Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 18, 2017… Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., has long been considered BMW of North America’s home track. Only ninety miles from the Woodcliff Lake, NJ headquarters, the short, fast circuit has been the site of numerous BMW victories since 1975 and possibly a third consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win this weekend at the Northeast Grand Prix.
BMW Team RLL has amassed five podium finishes with the BMW M6 GTLM, including two wins by Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims, in the last three races moving BMW to third in GTLM class manufacturer points standings, Auberlen and Sims and the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM to second in driver and team points respectively. Teammates John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk have moved up to seventh in driver points after two podium finishes in the last three races in the No. 24 M6 GTLM.
The Northeast Grand Prix will see a confident BMW Team RLL arrive with a reduction in turbocharger boost among other fueling adjustments as mandated by the series Balance of Performance rules. IMSA continues to strive for parity in the GTLM class and while these BoP adjustments are negative, BMW Team RLL has made significant progress in the handling performance of the M6 in recent tests, which have contributed greatly to the results of the past few race weekends. The team expects to continue to compete on the strengths of the BMW M6, pushing for every spot, podium position, and ultimately the race win.
“Obviously we are pleased with the level of success that we have had so far this year,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “The cars are now competitive compared to where we were last year and the early part of this year. The BoP update has certainly narrowed the gap between us and others and therefore we can put forth a competitive effort. I’m really pleased and very appreciative of all the work that BMW Motorsport and our team has done in improving the handling of the car. We have found some real gains recently that have really made the car quite good in these long, fast corners. Lime Rock is not Watkins Glen or Mosport in terms of length and overall speed perhaps but it does have a fair number of reasonably quick corners and, once again, that tends to play to our strength. BMW has had a long relationship with Lime Rock and it’s our home track so, needless to say, doing well there is very important to us and would be a great place to continue our success. Our drivers are doing a really good job in terms of getting the most out of the car and our pit stops have been good. With all of that in mind, you have to go into the race weekend feeling optimistic.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “Wow, what a run we have going in our No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM. In the last three races we’ve finished 2nd, 1st and 1st. That has put us second in the championship, just three points behind. The only thing on my mind is podium after podium that will lead to the championship at the end of the year.”
Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “I am looking forward to getting to another new track and learning all I can before the race. Mosport went well under similar conditions so I can only hope we can recreate that sort of pace and fight for the podium positions again.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM: “It’s been a great few races for us and I’m excited to carry the momentum into Lime Rock. This is the track where I had my first win as a BMW driver back in 2013 so I have some great memories here. The race is as close as we’ll get to a home race for BMW so it would be special to win here again. Although we don’t have the prototypes with us this race, Lime Rock is still one of the most challenging tracks to get through traffic so it is definitely going to be a frantic race!”
Martin Tomczyk, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM: “It will be a great feeling coming to Lime Rock after the 1-2 at Mosport. The team is highly motivated and we will try to use this momentum for Lime Rock. For me the track is again a new one. So far it has never been a problem to adapt quickly to any new tracks in the US.”
The Northeast Grand Prix takes the green flag at 3:05 p.m. ET Saturday, July 22. FOX Sports 2 will broadcast the race live beginning at 3:00 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; 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 343 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.
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.