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      07-02-2017, 09:06 PM   #1
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BMW M6 GTLM Wins at Watkins Glen

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BMW M6 GTLM Wins at Watkins Glen
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 2, 2017… Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims raced the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM to victory today at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The win was the 14th for the BMW Team RLL program since 2009 and the first for the BMW M6 GTLM platform. The duo completed 186 laps of the classic Watkins Glen International circuit during the six-hour contest, finishing 3.156 seconds ahead of the No. 67 Ford GT. BMW Motorsport driver Sims celebrated his first sports car win in North America while Auberlen added another record to his illustrious career. With the M6 victory today, Auberlen has co-driven three BMW Team RLL racing cars to their first win (BMW M3 GT, Joey Hand - Road America 2009; BMW Z4 GTLM, Maxime Martin - Long Beach 2013 and BMW M6 GTLM, Alexander Sims- Watkins Glen - 2016).

Teammates John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk had a strong race in the No. 24 M6 GTLM, leading the competitive class for a host of laps before being forced to retire the car on lap 161 after suffering radiator damage.

Under beautiful New York skies starting drivers Sims, from the second position, and Tomczyk, from third immediately moved forward at the green flag to grab the first and second spots in the GTLM class. Opening up a three second gap on the field both drivers quickly settled into a pace that would complement the car’s set-up.

Tomczyk pitted from second on lap 24 to hand off to Edwards after the No. 24 M6 was filled with fuel and new Michelins installed. Sims pitted the No. 25 M6 from the lead on lap 29 and stayed in for a second stint after a fuel fill and tires. After the field cycled through the first round of pit stops on lap 34 Sims was back in front with Edwards three seconds behind in second. Edwards was forced to return to the pits on lap 38 for a deflating left front tire. A mistake during the stop brought the No. 24 M6 back to the pits for a drive-through penalty. Edwards pitted only14 laps later with a second deflation issue. Sims pitted the No. 25 M6 on lap 59, entering pit lane just as the first caution flag of the race flew. Auberlen took over the car and the lead. Edwards joined the balance of the GTLM field to pit under yellow and hand the No. 24 machine back to Tomczyk. The green flag flew with Auberlen P1, Tomczyk P8 and some four hours still remaining in the race. The second caution period of the race brought both BMWs to the pits on lap 87. The No. 4 Corvette pitted just before the caution, inheriting the lead from the No. 25 M6.

Almost at the mid-point of the race, Lap 94 saw the third yellow flag wave for a car off at turn six. As the green flag waved on lap98, Auberlen found himself in a five-car battle at the front of the GTLM field. Losing two positions the Californian found himself in fourth, just ahead of teammate Tomczyk who had a strong restart to move into fifth. One lap later both BMWs moved up one position as the No. 911 Porsche fell out of second after an accident in the inner loop, bringing out the fourth yellow flag. The BMWs were back at the sharp end of the field as the balance of the GTLM field pitted on lap 105. The race restarted on lap 107 with Auberlen P1 and Tomczyk P2. Tomczyk took over the lead on the next lap, opening a two second advantage on his teammate. He pitted from the lead on lap 123, handing the No. 24 M6 back to Edwards. Auberlen pitted on the next lap with Sims taking over in the driver’s seat. Edwards and Sims returned to the track in the sixth and seventh positions respectively.

Edwards pitted on lap 156 for his final stop of the race, rejoining the race in fifth. Sims pitted one lap later for his final stop and rejoined in sixth, both BMWs committed to a different fuel strategy than most of the rest of the field. Four laps later Edwards reported a loss in water pressure and pitted the No. 24 M6. As the crew diagnosed the issue the day was effectively over for the No. 24 M6 and the car was ultimately retired with a punctured radiator. Sims continued to move the No. 25 M6 forward, reaching second as the rest of the GTLM field made their final pit stops. With 36 minutes remaining in the race, the fifth caution period occurred on lap 172 for two cars stopped on track giving Sims a bit of breathing room on his fuel saving strategy. Sims opened a gap on the restart and held the lead over the remaining laps to secure the first victory for the BMW M6 GTLM.

“I am extremely proud of this team,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “It was a tough fight today with the win not assured until that last yellow helped us with fuel mileage. Alexander and Bill did a great job, but it could have equaling been John and Martin’s day if now for an errant piece of a competitor’s car puncturing the radiator. Now back to the shop to prepare for Mosport (CTMP).”

Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P1): “I have been lucky enough to share the first win the BMW Team RLL M3, Z4 and now the M6. This M6 victory has been a long time coming and I could not be happier to have played a part.”

Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P1): “It really feels like we earned the win today. It was close until the last caution that allowed me to breath a bit easier. Big credit to everyone at BMW Team RLL. They really nailed the M6 this weekend.”

John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM (P8): “BMW Team RLL had two great BMWs today, but Martin and I had some bad luck. I’m afraid the guys may have some extra work ahead of them to ready the No. 24 M6 for Mosport, but I hope the first win the M6 GTLM makes it a bit easier.”

Martin Tomczyk, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM (P8): “It was not the No. 24 car’s day, but we celebrate as a team so congratulations to Alex and Bill! It was a deserving win for BMW and BMW Team RLL. I know we have the pace and I hope our luck will change at Mosport.”

Round Six of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, will be held July 8 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.

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      07-02-2017, 09:29 PM   #2
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Awesome! Looks like the rule changes have helped.
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      07-02-2017, 09:40 PM   #3
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Watched the entire race today. Both BMWs were dominating in GTLM and team Turner was putting down great times as well finishing 3rd in GTD. Great to see that the BoP adjustments have helped and a bit of luck for a top finish.
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      07-02-2017, 09:42 PM   #4
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Awesome! Looks like the rule changes have helped.
And the livery changes too ! Bam !
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      07-02-2017, 09:47 PM   #5
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They did it! Finally, congrats
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      07-03-2017, 01:21 AM   #6
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      07-03-2017, 01:26 AM   #7
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Congrats!

Great to see the milestone come. Hopefully, we will see better results going forward.
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      07-03-2017, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealYourFace View Post
Awesome! Looks like the rule changes have helped.
I heard some rules changed but what were they exactly?
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      07-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealYourFace View Post
Awesome! Looks like the rule changes have helped.
I heard some rules changed but what were they exactly?
They allowed a paint scheme that wasn't completely awful!
      07-03-2017, 01:04 PM   #10
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Nice win. Finally a competitive car.
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      07-03-2017, 02:04 PM   #11
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Wow! BMW for the win!
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      07-03-2017, 06:42 PM   #12
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It's probably an adjustment to power to weight ratio allowances for the larger cars like the m6 that lets them compete now. They did something similar last year that helped the corvettes compete with the ford gt. When the ford gt first came out it was beating everyone badly
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      07-08-2017, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookie45 View Post
I heard some rules changed but what were they exactly?
It's been a progressive series of BoP (balance of performance) adjustments giving the M6 GTLM a little more turbo pressure and a little less weight, while other cars in the field have had weight added. BoP is ever changing, so I wouldn't exactly call them rule changes. This is how racing works these days. Without it, you couldn't race a Ferrari 488 against a BMW M6. It wouldn't be a race.
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      07-14-2017, 11:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogajitsu View Post
It's probably an adjustment to power to weight ratio allowances for the larger cars like the m6 that lets them compete now. They did something similar last year that helped the corvettes compete with the ford gt. When the ford gt first came out it was beating everyone badly
Not sure which races you were watching, but when the Ford GT first came out, it was having a lot of technical issues.

Good to see BMW get some wins under their belt a place like the Glen. There was a lot of back-and-forth at that race which of course makes it all the more interesting to watch.
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      07-14-2017, 11:22 AM   #15
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When the Fords weren't crashing or having technical issues, they were very fast cars.

Part of me likes balance-of-power rules so you don't have one team dominating, but it also seems to punish teams that have truly spent the time, money, and effort to build a better car.

In other words, if the M6 GTLM couldn't keep up with the Ford GT, BMW should've stepped things up and improved their car/run something more competitive.
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      07-14-2017, 04:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dparm View Post
When the Fords weren't crashing or having technical issues, they were very fast cars.

Part of me likes balance-of-power rules so you don't have one team dominating, but it also seems to punish teams that have truly spent the time, money, and effort to build a better car.

In other words, if the M6 GTLM couldn't keep up with the Ford GT, BMW should've stepped things up and improved their car/run something more competitive.
This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of GTE/GTLM. The problem is that none of these cars are the limit of what the manufacturers can do, not even from day one. All of the manufacturers are mandated to build to a performance envelope. If you exceed that envelope, you don't receive certification. So even if BMW wanted to run something faster, they can't. The M6 GTLM is perfectly capable of running at the performance envelope. From there, it comes down to BoP.

BoP isn't handed down because you fail to win races; it's based on pace. "Better car" is relative. You can have a better car because it's flat out faster (pace), or you can have a better car because it's more reliable, or you can have a better car because it's more easy to drive consistently. Only pace is governed by BoP, which forces teams to win on reliability and consistency.

BoP is really tight right now, which is good. At The Glen and CTMP, nearly the entire GTLM field are within 1s of each other in terms of average lap time. The top 6 were within 0.6s of each other. BoP is on point right now, and BMW are winning races in a fair, competitive field. See this post for details on the stats:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...75&postcount=4
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