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      01-31-2016, 07:05 PM   #1
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BMW M6 GTLM results from debut race at 24 Hours of Daytona

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BMW M6 GTLM results from debut race at 24 Hours of Daytona
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Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 31, 2016… Both the new BMW M6 GTLM and the BMW M6 GT3 proved their promising potential in the very first round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: At the classic 24 Hours of Daytona (US), the number 25 BMW M6 GTLM crossed the line in fifth in the GTLM category. Bill Auberlen (US), Dirk Werner (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR) and Bruno Spengler (CA) had alternated at the wheel over the course of their 721 race laps.

In the GTD class, the number 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, driven by Michael Marsal (US), Markus Palttala (FI), Maxime Martin, (BE) and Jesse Krohn (FI), finished the debut race of BMW Motorsport’s new GT3 challenger in sixth. The No. 96 sister car had dropped back early in the race due to technical problems, ultimately finishing 17th in the GTD category.

The 7:13 a.m. sunrise over the Daytona International Speedway showed only one BMW M6 GTLM remaining in the Daytona 24 Hours. About four hours earlier, on lap 360, the number 100 BMW M6 GTLM, with Lucas Luhr (DE) behind the wheel, suffered a crash in turn one due to a brake problem. Luhr was unhurt, but the damage forced the team to retire the car from the race. Luhr had shared driving duties with John Edwards (US), Graham Rahal (US) and Kuno Wittmer (CA).

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“After all these months of intensive development work, countless kilometres of testing and all the passion brought in by everyone at BMW Motorsport and in our teams to get our new GT race cars ready, our goal was to finish the race in Daytona – and, if possible, bringing home some good results. Overall I’m happy with the race debuts of the BMW M6 GTLM and the BMW M6 GT3. We knew that the 24 Hours of Daytona would be a tough test right at the beginning of the season. And this is exactly what we experienced this weekend. Walking away from Daytona with P5 in the GTLM class and P6 in the GTD category is a good result and a nice reward for the whole squad. The start into our anniversary season on the occasion of the 100th birthday of BMW definitely was a positive one. With car number 100 we had to endure quite a scary moment. Fortunately Lucas Luhr escaped from this accident without a scratch. For the fans it was an extremely exciting and entertaining race. Many different cars fought for the lead, several manufacturers performed on a similar level. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship promises to be a real thriller in 2016. We saw that the basis of our all-new car is very promising. And I’m confident that we will score some really good results over the course of the season.”

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“You never know how you truly add up until you get to the first race. The 100 car was having a really good race, so it was a shame that we had a problem that you don’t see very often. Unfortunately it took us out of the race. I think the performance of the M6 was quite good and the guys were doing a great job. The same goes for the 25. It is a new car and I think just finishing the race was kind of a victory in its own right. It is disappointing naturally not to have won, but that was asking a lot of this car on its maiden voyage. The Corvette is a well proven car, the Porsche is the same thing and I think we saw that today. Given that the M6 is a brand new car, with brand new systems - everything - the fact that the 25 car made all 24 hours without a lot of problems says a lot.”

Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 5th place):
“The No. 25 M6 ran almost perfectly for 24 hours. We missed a few kilometers per hour on straight line speed to our competitors, but that will be addressed. After a day like today we can certainly hold our heads high.”

Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 5th place): “In general I think everybody can be quite happy with our car. We had little problems here and there, but not necessarily with the car. The race was tough and sometimes we had to land back on our feet after struggling a little bit. But now it is the end of the race and all the engineers and mechanics kept the car in good shape and we are good enough to fight for a podium. For the first race for the M6 I think we can be quite happy because we had no major problems. I think all the testing paid off and I am quite happy. Obviously this is a completely different track to the other ten ones we race on in this series, so since the M6 is a new car we have to go to each race and start with a clean sheet of paper, get our set up right and maybe the drivers will have to adapt a little bit to the car on different tracks. But we have a good group of people and I am confident everyone is pushing.”

Augusto Farfus (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 5th place):
“I was very excited coming to this race as I had seen at the Roar what the new M6 could do. I felt it would be a fantastic race car for Daytona and that proved to be the case. I was also very happy to be the driver to bring the car across the finish line. To finish a 24 hour race in a brand new car with no major technical problems is a great achievement in itself. Okay we may lack top speed and this we need to pass other cars, but I know BMW will work on that as this is just the start of the project. I had some very intense stints and the one early in the morning was like a double qualifying when I was trying to hang in there with the Porsches and Corvettes.”

Bruno Spengler (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 5th place):
“For the first 24 hours for the M6 it is a good experience and it is important to cover some kilometers and stay on track. Knock on wood we haven’t had big technical defects so far, so we will see. Unfortunately we miss a little bit of performance compared to the opposition . But it is a young car and there are still things to learn and things to do on it. It is a good start for the car, but as I said before, the opponents were a little bit quicker during the whole race, and was difficult to expect more than a top three or four finish. The positive is that we didn’t have any large technical issues and the car was running well. That is positive for the future and we have to keep on working and try to make the car even faster.”

Maxime Martin (Number 97 BMW M6 GT3, 6th place):
“We had quite a good race. There were no big issues or even little mistakes. Unfortunately, we did not have the top speed of our competitors. The M6 GT3 definitely has potential. To finish 6th in its very first race - a 24 hour race - is excellent. In time I know the M6 GT3 will be able to show all of that potential.”

Jesse Krohn (Number 97 BMW M6 GT3, 6th place):
“Racing in Daytona has always been one of my dreams. It is one of the biggest races in the world and I have grown up watching these races. I have always wanted to be here and now I have had the opportunity to come. The M6 GT3 is quite good. It has a lot of potential. It is the first outing for the car in race conditions, so it has been impressive the way we have been able to run with it. I am happy with the whole Turner Motorsport team and the way they worked, how everything is organized and it is a real pleasure to work with them.”

Lucas Luhr (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM, DNF):
“There was some kind of explosion at the front right that made the bonnet go up, so I couldn’t see where I was going. I believe it was a brake problem. I had two or three good hits. It’s a shame because we were running well and we were right there in the hunt. It is also a shame for all the guys with a new car that had such a good performance for the first time running and they don’t get rewarded.”

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is set to continue on 19th March 2016 with another classic race, the 12 Hours of Sebring (US).

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      01-31-2016, 07:52 PM   #2
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So it wasn't just the spectators that noticed the M6 cars constantly being passed on the oval lol
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      01-31-2016, 08:24 PM   #3
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Nice job guys for the first showing! The season is still young.
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      01-31-2016, 08:31 PM   #4
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      01-31-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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As much of a BMW fanboy as I am, I can't deny that the Corvettes were the most exciting thing in the whole race. The last few laps of the team cars battling for the checkered flag were fantastic. I also couldn't help but notice that the M6's looked huge compared to the Vettes and 911's. Until I warm up to the new M6's, I'm going to miss the Z4 based racers.
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      01-31-2016, 11:31 PM   #6
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Inpressive results for a first race with a new car!!
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      01-31-2016, 11:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland View Post
So it wasn't just the spectators that noticed the M6 cars constantly being passed on the oval lol
Probably doesn't help that the new M6's look like a giant brick going down the straights. They just don't look that slippery. I am sure the M6 GTLM will shine on the smaller tracks where having high down force helps. Since most of the IMSA season is comprised of shorter sprint races, as the season goes on the BMW's should get stronger. Cars like the Corvette are built to win Le Mans, so they usually run good every year at Daytona.
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      01-31-2016, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipit_ View Post
Probably doesn't help that the new M6's look like a giant brick going down the straights. They just don't look that slippery. I am sure the M6 GTLM will shine on the smaller tracks where having high down force helps. Since most of the IMSA season is comprised of shorter sprint races, as the season goes on the BMW's should get stronger. Cars like the Corvette are built to win Le Mans, so they usually run good every year at Daytona.
Yeah, even the Z4 GTLM/GTD cars weren't known to be top speed cars. Like you said, BMW tends to adopt a different strategy. Daytona really shines a light on the deficiency though. It was tough to watch at points. I almost flipped a table when a GTD Huracan walked away from the #25 car on the oval lol.
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      02-01-2016, 12:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine F31
As much of a BMW fanboy as I am, I can't deny that the Corvettes were the most exciting thing in the whole race. The last few laps of the team cars battling for the checkered flag were fantastic. I also couldn't help but notice that the M6's looked huge compared to the Vettes and 911's. Until I warm up to the new M6's, I'm going to miss the Z4 based racers.
Holy hell. That double C7R ending was fantastic!
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      02-01-2016, 01:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine F31 View Post
As much of a BMW fanboy as I am, I can't deny that the Corvettes were the most exciting thing in the whole race. The last few laps of the team cars battling for the checkered flag were fantastic. I also couldn't help but notice that the M6's looked huge compared to the Vettes and 911's. Until I warm up to the new M6's, I'm going to miss the Z4 based racers.
The M6's do look huge when in the same frame as the corvette i thought i was looking at an X6M as they are about 6 inches taller and thus pushing a lot more air down the straight!
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      02-01-2016, 01:27 AM   #11
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Overall a good finish, the other cars looked stronger. The lambos looked great, would have won gtd if not for running out of gas at the end of the race.
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      02-01-2016, 08:57 AM   #12
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The C7-R really impressed.
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      02-01-2016, 09:44 AM   #13
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Can't help but feel despite all the spin they must be disappointed with these results. M6 just looks too big
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      02-01-2016, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine F31 View Post
As much of a BMW fanboy as I am, I can't deny that the Corvettes were the most exciting thing in the whole race. The last few laps of the team cars battling for the checkered flag were fantastic. I also couldn't help but notice that the M6's looked huge compared to the Vettes and 911's. Until I warm up to the new M6's, I'm going to miss the Z4 based racers.
It makes me wonder why BMW M Division decided to go with the larger bodied M6, and not the smaller M4, and create a race version of the S55 that made the requisite 500 hp. And this would also help marketing. Showing that this is the first factory developed M4 in endurance racing, and that the S55 can take the abuse.

But, those Corvettes though...and the Ford GTs had some of the fastest laps before they started having problems. This shows that they just have to work the bugs out, and they will be lethal in the GTLM class.
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      02-01-2016, 11:20 AM   #15
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I said it as soon as the news dropped, I really don't understand BMW's decision to go with the M6 as a basis for this car. The season obviously just started, but it looks like their pace is not competitive with that of other cars. This season may very well just end up being beta testing.
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      02-01-2016, 12:21 PM   #16
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It's only the first race of the season...relax
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      02-01-2016, 12:45 PM   #17
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The C7-R's were pretty epic. They sound wicked loud too.
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      02-01-2016, 01:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland View Post
So it wasn't just the spectators that noticed the M6 cars constantly being passed on the oval lol
...the M6 is a brand new car or project if you wish. Same thing for Ferrari 488 and Porsche RSR (the RSR engine is not new though) , all these are new cars. The Corvette on the other hand is not. Still was "beaten" by the "old" Porsche last year. Wait for a couple more races...
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      02-01-2016, 02:57 PM   #19
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Not only did the M6 look like a bus going around the track it also made a very underwhelming noise too, almost a whisper past the grand stands vs. the corvettes and corvette powered cars.
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      02-01-2016, 04:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc3 View Post
Can't help but feel despite all the spin they must be disappointed with these results. M6 just looks too big
It does look huge. I'm still a bit surprised they went with the M6 instead of the smaller M4. It probably had something to do with the production cycle not lining up with testing (which didn't seem like an issue for DTM). In any case, there are a lot of new beautiful cars on the grid that make up for the porky new M6.
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      02-01-2016, 05:05 PM   #21
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0 podium finishes. Damn
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      02-01-2016, 05:15 PM   #22
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You guys gotta understand that the selection of the base car has far more to do with marketing purposes than it does the car's design/potential. That's the entire reason manufacturers race: marketing.

There is no more run-what-you-brung racing outside of some of the insane unlimited hillclimb races. Anything FIA, ACO, IMSA, etc is homologated, regulated, and completely controlled. These cars have so much aero on them, their base shape really doesn't matter much. 99% of the drag is a result of downforce producing aero, not the car's basic shape.

BMW went with the M4 in DTM, so they've got an M4 on the race track. ALthough, I do find it interesting that they chose to field the M4 in a series without street-car-based homologation requirements. The reasons for that are anyone's guess, but if I were building a turbocharged race car, I'd do exactly what BMW did: field the larger displacement engine in the series requiring street-car specifications, and run the other in the series where you're building to race-spec, and can avoid having to boost the crap out of my powerplant.

I wouldn't want to be running a 3.0L I6 turbo at Le Mans. Ford clearly has their work cut out for them, and they have an extra 500cc of displacement to work with.
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