The Alley

BMW Wins Again with Michelin

Just one week after claiming the first win for the BMW M6 GTLM at Watkins Glen, BMW Team RLL co-drivers Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims scored again, this time leading teammates John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk in a BMW Team RLL 1-2 finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

After a winless 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, BMW, the Team RLL and Michelin have unlocked the winning combination for the turbocharged BMW M6 GTLM which now has two wins and five podium finishes in the three most recent races to vault to second place in the championships.

“This BMW M6 is a challenge to understand how to make work, but has found some new life,” said Auberlen. “We’ve done a lot of testing, a lot of development and our engineers working with the Michelin engineers and now we are in the championship hunt. We’re coming, we are clawing our way back.”

Podium for Defending Champs

Finishing third was the No. 67 Ford GT of the defending GT Le Mans (GTLM) race champions Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. They were followed by 2017 WeatherTech Championship leading No. 3 Corvette C7.R co-driven by Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.

Taking fifth on the rolling 2.459 mile circuit was the No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand, followed closely by the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni and Laurens Vanthoor. 

Two hours of Calm, 47 Minutes of Chaos

Rain appeared on one section of the 2.459 mile circuit with 47 minutes remaining and set up a scramble with all of the GT Le Mans teams remaining on their slick Michelin tires. Edwards initially grabbed the lead on the restart but Sims boldly passed both Edwards and the Porsche to take the lead on the next lap and hold it for the rest of the way.

‘The changing cloud cover and period of rain kept our tire engineers on their toes as air and track temperatures moved up and down,” said Ken Payne, technical director, motorsport, Michelin North America.

With just 21 minutes remaining in the two hour, 40 minute race, Corvette’s defending series champion Tommy Milner escaped uninjured after his car was tapped by a prototype and sailed high into the tire barriers.

The next race in the WeatherTech Championship will be the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut on Saturday, July 22.

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