BMW Team RLL Chases GTLM Championship Points at Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.
August 22, 2017
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Report – VIRginia International Raceway – Aug. 26, 2017
August 26, 2017

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 26, 2017… Determined work through three one-hour practice sessions over the past day and one half resulted in BMW Team RLL scoring second and third place starting positions for tomorrow’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.

Alexander Sims qualified the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM second with a time of 1:40.415 minutes around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn Virginia International Raceway. The Englishman was only bested at the close of the 15-minute qualifying session by the No. 66 Ford of Joey Hand. Setting the stage for an exciting race, Sims and Bill Auberlen currently stand third in GTLM driver points standings, only one point behind Hand and Dirk Müller.

John Edwards qualified the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM in the third starting position with a lap of 1:40.441 minutes. Edwards and co-driver Martin Tomczyk stand seventh in GTLM driver points standings.

“We can be pleased with our qualifying results today,” said Neil Fife, BMW Team RLL Race Engineer. “We worked hard to improve the cars through practice and are happy to see both are closely matched in performance.”

Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P2): “We made a couple of tweaks to the M6 before qualifying and despite a tricky moment through turn three on my first two laps was able to pick up quite a bit of time over yesterday’s practice sessions with a good, clean lap. I am pleasantly surprised to start from the front row and believe we have a good race set-up.”

John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM (P3): “ VIR is a great place to qualify because the amount of runoff allows you to take some chances that you can’t at most other tracks. I certainly made the most of that and dropped tires off in both turns 10 and 17 on my quick lap. It was not enough to slow the car, but it always gets your attention. Alex (Sims) and I qualified within .026 seconds of each other so I believe we can both figure strongly in tomorrow’s race.”

The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR takes the green flag at 1:35 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 27. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the race live beginning at 1:30 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.

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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.

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