Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – September 11, 2019…
BMW Team RLL has an enviable record at Laguna Seca Raceway. A 1-2 BMW Z4 GTLM finish in 2015, forty years and two days after Hans J. Stuck won there in 1975 in a BMW 3.0 CSL, began the recent string of successes; a win in 2017 for the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM driven by John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk and again in 2018 for the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, piloted by Connor De Phillippi and Alexander Sims BMW. The team is eagerly looking toward its return to the beautiful 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit, located amongst the vineyards of the Salinas Valley and a short distance from California’s scenic Monterey Bay. The goal for the drivers, crew and engineers of BMW Team RLL at this weekend’s IMSA Monterey Sportscar Championship race is nothing short of another win to add to the emotional season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
This weekend’s race will see a change of liveries for the first time this season. While the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, of Connor De Phillippi and Tom Blomqvist, will remain in the traditional BMW Motorsport white the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE, of John Edwards and Jesse Krohn, will race in an all-black livery continuing the tradition begun in 2017.
BMW Team RLL drivers stand sixth (De Phillippi), seventh (Edwards, Krohn) and ninth (Blomqvist) in GTLM driver points standings.
The penultimate round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take place this Sunday, Sept. 15, and will be broadcast on NBC beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Follow us on Twitter @BMWUSARacing for news from the pit box and get live scoring and in-car camera views at IMSA.com.
“I believe we should feel good anytime BMW Team RLL heads to Laguna Seca,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We have won three times in the previous four years. A good strategy and the ability to get through traffic - more than who has the fastest car is usually key to success.”
Tom Blomqvist, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE:
“Laguna Seca is one of those tracks that you grow up as a kid knowing about. It’s synonymous with racing in the U.S. and has one of the most famous corners in racing. Again, it’s new to me, but I’m excited to drive around there. Hopefully, we can bounce back from a difficult weekend in VIR with a positive showing here at Laguna. It’s been a tough year for everyone but were all committed to end the season on a high note!”
Connor DePhillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE:
“Laguna Seca is one of the iconic highlights of the calendar each year and one of the most interesting events from a strategic point of view. I’m looking forward to catching some air at the corkscrew and getting our M8 GTE back on the podium where it deserves to be.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE:
“We’re back in black and hopefully will have a little more luck on our side! Laguna Seca seems to treat me either extremely well or extremely poorly, never in between! I’ve won championships there in formula cars and the GTLM race in 2015 and 2017, but equally have shown up with no pace and no results in other years. After some bad luck there last year, hopefully it’s time to turn around again and Jesse and I can get back the podium.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE:
“Laguna Seca is one of my favorite places to go in the US. Last season, we had a good weekend there, with a win for Connor and Alex and fourth place finish for John and me. I don’t see any reason we should not expect a similar performance.”
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 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 348 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 123 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 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.
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 almost three decades. Prior to the start of their 28th season of competition in 2019, the team had compiled 45 victories, 56 poles, 171 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. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two car program and has brought their total to 19 wins, 26 poles and 74 podium finishes as well as a second place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017. The 2018 debut of the BMW M8 GTE brought two wins, three poles and six podiums of that total.
Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com