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BMW Team RLL takes renewed momentum to COTA.

A change in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) schedule will see BMW Team RLL race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (USA) on 6th May instead of the series’ usual September date. The two-hour-and-forty-minute race will see the team racing with renewed momentum after a strong effort at Long Beach (USA) where both BMW M6 GTLM cars showed increased competitiveness and season’s-best fourth and seventh place finishes.

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Munich. A change in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) schedule will see BMW Team RLL race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (USA) on 6th May instead of the series’ usual September date. The two-hour-and-forty-minute race will see the team racing with renewed momentum after a strong effort at Long Beach (USA) where both BMW M6 GTLM cars showed increased competitiveness and season’s-best fourth and seventh place finishes.

The team tested at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn COTA for one day during the week following the Long Beach race with all four regular season drivers, Bill Auberlen (USA), Alexander Sims (GBR), John Edwards (USA) and Martin Tomczyk (GER), on duty. Most recently Edwards, Sims and Tomczyk were among BMW drivers spread across nine BMW M6 GT3 racing cars at the 23rd April six-hour qualification race for the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER). All three BMW Team RLL drivers will compete in the 45th annual Nürburgring 24 event on 27th/28th May.

The Circuit of the Americas has seen BMW Team RLL finish on the podium twice, including a victory by Auberlen and Dirk Werner (GER) in a BMW Z4 GTLM in 2015. In the first season of the BMW Z4 GTLM programme, Edwards and Dirk Müller (GER) finished third in 2013.

The fourth IWSC round takes the green flag at 13:35hrs CT (20:35hrs CET) on Saturday, 6th May.

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “We have had some success at COTA. In 2015 we won with the BMW Z4 GTLM because of great race strategy. Because of the long, long straight there, it has always been a track that is not necessarily to our advantage. We had a reasonably good car at Long Beach – we should have won the race – so I think our pace is much more in line with the other cars so there is reason to be optimistic.  We just have to make sure our strategy is right, the car is handling well, and we make no mistakes.”

Bill Auberlen (no. 25 BMW M6 GTLM): “COTA is a track where we’ve seen success in the past and will provide a good test for the improved performance of the BMW M6 GTLM we saw at Long Beach. The long straights and high speed, sweeping turns of COTA will give us a much better understanding of where we stand among the competition.”

Alexander Sims (no. 25 BMW M6 GTLM): “I am really looking forward to racing at COTA. I have tested there before – once last year and just recently – and I enjoyed. To race there will be cool. We have continued to work on the car and I feel we should be competitive again after our improved Long Beach showing.”

John Edwards (no. 24 BMW M6 GTLM): “The final minutes of the race were disappointing at Long Beach, but we took away some positives. We were leading and competing for the win. Our aim is to take that competitiveness into the next round at COTA and rebound from the difficult start we’ve had to the season. I’m looking forward to returning the podium with BMW.”

Martin Tomczyk (no. 24 BMW M6 GTLM): “We went testing at COTA right after Long Beach and it was great for me. It went a long way to erasing the disappointment of that race and turn my focus to the next race. It was great to drive the circuit for the first time. Once again our goal is to have a clean race and finish within the front runners.”

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