Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – June 30, 2018… BMW Team RLL will start the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen from the seventh and eighth positions following today’s 15-minute GTLM class qualifying session. The green flag waved this afternoon at a very hot high noon and conditions are expected to be even warmer tomorrow.
In his first race weekend with BMW Team RLL, Tom Blomqvist qualified the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE seventh with a time of 1:43.227 minutes on his seventh lap of the classic Watkins Glen International circuit. Connor De Phillippi qualified the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE eighth with a 1:43.539 minute lap. The pole position was won by the No. 67 Ford GT. Blomqvist will share the No. 24 M8 with John Edwards and Jesse Krohn tomorrow and De Phillippi will co-drive the No. 25 M8 with Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims. Auberlen and Sims won the six-hour contest last year in the No. 25 BMW M6 GLTM.
Last year, the two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park resulted in two wins for BMW Team RLL – the first two of four victories for the BMW M6 GLTM racing program in 2017.
No. 25 M8 GTE fulltime co-drivers De Phillippi and Sims stand sixth in GTLM driver points, while No. 24 M8 GTE fulltime drivers Edwards and Jesse Krohn stand eighth. BMW holds the fourth spot in GTLM manufacturer points.
“We knew coming in that it was going to be a challenge in terms of performance for us.” said Brandon Fry, BMW Team RLL Technical and Racing Operations Director. “We continue making performance improvements to both BMW M8 GTE’s and will keep looking at things tonight, looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be hot and that is going to make things difficult for everyone, but having three drivers, will be an advantage we feel. Tomorrow is a long race, which is something we like so we will be looking for opportunities and we are going to give it our best”
Tom Blomqvist, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P7):
“The car, in general is good. Our qualifying performance wasn’t up to par today but we are banking on having a consistent car tomorrow. Tire wear can be an issue for some teams, and we have focused on our durability and will try to play that durability card tomorrow in the race. We have extracted the most out of the chassis but there are a lot of straightaways and we can only do so much with the power we have. We can only hope to improve here and there, use BMW M8 GTE’s very good drivability and focus on out-thinking the competition.”
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P8):
“Qualifying was fine in regards to the heat because we aren’t doing many laps so you don’t have time to really feel the heat. Last time I drove the BMW M8 GTE was at Spa in the rain where the heat wasn’t as bad as it is here this weekend. It is going to be an interesting race to deal with due to the heat but at the end of the day it’s the same for everyone, so it shouldn’t really be a problem for us. We’re supposed to be young, fit and able to deal with that stuff. We were lacking a bit of speed in qualifying so there wasn’t really much more we could do in that respect. Looking forward to the race, we just need to see how things will develop. We’re not hoping for miracles but if we can stay out of trouble and avoid mistakes, we’ll see where we end up.”
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen will drop the green flag at 9:45 a.m. ET Sunday, July 1 and be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 9:30 a.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; 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 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 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.