BMW Power Captures GRAND-AM Road Racing Titles
* Press Release
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 23, 2010… The Ultimate Driving Machine® continues its role as a successful racing machine, sweeping the GRAND-AM Road Racing Rolex Sports Car Series and winning the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS Drivers’ and Manufacturer’s Championships. The 2010 Series finale wrapped up on September 11th at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates swept the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Driver and Team Championships and the Manufacturer’s title for BMW with a record ninth Rolex Sports Car Series victory on September 11th. Drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas drove their No. 01 BMW powered Riley to lead a total of 785 laps in a season that saw the duo finish first or second in 11 of 12 events. One of the foundations of their success was the consistent reliability of the No. 01’s Dinan Motorsport-prepared 5.0-liter BMW V8.
Also on September 11th, the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge wrapped up the season with the Salt Lake City 200 finale event. The Grand Sport (GS) race was won by the No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3 Coupe of Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb to secure the GS Manufacturer’s Championship for BMW. In the 2010 GS season, BMW vehicles captured the win at 6 of 10 events across a wide range of circuits: Daytona International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Virginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen International, Trois Rivieres and Miller Motorsports Park.
The No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 Coupe locked up the GS Driver’s Championship for Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman at the Salt Lake City 200. With consistant performances throughout the season, Espenlaub and Putman never finished out of the top-10, and won at Watkins Glen International. With this performance, Fall-Line Motorsports secured the GS Team Championship. The fifth BMW finishing in the top-10 at Salt Lake City (third place) was the No. 97 Turner Motorsport M3 Coupe driven by Michael Marsal and full-time BMW of North America Motorsport driver Joey Hand. The duo capped an excellent season that included two wins and four additional podiums, and finished as the runners-up in GS Driver Points. Turner Motorsport also secured the runner-up position in GS Team Points.
Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America Motorsport Manager:
“When I held the 2010 GRAND-AM Manufacturer’s Championship trophy, I proudly saluted all of the teams who raced this season with BMW Power. Our heartfelt thanks go to the Series and to the teams, drivers, and sponsors for doing what you do best – winning – with BMW Power. BMW of North America produced a poster early last decade which connected the desire to race with the most basic need to breathe. I know everyone associated with BMW’s racing success this year knows exactly what that poster meant.”
Mike Hull, Managing Director, Chip Ganassi Racing:
“TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was nearly perfect all season long - you couldn’t ask for more. This was a total team effort. Winning nine of 12 events and finishing second in two others is something that we are all very proud of. In addition, winning together with BMW Power, built and supported by Steve Dinan, was an integral part of our Rolex Series success in 2010. The seamless integration of their flawless product into our race program moved our team’s performance to another level. This truly defines partnership.”
Mark Boden, Team Principal, Fall-Line Motorsports:
“It's been a great season for the team at Fall-Line Motorsports. As you know winning a championship is always a great team effort and everyone for our shop to our drivers truly preformed as a team this year. Although we have been running in Grand-Am for three years 2010 was really a new team as we ran three cars from the one car in 2009 and added many new crew members and drivers. As we have always said, "to build a great race car you need to start with a great street car" the BMW M3 has proven to be a great car and extremely reliable car, three cars ten races and no DNF's. What's even more impressive is that Putman and Espenlaub run every lap of the Grand-Am CTSSC season on the lead lap. Our thanks to Grand-Am, Continental Tires, BMW and Sparco for their help in making this season possible.”
BMW - 2010 Grand Am Rolex and Continental Championships
Drivers (Pruett, Rojas)
Team (TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)
Grand Sports (GS):
Drivers (Espenlaub, Putman)
Team (Fall-Line Motorsports)
Street Tuner (ST):
Rookie of the Year (Heumann)