BMW Team RLL will be hoping to mark the 40th anniversary of BMW’s first race in the United States with a win at this weekend’s prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 24th-25th).
The team will field a pair of GTLM class BMW Z4s, each with a brand new chassis. The #24 machine will be at the hands of John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann and IndyCar racer Graham Rahal, while the #25 sister car will be piloted by Tudor United Sportscar Championship regulars Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, with DTM stars Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler joining them.
This year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona marks the 40th anniversary of BMW’s maiden race in America, the 1975 Daytona 24 Hours. Sam Posey and Hans Stuck piloted a BMW 3.0CSL to 33rd place overall.
“40 years ago, while BMW of North America was still in its infancy, BMW’s first national marketing program in the United States was to go racing”, explained Ludwig Willisch, Chairman and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC. “BMW Motorsport introduced two BMW 3.0 CSL race cars in North America for the 1975 IMSA season at 24 Hours of Daytona. Those cars became legends and laid the foundation for success BMW has enjoyed in the past four decades, where today we are the number-one luxury brand.”
With the added nostalgic importance to the race, Team BMW RLL will be hoping to improve on its second place finish at last year’s event. The race also forms the opening round of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship, which is something that Team Principal Bobby Rahal is particularly focused on.
“With Daytona being a 24-hour race, it certainly can play a major role in the championship,” Rahal said. “The odds are probably against you to finish, so the first thing is that you’ve got to do everything you can to make sure you get to the end. It sounds simplistic, but whoever spends the least amount of time in the pits is pretty much going to win.”
“We have two new Z4 GTLM chassis that are probably a little stronger than last year and having had a good test, I think there is a good chance for us to do well.”