BMW Aggregation RLL acclaimed its fourth GTLM accomplishment of the year at the division afterpiece of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) at Alley Atlanta (USA). At the archetypal Petit Le Mans, the cardinal 25 BMW M6 GTLM with Bill Auberlen (USA), Alexander Sims (GBR) and Kuno Wittmer (CAN) at the caster won with a 1.060 additional margin-of-victory over the second-placed Corvette, commutual 392 laps of the 2.54-mile alley advance in the 10-hour contest. It was the aboriginal accomplishment for BMW Aggregation RLL at this accident – and a actual appropriate celebration for Auberlen in his 400th race for BMW. Martin Tomczyk (GER), John Edwards (USA) and Nick Catsburg (NED) had to retire the cardinal 24 BMW M6 GTLM with beneath than one hour to go.
In the Drivers’ Championship, Auberlen and Sims achieve the IMSA division in additional place, accepting 317 credibility beneath their belts. Tomczyk and Edwards accept 262 points. In the manufacturers’ standings, BMW is in additional abode with 342 credibility afterwards the final round.
The 20 th Petit Le Mans saw the aftermost chase actualization of the BMW M6 GTLM. The car acclaimed its admission in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2016. Decidedly during this additional season, the GT sports car was able to prove its abounding potential.
BMW Aggregation RLL claimed four victories, at Watkins Glen (USA), Mosport (CAN), Laguna Seca (USA) and Alley Atlanta. Auberlen and Sims fabricated it assimilate the top footfall of the belvedere on three occasions, while Tomczyk and Edwards added their alpha IMSA chase win as co-drivers at Laguna Seca.
In addition, the aggregation denticulate four added belvedere finishes and took one pole position in Austin (USA). Back 2009 BMW Aggregation RLL has denticulate 17 wins in North American sports car racing. It was the team’s first-ever GT win at Alley Atlanta. Auberlen could bless his 400-race ceremony on the top footfall of the podium.
Before Saturday’s chase alpha a rain battery hit the track. Consequently, the acreage was on wet tyres back the lights went blooming for the 10-hour race. The clue broiled out bound however, so teams were anon able to about-face to glossy tyres. Alley Atlanta afresh provided the accomplishments for some amazing GT action, with the BMW Aggregation RLL drivers demography centre stage, blood-tingling the admirers with some abundant overtaking moves and fast lap times.
Car cardinal 25 was aggressive it out in the accumulation of front-runners from the start, with first-stint disciplinarian Auberlen demography the advance early. Over the advance of the race, the BMW M6 GTLM was consistently in contention, abounding times the aggregation assuming complete timing back calling the car in for pit stops. Auberlen, Sims and Wittmer didn’t accomplish any mistakes – and were adored with victory.
Car cardinal 24, however, suffered a dosage of bad luck aboriginal in the chase back Tomczyk had to access the barn for aliment to boldness a council affair at the alpha of the additional hour which amount the atramentous BMW M6 GTLM added than 10 laps. The leash of drivers accepted their angry spirit, but with beneath than an hour to go Catsburg had to retire the car with a damaged cooling system.
In the GTD class, Turner Motorsport additionally had to retire early. The cardinal 96 BMW M6 GT3 – apprenticed by Jens Klingmann (GER), Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Justin Marks (USA) – had led the chase in the aboriginal stages, afore the leash had to accord up due to a abstruse problem. Over the advance of the 2017 championship, Will Turner’s (USA) aggregation highlights in the GTD class included a win at Alley America (USA) and several podiums with the chicken BMW M6 GT3.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “This win for BMW Aggregation RLL is the consummate celebrity of a agitated IMSA season. Following some difficult contest in the aboriginal stages of the year, we got stronger and stronger with the BMW M6 GTLM and were able to action for appellation honours. Four wins is a abundant achievement, we accept never denticulate added wins per division back 2009. I’m decidedly admiring that Bill Auberlen – forth with Alexander Sims and Kuno Wittmer – was able to win in his 400 th race with BMW. A big acknowledge you goes to the accomplished team. This was additionally the final chase for the BMW M6 GTLM. In 2018 we will address a new affiliate with the BMW M8 GTE and cannot delay for the aboriginal chase actualization of the car at Daytona abutting year. I would additionally like to acknowledgment the Turner Motorsport team. They were arrive with the BMW M6 GT3 afresh in 2017 and denticulate several podiums. Will Turner’s aggregation is a accurate flagship for our chump antagonism programme in North America.”
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Aggregation RLL): “This was a good, boxy race. I’m so blessed for Bill, acceptable at his 400 th race actualization for BMW. Alexander and Kuno additionally did a abundant job. In the end, the Corvette gave us aggregate it had to accord – but we still won. To win four chase in one year is appealing acceptable in this series. And they were hard-fought. I’m absolutely admiring for BMW Motorsport and the accomplished team. What a way to end the year with two wins in a row.”
Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 1st place): “We went to action with this BMW M6 GTLM. This was a complete car appropriate from the beginning. Thanks to all my guys. What abundant way to complete my 400 th race with BMW. This is aloof amazing.”
Alexander Sims (No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 1st place): “What a race. This was really, absolutely something. It was actual arduous out there, but the aggregation fabricated the appropriate calls all day. We exhausted a few bodies into some of the stops beneath chicken which was absolutely accessible for the all-embracing race. We had a abundant pace. But cartage was consistently a big gamble. BMW and the accomplished aggregation formed actual able-bodied this weekend – and all season. I’m so animated we brought it home.”
Kuno Wittmer (No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 1st place): “I’m afflicted with affections appropriate now. This is such a aggregation sport. Every being in the aggregation performed to complete accomplishment today. That’s how you win. Co-driving with Bill was abundant again. He is addition to attending up to. Alex is an amazing talent. I couldn’t ask for bigger team-mates. Acceptable job BMW Aggregation RLL!”
John Edwards (No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM, DNF): “This aftereffect sums up our division really. Either we did abundant or we didn’t finish. We had addition DNF today. This is not what you want. The acceptable news, however, is the abundant aftereffect of our sister car.”
Martin Tomczyk (No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM, DNF): “You absolutely ambition for a altered aftereffect in the final chase of the year. Afresh we had a abstruse affair with the ability council at the alpha of the race. That’s a shame. The clip was there. For us it didn’t assignment out. Nevertheless it was a abundant year for me actuality in the States. We had a accomplishment at Laguna Seca, active with John was a abundant experience. Congrats to our team-mates!”
Nick Catsburg (No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM, DNF): “Unfortunately we not alone absent ten laps due to a abstruse affair in the beginning. Later on we had to retire. We would accept admired to accomplishment the race, as we never quit. But we were aloof afflicted today. It’s abundant to see our team-mates winning. They did a abundant job.”
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