BMW Motorsport revealed that it has a new challenger in the works for the elite class of the North American GT racing with the BMW M6 GTLM. This is in addition to the BMW M6 GT3 that will continue to participate in FIA GT3 regulated races events and series.
The company expects to return for the eighth season with its BMW Team RLL. The brand will also field its recently developed race car for the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt shared that it was logical to create a vehicle for the WeatherTech Championship using BMW M6 GT3 as the basis.
The M6 GTLM has all the necessary ingredients that can thrill its many fans in the U.S. and Canada. Marquardt adds that the brand is keen to continue all its work commitment on the opposite of the Atlantic with the highest level especially as the WeatherTech Championship remains to be a fantastic stage with legendary venues and a high quality field. BMW will clearly feel right at home, Marquardt concludes.
Chairman and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC, Ludwig Willisch meanwhile said that the company’s success in motor racing in North America forty years ago more than proved its claim of The Ultimate Driving Machine.
This remains to be a significant part of the company’s marketing strategy even today. Being the largest BMW M market worldwide, the brand is excited to make its fans happy with the M6 GTLM for the 2016 WeatherTech Championship.
Bobby Rahal, the Team Principal of BMW Team RLL, stated that 2016 is clearly an exciting year for BMW with a very competitive field, a new car, and its hundredth anniversary. Rahal shares that he is personally thrilled that the RLL continues to be the embodiment of the brand’s North American motorsport program for this eighth season.
This will be the third model that has raced since 2009 and the company is looking forward to the challenge. BMW raced the M3 during the 2009-2012 seasons and the Z4 for the 2013-2015 seasons. Engineers from BMW Motorsport used the M6 GT3 as the bass for the M6 GTLM.
In fact, the GTLM participated in the official “Balance of Performance” tests that were performed by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) for the GTLM homologation together with the GT3 testing of the FIA and ACO held in Ladoux, France.
Subject to the final approvals from North American-based IMSA, the company hopes to race the M6 GTLM for the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Similar to the GT3 version, the GTLM is powered by a light modified V8 production engine version with the M TwinPower Turbo Technology of the BMW M6 Coupé.
For the past three seasons, BMW Team RLL has used the BMW Z4 GTLM during the United SportsCar Championship and American Le Mans Series. The team has managed to celebrate five victories plus 15 podiums to date. Another milestone that has been added to the history of the BMW’s GT for North America was when it won the 2001 American Le Mans Series.
During this time, the company had the BMW M3 GTR (Drivers’, Team and Manufacturer titles). The brand won as well in 2010 with the BMW M3 GT (Team and Manufacturer titles) and also for 2011 (Drivers’, Team and Manufacturer titles).
The 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will start with the 24 Hours of Daytona to be held on January 30 & 31. This will be followed by the ten events for the GTLM teams. This series will take the BMW to what are regarded as the most iconic racetracks found in North America. The season finale is set to take place on October 1 at the “Petit Le Mans” in Road Atlanta.