BMW Team RLL is sporting a lot of new elements this IMSA season, with a new race car, two new full-season drivers and a new livery to be revealed before the Rolex 24 at Daytona itself.
What wasn’t expected as another new feature was BMW driver Alexander Sims showing up with a mustache on site for his media day photos and official press material for the season.
The young Englishman, 29, is entering his second season with the BMW Team RLL operation.
Sims explained how the extra facial addition came to be a reality.
“I did it for the (BMW) Christmas party, at the end of November, and it was quite a hit,” Sims laughed. “So I regrew my beard and last night I thought… sod it, let’s get a mustache for the photos!
“There’s a real deep meaning, right? Not really. I just stood in front of a mirror and thought, well this will be funny.”
His pair of American teammates, John Edwards and Connor De Phillippi, also had to take note of Sims’ facial hair.
“I think it’s one of the greatest things,” joked De Phillippi, who will co-drive with Sims in one of the BMW cars this season.
“It’s not so much the mustache, but the confidence he wears it with. It’s certainly something very admirable.”
Edwards added, “Well, obviously Alexander Sims has learned how to grow a mustache. So that’s something else new this year!”
But team principal Bobby Rahal, who sported a mustache during his driving days and has since redefined his look with a more seasoned gray goatee, offered a different piece of advice to Sims.
“I told him to shave it off!” he laughed.
Mustache or no mustache, Sims will look to build on an outstanding debut season in North America, where he and Bill Auberlen won three races and finished second in last year’s GT Le Mans class championship.
This marks a fascinating hair story that hasn’t been seen in IMSA since the fever of Jordan Taylor’s mullet swept through the paddock from 2013 into 2014.