BMW Team RLL targets GTLM victory at Long Beach

BMW Team RLL has had more success at Long Beach than any other venue that has played host to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Since its inaugural season in 2009, the team has not failed to finish the race without at least one BMW on the podium at Long Beach. The Bobby Rahal-led team has won the race three times; once with the BMW M3 in 2011 and twice with the BMW Z4, in 2013 and 2015.

The Long Beach contest sets a much different stage than the season’s opening 36 hours of combined racing at Daytona and Sebring. Long Beach is a street course, only 1.968 miles long and, at 100 minutes long, is the shortest race of the season.

BMW Team RLL is looking to the race at Long Beach to celebrate the first win with the BMW M6 GTLM. Introduced at Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the two new M6 machines showed strength, but succumbed to teething problems with the No. 25 car finishing fifth. The No. 100 car did not finish. At the 12 Hours of Sebring in mid-March the story was a different one as Bill Auberlen scored the class pole in the No. 25 M6, drove the fastest GTLM lap of the race, and finished second with co-drivers Bruno Spengler and Dirk Werner. The No. 100 M6 finished sixth. Both cars totaled to lead the GTLM class for 35% of the race.  After two races, BMW stands third in GTLM manufacturer points.

Auberlen, who makes his home only miles from Long Beach in Redondo Beach, Calif., and season-long teammate Werner are looking to carry the momentum from Sebring and duplicate last season’s Long Beach performance - a win from the pole. The duo stands third in GTLM driver points. Ninth in driver points, Edwards and Luhr have had a tougher start to the season, but the pair only needs to add a bit of luck into the equation to better their results.

This year is a historic one for The Ultimate Driving Machine® as Bavarian Motor Works celebrates its 100th anniversary. To mark the occasion both of the M6 machines will race with unique liveries and numbers significant to the marque. The number 100 M6, with John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, looks forward to BMW’s next century with an artistic theme. The number 25 M6, driven by Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner races in honor of BMW Motorsport’s first season racing in the US in 1975. The car displays images of four significant racing BMWs; the 3.0 CSL, M1, M3 and V12 LMR.

In eight seasons of North American sports car competition, BMW Team RLL has posted 13 victories among 59 podium finishes, winning the American Le Mans Series Manufacturer and Team championships in 2010 and repeating the feat and adding the driver title in 2011. Beginning with the BMW M3 GT2 in 2009, the team successfully introduced the BMW Z4 GTLM in 2013 and expects to continue its winning ways with the BMW M6 GTLM in 2016.

BMW Press Release