An exciting penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) at the “Circuit of the Americas” in Austin (US) saw the number 96 BMW M6 GT3 of Turner Motorsport score the second GTD class victory of the season for BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (DE) and Bret Curtis (US).
In third position coming into the last round of pit stops, quick work by the crew leap-frogged the yellow BMW M6 GT3 into the lead, going on to win by 15.7 seconds over the 14-car class. It was the pairing’s second victory of the year. Klingmann and Curtis had secured the maiden win for the new BMW M6 GT3 on North American soil at Mosport (CA) in July.
In the GTLM class, BMW Team RLL was able to turn around a difficult weekend with a focus on consistency, ultimately scoring fourth and seventh at COTA. Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE), driving the number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, finished fourth. Despite getting a drive-through penalty early into the race, the pairing managed to gain ground from their seventh grid position. Teammates John Edwards (US) and Lucas Luhr (DE) came seventh in the number 100 car. Both cars completed 73 laps of the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit during the two-hour-and-forty-minute contest. The race was won by the No. 912 Porsche.
The final round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the 10-hour Petit Le Mans, will be held at Road Atlanta, in Braselton (US), on 1st October.
Jens Klingmann (Number 96 BMW M6 GT3, 1st place GTD):
“It was just a perfect day and I am super happy. It was a great car and my first race here in Austin. I felt good and Bret, for whom this is a home race, did a great job with no mistakes. The only big problem was the heat and that my drink bottle didn’t work at all for my last stint, which was about an hour long. But I had the adrenaline by leading, so I tried not to think about it. I think we can perhaps be in the top three in the championship, but we just want to win races for Turner Motorsport and BMW Motorsport.”
Bret Curtis (Number 96 BMW M6 GT3, 1st place GTD):
“Jens did such a good job. We had an advantage in the high speed turns that just stayed consistent throughout the race, and in the low speed turns we just hung on in there the best we could and were fairly even with the other cars. It was so incredibly hot today, but when I passed off the car to Jens I knew we would have a good chance. I knew he would like the car, and he showed me in his first stint by passing six cars in the first six or seven laps. This second win just shows what the team and the BMW M6 GT3 are capable of.”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 4th place GTLM):
“Another tough race. If you start that far back you are always in the mix at the start and, unfortunately, I hit a car and got a drive through, which put us pretty far back. We were lucky with the yellows and caught back up. I think we improved compared to practice and qualifying. It is a good result, so I am quite happy with the outcome and in the end it turned out to be a good race for us.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, 4th place GTLM):
“I don’t think you are every happy with fourth, but we moved up and we moved up solidly. The team did a great job. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, as we have this new car and it doesn’t always work out how you want it to. But we will always keep our heads up.”
John Edwards (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM, 7th place GTLM):
“It was a hard and hot day. We had some issues in qualifying and tried to fix them, but the car still had a lot of understeer and it was really a difficult car to drive. We need to regroup and look forward to the race in Road Atlanta where we know anything can happen. I have some good memories from last year where we finished second overall.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM, 7th place GTLM):
“It was tough race. We didn’t have any kind of speed over the whole weekend. We did our best, but were unable to really move forward.”