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Two great circuits on consecutive weekends upcoming for BMW Team RLL.

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 1, 2016… Following an eight-week hiatus in the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for teams competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, BMW Team RLL shifts right back into high gear with races at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on July 3 and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) one week later. The two venerable North American permanent road courses will surely be a challenging test for BMW’s new M6 GTLM racing cars that showed early promise at Daytona and Sebring, but struggled to put all the pieces of the new package together at Laguna Seca.

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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 1, 2016… Following an eight-week hiatus in the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for teams competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, BMW Team RLL shifts right back into high gear with races at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on July 3 and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) one week later. The two venerable North American permanent road courses will surely be a challenging test for BMW’s new M6 GTLM racing cars that showed early promise at Daytona and Sebring, but struggled to put all the pieces of the new package together at Laguna Seca.

 

For both races BMW NA will race the No. 25 M6, driven by Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, with a patriotic livery to celebrate July 4th as well as to pay homage to one of one of the most popular BMWs ever to race in North America - the M3 GTR. The BMW Team PTG M3 GTR raced and won with the stars and stripes livery at the October 2001 Petit Le Mans. Auberlen, along with Boris Said and Hans-J. Stuck, were the winning drivers. The No. 100 M6, co-driven by John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, will continue to race with its unique livery celebrating BMW’s 100th anniversary.

 

The Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen is up first at the newly resurfaced 3.4-mile, 17-turn Watkins Glen circuit. The team tested twice at WGI in May, gaining experience on the new Michelin tire that was introduced at Laguna Seca before the Le Mans break. An additional two-day test recently at Road Atlanta provided more data that will help with the M6 compete on the high-speed, unforgiving CTMP circuit.

 

"We tested at the Glen recently and I think we had good pace after a disastrous Laguna Seca event for us,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “The Watkins Glen test was our first chance to really understand the new tire – so the performance was better and I feel good about that. The repaving of the circuit has made it much quicker so it should favor us. We feel a lot better about where we are given the experience with the new Michelin tire now. Not everyone tested so it's hard to say how we really stack up but I'm hopeful. We've been on pole there before, finished third last year and actually could have done better but poor John got caught up in someone else's accident. We've had pace there so I'm optimistic of our chances there for sure. Aside from Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans, most endurance races, historically, were six hour or 1000 kilometer races. I think that is a good distance, a lot can happen in that time and yet it's not so long that it becomes overly demanding on the crew and the car.  You always look forward to going to Watkins Glen because it's such a historical place and really, in many ways, the birthplace of racing in this country."

 

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “We’ve done quite a bit of testing at the Glen and we’re getting more in-tune with the car each test. Mosport quickly follows so we have to be ready for both weekends when we roll out of the truck.”

 

Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “Laguna Seca showed that we had to make improvements and we used the break to do exactly that. My sense is we’ll be able to get closer to our competition as the M6 seems to like high speed corners and that is what Watkins Glen and Mosport offer.”

 

John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “Watkins Glen is my favorite circuit in North America and with the resurfacing I’m even more excited to race there again. The test showed us how much grip there is now so it seems the track flows even better than it did before. Having Mosport the next weekend only adds to my excitement as a racing driver likes nothing more than two fast weekends in a row.”

 

Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “Mosport clearly separates the men from the boys and is my favorite of the two circuits. I believe the M6 will be strong there. I said last year that Watkins Glen reminds me of sections of the Nordschliefe so it is a close second to Mosport. Now that it is repaved it is fantastic to drive. It will be a challenging two weeks.”

 

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen takes the green flag at 10:10 a.m. ET Sunday, July 3 with the live broadcast beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. The Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix starts at 11:05 a.m. ET July 10 with the live broadcast beginning at 11:00 a.m. on FOX Sports 1. 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; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy 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 341 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 125 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 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2014, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.118 million cars and 123,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2013 was euro 7.91 billion on revenues amounting to approximately euro 76.06 billion. As of 31 December 2013, the BMW Group had a workforce of 110,351 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built 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 25th season of competition in 2016, the team has compiled 37 victories, 49 poles, 144 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 TUDOR 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. Prior to the start of the 2016 season BMW Team RLL had won 13 races, 20 poles and 57 podium finishes.

 

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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.

 

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