Woodcliff Lake, NJ - Sept. 22, 2011
... For a second consecutive year BMW Power swept the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport Manufacturer, Driver and Team championships.
Rolex Sports Car Series -
Competing in the uber-competitive Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Powered Riley clinched a second Engine Manufacturer’s title for BMW with a second place finish in the September 17 Emco Gears Classis. Winning five races, including the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona, during the season it was in fact the runner-up finish at Mid-Ohio that clinched the title as the points tie with Chevrolet (also with five wins) was decided by second place finishes.
Driver Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas also celebrated a second consecutive Driver’s and Team Championship.
In the GT class BMW was represented by Turner Motorsport and two BMW powered Riley M3s, the second car entered only for the last four races of the season. Drivers Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana scored wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park. Standing 13th, Dalla Lana was the top-finishing BMW driver in the GT points.
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge –
A total of 18 BMWs competed in the two classes of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series in the season ending race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on September 17th and for a second consecutive year BMW drivers swept the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sports Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships.
Starting and ending the ten-race season with a victory, the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing M3 of Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi took the victory in the two-and-one-half-hour race to seal the Manufacturer’s title for BMW. The duo also contributed a win at Lime Rock Park to lead BMW teams with three wins.
Turner Motorsport driver Paul Dalla Lana clinched the 2011 GS Driver title with a sixth place finish. Starting from his seasons-best qualifying effort (fifth) Dalla Lana handed off to longtime BMW driver Boris Said who brought the No. 96 M3 to the finish line in sixth. Starting off the season co-driving with Bill Auberlen to six consecutive podium finishes that included a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dalla Lana only had to finish 11th or better to win his first professional racing championship.
A total of five BMW drivers finished in the top-10 of the driver point standings; Paul Dalla Lana (P1), Matt Plumb (P4), Mark Boden (P50, Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman (P6) Despite missing the final three races due to conflicts with his BMW Team RLL drive, Bill Auberlen finished a notable 12th.
Turner Motorsport also took the GS team championship to cap an excellent season for the Amesbury, Mass.-based BMW specialist.
BMW finished third in the Street Tuner class manufacturer standings. The class saw a mixture of 3 Series and 1 Series competitors score five podiums finishes during the season.
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director
“Congratulations to the Chip Ganassi Racing and Turner Motorsport organizations on their respective Grand-Am championships.” “I would also like to extend our thanks to Steve Dinan for providing an exclamation point to the words, BMW Power. Our hats are off to Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas for repeating as DP driver champions and a special note of congratulations to Paul Dalla Lana on his Grand Sports driver’s title. Paul exemplifies the strength of BMW’s customer racing programs and we delighted that his first professional racing championship came behind the wheel of a BMW.”
Mike Hull, Managing Director, Chip Ganassi Racing
- “Our TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates - “Riley has delivered by being a driving force at the front. The commitment to consistent performance by every team member combined with each of our partners continues to create the necessary momentum for maximum result. BMW’s solid product enhanced by Dinan once again made the difference. Its road-worthy drivability continues to lead all manufacturers. The best do their best when it counts the most, and that’s what defined our Rolex BMW team this year. They won not only five races including the Daytona 24-Hour race, but the GRAND-AM trifecta: the Team, Driver, and Engine Manufacturers’ Titles.”
Will Turner, Owner Turner Motorsport
- "Turner Motorsport is pleased to be able to contribute so much to another Manufacturer's Championship for the BMW M3 and to take Paul Dalla Lana to the Grand Sport Driver's crown. The Rolex Sports Car and Continental Tire Series provide the perfect stage for us to demonstrate the abilities of BMW and Turner Motorsport. We are already well into preparations for the 2012 Grand-Am season and look forward to defending our GS titles and racing the new competition in the Rolex Series."
The 2012 Grand-Am season begins with the 50th Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28-29, 2012.