Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 25, 2019… BMW Team RLL persevered through a very difficult time in today’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, ultimately finishing seventh and eighth in the GTLM class. The winner and third place finisher here last season, the team could not equal the pace of the other GTLM competitors this weekend, even with the BMW drivers pushing their cars as hard as they could and delivering an almost mistake-free performance.
Tom Blomqvist and Connor De Phillippi finished seventh in the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE. John Edwards and Jesse Krohn finished eighth in the NO. 24 BMW M8 GTE.
“We came here with high hopes after last year but we struggled all weekend. We just could not find the performance to battle with the rest of the GTLM field. We have a lot to look at where we can turn make adjustments to turn things around and have a better race at Laguna.” said Brandon Fry, RLL Technical Director.
The penultimate round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take place on Sunday, Sept. 15 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Salinas, Calif. The two-hour-and-forty-minute race will be broadcast on NBC beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Follow us on Twitter @BMWUSARacing for news from the pit box and get live scoring and in-car camera views at IMSA.com.
Tom Blomqvist, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P7): “We expected to be competitive but did not have the pace that we needed. We thought that we might get better and better during the race but things did not work out as we expected. We definitely leave here with more questions than answers.”
Connor DePhillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P7): “Obviously not the result we wanted this weekend, especially coming off of the win here last year. We drove a mistake-free race but did not have what we needed to compete here today. We have to find some more performance in the car and work towards a better result at Laguna Seca.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P8): “We really did not have the needed pace today. To be running in last and still have an off track shows that we were pushing very hard the entire time, still taking risks and trying to get the most out of the car. In the end, it did not affect the results however.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P8): “Not our weekend as we did not have the pace that the others had. The cars were very good handling-wise but we need to look to see how we can improve our performance overall and get back into the competition.”
BMW Customer Racing Teams –
Turner Motorsport Finishes 11th at VIR.
A fifth consecutive podium finish was unrealized as Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley also
experienced a disappointing day in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, finishing 11th in the GTD class. Contact early in the race flattened a right rear tire ultimately costing starting driver Foley almost three laps for subsequent repairs and a stop-and-hold penalty for having to pit when the pits were not open.
BMW M4 GT4 Drivers Score Two Top-Five Finishes at VIRginia International Raceway.
BimmerWorld racing drivers Ari Balogh and Mike Skeen scored the best finish of the season for the No. 80 BMW M4 GT4 with a third place finish in Saturday’s two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at VIRginia International Raceway. Greg Liefooghe and Henry Schmitt finished fifth in the No. 88 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 for a second top-five BMW result. James Clay and Devin Jones finished 19th in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4, dropping to third in Grand Sport driver points standings.
Round 10 of the 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge will take place on Saturday, September 14th at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Salinas, Calif.
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, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 348 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 123 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 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.