – BMW veteran and all-time IMSA win leader, Robby Foley, and Australian Aidan Read will represent BMW in the GT Daytona class, co-driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Auberlen and Foley were recent winners two rounds ago at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The car qualified in the fifth starting position for tomorrow’s race.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will take the green flag at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday, June 27th. A three-hour recap will be broadcast later the same day on NBC SN beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. The entire race will stream on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. Follow us on Twitter @BMWUSARacing for news from the pit box and get live scoring and in-car camera views at IMSA.com.
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P3): “I think we maximized the performance of the car today. Maybe there was another tick or two, but not a pole time. We have been focused on race stints and the anticipated hot conditions tomorrow and I think we have put together a good package that will take care of the tires.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P4): “The No. 24 is in a good window for the race tomorrow. While our qualifying result may appear to be disappointing, a one lap pace in qualifying is one thing, but we need to go a strong 30-some laps in a stint tomorrow and that is what we have prepared for.”
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; a technology office in Silicon Valley, 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, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 349 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 116 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 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 three decades. Prior to the start of their 30th season of competition in 2021, the team had compiled 54 victories, 64 poles, 205 podium finishes, three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011), claimed two Indianapolis 500 victories (Buddy Rice in 2004, Takuma Sato in 2020) and two Rolex 24 at Daytona victories. 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 22 wins – including the 2019 and 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance races, 28 poles and 87 podium finishes prior to the start of the 2021 season. The team earned second-place finishes in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017 and was the 2020 Michelin Endurance Cup Champions.