Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 17, 2018… The July 21st Northeast Grand Prix, at Lime Rock Park, marks the beginning of the second half of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and BMW Team RLL is looking to the next five races to prove the merit of the all-new BMW M8 GTE.
With two pole positions and two second place finishes at Sebring and Mid-Ohio, the M8 GTE has led the GTLM field at times, but the four other races in the first half of the season have seen both cars register disappointing finishes. The high speed centrifuge that is Lime Rock Park should be the catalyst required to begin the season’s turnaround.
Beginning with the two-hour-and-forty-minute Northeast Grand Prix, the team will debut a Mission: Impossible – Fallout livery in support of the latest chapter of the successful movie series. The “Mission: Impossible” partnership between BMW and Paramount Pictures, which dates from 2011, has already provided movie fans with several classic moments of cinematic history. The BMW brand has been meaningfully integrated into the stories of each film, showcasing forward thinking technologies and concepts that have helped the IMF agents successfully complete their missions.
“It’s always a challenge to have a problem-free or contact-free race at Lime Rock Park, but we have been successful there in the past,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Pit strategy plays a big part at Lime Rock due to the shortness of the circuit. You go a lap down, or very close to it, when you pit but if we can call a good strategy I’m confident that the cars will be competitive. Hopefully, Lime Rock will be to the M8 GTE’s liking and if so I think we can do well. And, of course, we want to do well there because its BMW’s home track. A win there is good for the team but it’s even better for BMW.”
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE: “I believe the progress we have been making with the BMW M8 GTE should put us in a better qualifying position at Lime Rock and, with some luck, aiming towards a podium finish.”
Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE: “I am looking forward to returning to Lime Rock. While a very short track, it has some very interesting corners. I think the characteristics of the M8 versus the M6 should put us in a more favorable position to challenge.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE: “I had my first win with BMW at Lime Rock (2013) and Martin Tomczyk and I finished third there last year in the M6 after a great battle with one of the Corvettes so the track holds some good memories for me. Many folks come up from BMW of North America headquarters so we always can count on a lot of support.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE: “I like the racing at Lime Rock. The gaps between cars are very short and a pass must be earned. A good qualifying position is usually the first step to a good finish.”
The Northeast Grand Prix will take the green flag at 3:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21 and be broadcast (delayed) on FOX Sports 1 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. ET . Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for 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.