PressClub Global · Article.
BMW Team RLL cars are forced to retire early at Lime Rock Park.
Sun Jul 24 10:08:34 CEST 2016 Press Release
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix turned into a demolition derby for BMW Team RLL as both BMW M6 GTLM cars ended the day on the wrecker. Both cars were pushed off the track by the same competitor’s car in Lime Rock Park’s (US) downhill turn in different incidents with different drivers, ending up in the tyre wall and out of the race.
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Munich (DE), 24th July 2016. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix turned into a demolition derby for BMW Team RLL as both BMW M6 GTLM cars ended the day on the wrecker. Both cars were pushed off the track by the same competitor’s car in Lime Rock Park’s (US) downhill turn in different incidents with different drivers, ending up in the tyre wall and out of the race. The number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, driven by Dirk Werner (DE) and in second place at the time, was on the receiving end of a large impact. Luckily, Werner was unhurt. The race was won by the number 4 Corvette.
The race started with promise for the number 25 car of Bill Auberlen (US) and Werner. Werner, starting the race from the outside of the front row, jumped into the lead on lap two and held it for more than one hour, only relinquishing it on lap 63 following a very strong move in the uphill chicane by the number 62 Ferrari of Toni Vilander (FI). As Auberlen was putting on his helmet, ready to take over in a scheduled stop ten laps later, Werner was drilled into the wall on lap 89. He was taken to the infield medical centre and released. Auberlen did not drive.
For the number 100 BMW M6 GTLM the race ended almost as soon as it began. John Edwards (US), starting from eighth on the grid, was hit in the downhill turn on lap five and spun into the tyre wall at the beginning of the main straight. Damage to the car forced its retirement. Lucas Luhr (DE) did not drive.
The Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 cars finished sixth – number 96 of BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (DE) and Bret Curtis (US) – and seventh – the number 97 of Markus Palttala (FI) and Michael Marsal (US) – in the GTD class.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“Totally unnecessary driving by both drivers of the same car was responsible for eliminating both of our cars from the race. I told the officials if it was the last corner of the last lap of the race I could understand it, but we were only just over halfway through the race. Obviously I am pretty upset about it. Dirk was doing a great job, the 25 car was in a position to win this race and was competitive enough to do it. Unfortunately we didn’t get far with the 100 car.”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, DNF):
“That was a really bad outcome for how the race started. I was able to get up to the front right from the start and stay there for a long time. When I lost the lead I was bumped and had to go straight in the chicane. Then the race was finished when someone put me in the tyres in the last turn, which is a fast turn. I think that was unnecessary in the middle of the race. I am very unhappy and hope this is not how we want to keep on racing. Thanks to the team the car was good again, as it was in the last couple of events, and for sure the car was good enough for a podium.”
John Edwards (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM, DNF):
“We have had a lot of bad luck this season and this time it was contact with another car in a really high speed portion of the track. It was a bit of a scary one, fortunately the hit wasn’t too bad, but it seemed to mess something up from the spin and the hit, so we could not continue.”