BMW Debuts the New GTLM
The new BMW Team RLL merged with BMW of North America in 2009 to debut the original BMW M3 during the American Le Mans Series. Together the duo claimed its first win with the M3 GT in 2010.
They celebrated achievements in both the team and manufacturer standings that year, along with a triple GT title success in the drivers, team, and manufacturer categories. That was an exciting year for us here at Elmhurst BMW.
By 2012, the team had won second place in the Team Championship and third place in the Manufacturer Championship. BMW and partner Team RLL took second place in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship in 2013.
Last year, their racing skills were put to the test in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, an American-Canadian grown sports car racing series. They finished in the top three six times, in addition to four second-place finishes.
RLL was first known as Rahal-Hogan Racing. In 1994, the name was changed to Team Rahal and then again to Rahal Letterman Racing in 2004 until the team finally settled on Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2010. Team RLL is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former television talk show host Davis Letterman, and businessman Mike Lanigan.
This year, the stakes are even higher. Luckily, BWM has uped the ante with the all-new M6 GTLM – which will be making a debut here in the U.S. at the Daytona International Speedway.
Succeeding both the Z4 GTLM and the M3 GT2, the M6 GTLM is certified race-ready and will be able to go from 0-60 in about 4 seconds while kicking off an estimated 186 mph. And it should be ready, as it will probably go up against the likes of the Porsche 911 RSR, Ford GT, Corvette C7.R, and the Ferrari 488 GTE.
BMW also realized that even though it’s 2016 M6 hot rod was designed to meet the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s GT3 regulations, it had to build an entirely new machine in order to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – formulated from the joining of American Le Man Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series.
While the new BMW GTLM will indeed meet GT3’s required specifications, the German automaker has been given more freedoms in terms of creating something more aerodynamic, as well. We’ll be waiting here at Elmhurst BMW to see how closely the GTLM resembles the the M6 GT3.