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Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway Preview

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 19, 2015… BMW Team RLL will be racing for an overall victory at this weekend’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Oak Tree Grand Prix as round eight of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is held at Virginia International Raceway, in Alton, Va., on August 23 featuring a GT race as the headlining event.

BMW arrives at the 3.27-mile, 18-turn circuit three points in arrears of Porsche in the GTLM class Manufacturer points standings after disappointing fifth and sixth place finishes at Road America on Aug. 9. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand second in the driver points standings. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand fourth. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are second and fourth in team points standings respectively.

“At VIR you have to have a good handling car, but I still think of it as a horsepower track because it has a very long straightaway,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “It is clear something should be done about the Balance of Performance because the BMWs and Corvettes didn’t even have a look in at Road America. It was pretty silly if you ask me.”

Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “This year continues to be one of the most competitive I can remember. Early on, it seemed to be the Corvettes that posed our biggest challenge. Now Porsche has won the last three rounds. I think the championship will come down to the last race and this weekend’s GT only event will be a very good indicator of who will be the favorite for the title.”

Dirk Werner, driver, No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM: “VIR is another track in our calendar with a wonderful layout that is quite unique. I have great memories of it because I won my first American sports car race there in 2007. As a team we have to work hard before and during the race to get back in shape for the championship fight. I am ready to push hard again.”

John Edwards, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “Last year’s race at VIR was an intense one. We were close to the fight for the win, but didn’t quite have the pace to force our way past anyone. However, our car has been faster this year than it was last year so I’m hopeful that we can move up the podium as we move into the most crucial part of the season. Although Lucas and I have dropped back a bit in the points, BMW is still in a tight battle for the manufacturer’s championship and we don’t plan on letting Porsche steal it away from us in the last part of the season.”

Lucas Luhr, driver, No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM: “VIR is awesome, it is one of my favorite tracks in the USA. I miss seeing the Oak Tree. There was something quite special about that. The circuit is so fast but also surprisingly technical – a real challenge for a driver. John and I still have a chance for the drivers title and so do our teammates. More importantly, we are in a very big fight for the manufacturer championship. We have to get as many points as possible this weekend. With only two rounds after VIR, as usual every point is important and now this late in the season we cannot afford to lose any.”

The Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET Sunday, August 23 and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at@BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.

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BMW To Be Honored As Featured Marque of 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 18-21

Woodcliff Lake, N.J., August 17, 2015 — The full, rich heritage of the Ultimate Driving Machine® will be celebrated when Bavarian Motor Works is honored on the occasion of its 100th anniversary at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The celebration takes place August 18-21, 2016 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the scenic Monterey Peninsula.

 

“The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a perfect stage on which to celebrate 100 years of BMW,” stated Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, LLC. “The BMW brand and the legend of The Ultimate Driving Machine® was forged on and continues to be refined on racing circuits all over the world. In the United States, Laguna Seca has played a starring role. This year, our BMW Z4 GTLM racing cars finished 1-2 in IMSA competition there – almost 40 years to the date a BMW 3.0 CSL won our very first race on the classic circuit. BMW is delighted to be able to share our passion for great automobiles and motorsport with the world next year.”

 

Bavarian Motor Works has an enormously rich history. The patriarchs of the brand, Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto instilled a robust DNA in the company in 1916 through the combination of their respective businesses. Beginning as an aircraft engine manufacturer, adding motorcycles in 1923 and automobiles in 1928, a century later BMW has become one of the most respected, innovative and popular brands in the world.

 

“We are honored that BMW will celebrate its milestone anniversary at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Ludwig Willisch and his management team have been enthusiastic supporters of historic racing here in Monterey, right down to having Ludwig drive in the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL. It will be a truly international gathering.”

 

More than 900 entry applications will be received for the limited 550 positions when requests for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is open October to February. For many, the Rolex Reunion is a motorsports museum springing to life, as authentic cars from as far back as the pre-war era fire up and tackle the challenging circuit.

Following the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will remain the center of BMW focus for a second consecutive week as the circuit will host the BMW Car Club of America’s annual Oktoberfest and the BMW Rider’s Association Annual Rally on August 24 – 28.

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Presenting the BMW Concept M4 GTS

Pebble Beach/Munich. A year on from the launch of the BMW M4 Coupe, BMW M Division is presenting an initial preview of a high-performance model for use on the road and, above all, on the race track: the BMW Concept M4 GTS.

The move sees BMW M Division once again returning to its roots. The BMW offshoot, founded in 1972 as BMW Motorsport GmbH, not only caused a sensation with its iconic BMW M1 racing car, but developed the first turbocharged engine to win the Formula One World Championship and was the force behind what remains the world’s most successful racing touring car – the Group A BMW M3.

And so the new BMW Concept M4 GTS continues the tradition of BMW M3 special models already illuminated by the BMW M3 Evolution (1988), BMW M3 Sport Evolution (1990), BMW M3 GT (1995), BMW M3 CSL (2003), BMW M3 GTS (2010) and BMW M3 CRT (2011). Technology honed in race competition, a hike in power, a commitment to lightweight design and limited production numbers have ensured these sharpest examples of their type offer unbeatable performance coupled with an emotionally powerful and exclusive driving experience.

“While the BMW M4 Coupe embodies the ideal combination of motor sport genes and unrestricted everyday usability, the BMW Concept M4 GTS previews an emotionally powerful and exclusive special model conceived with an eye for trailblazing technology and a keen focus on the race track,” explains Frank van Meel, President BMW M Division. “Despite its outstanding track ability, it is still fully road-legal. This is racing technology for the road in the truest sense.”

The BMW Concept M4 GTS showcases new technologies destined to make their series production debut in a new model to be unveiled at a later date. For example, the BMW Concept M4 GTS features the innovative water injection system that has already provided a significant output and torque boost in the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car. In addition, the BMW Concept M4 GTS has rear lights with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology that give the high-performance model a whole new look when darkness falls.

The world premiere of the BMW Concept M4 GTS will take place over the course of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend in California on 13 August 2015, in the company of prize-winning sports cars from years gone by.

Optimised down to the finest detail.
The BMW Concept M4 GTS builds on the BMW M4 Coupe’s dynamic and emotional use of forms. Yet its character as a high-performance special model, in which every detail has been developed to fulfil its purpose as a successful track machine, also comes immediately to the fore. The manually adjustable front splitter and rear wing – both in exposed carbon – ensure perfect aerodynamic balance and allow the BMW Concept M4 GTS to be adapted for both individual race tracks and for use on the road. Another example of the engineers’ rigorous adherence to lightweight design is the CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic) bonnet, which lowers the car’s weight and centre of gravity further still. A wide front air intake optimises airflow and minimises front axle lift.

The dynamic and exclusive presence of the BMW Concept M4 GTS is accentuated by the exterior paint shade Frozen Dark Grey Metallic, with the Acid Orange accent on the front splitter creating an effective contrast. The lightweight, forged and polished light-alloy wheels in 666 M styling also feature an Acid Orange accent. The 9.5 J x 19 (front) and 10.5 J x 20 (rear) wheels are fitted with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres (265/35 R19 at the front, 285/30 R20 at the rear). The mixed-size tyres provide the ideal conduit for the stand-out dynamic attributes of the BMW Concept M4 GTS.

Water injection: power up, full-load fuel consumption down.
The engine powering the BMW Concept M4 GTS is equipped with the same innovative water injection system that has endowed the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car with a noticeable increase in output and torque.

The water injection system introduced by BMW M Division sees the engineers using the physical effect of water when vaporising to draw the required energy from the ambient medium. The water is injected into the plenums of the intake manifold as a fine spray. When the water vaporises, the intake air cools significantly. As a result, the final compression temperature in the combustion chamber – and therefore the engine’s tendency to “knock” – is reduced, enabling the turbocharged engine to use higher boost pressure and earlier injection timing.

This technology ensures an increase in output and torque, while at the same time reducing the thermal stress on performance-relevant components. All of which also enhances the stability and durability of the turbocharged engine. The BMW Concept M4 GTS therefore brings high-performance technology directly from the race track to the road.

The strong performance potential of the turbocharged six-cylinder in-line engine already demands an exceptionally sophisticated thermal management system for the engine and ancillary units. To ensure optimal operating temperatures in all situations, the M Division engineers have developed a highly innovative and effective cooling system. It comprises a main radiator plus additional radiators for the high- and low-temperature circuits, transmission and turbocharger in order to keep temperatures stable. The turbochargers are cooled by means of an indirect intercooler, assisted by an additional electric water pump.

OLED rear lights radiate ultra-high precision.
The BMW Concept M4 GTS is fitted with innovative rear lights featuring OLED technology. OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) are a new type of light source producing full-surface and homogenous illumination – in contrast to LEDs, which emit light to a single point. Their low installation height of just 1.4 millimetres and the ability to actuate individual light modules separately create fresh design scope in lighting concepts. OLED technology enables extra flexibility and forges an unmistakable appearance that signals exceptional precision.

OLED technology heralds a new era in light design and lighting concepts, and opens up new possibilities when it comes to a characteristic and distinctive light signature for BMW models – both for their daytime driving lights and during the hours of darkness.

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BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. The perfect fusion of driver and machine.

Munich/Pebble Beach. In August every year car enthusiasts from all over the world gather for the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach to immerse themselves in the fascination of both automotive treasures from years gone by and pioneering studies for times to come. The BMW Group has come up with something very special this year with the world premiere of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R – a car that celebrates both the 40th anniversary of BMW in North America and the heady racing success of the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975.

1975 was the year the Bavarian manufacturer founded BMW of North America, its first official sales company outside Europe. It was also the year in which BMW Motorsport made its debut in motor racing stateside – in the IMSA series – with a specially made BMW 3.0 CSL. Just a few weeks later BMW recorded its first, historic triumph at the 12 Hours of Sebring. This was followed by a succession of victories, including one at Laguna Seca, just 15 miles from Pebble Beach. BMW’s rookie year duly culminated in the white BMW 3.0 CSL, decked out in eye-catching BMW Motorsport livery, winning the manufacturers’ championship at the first attempt. This success, coupled with the car’s striking design and the “Bavarian Motor Works” legend emblazoned across the sun protection film on the windscreen and rear window, announced the BMW brand’s arrival in racing-mad North America with a bang.

“Motor racing is all about the ability of cars to mesmerise, about the unbridled joy of driving,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “And as such it represents the heartbeat of BMW. Back in 1975, as today, winning races came down to how man and machine could work together. Technical innovations have taken the effectiveness of this partnership to ever great heights. And with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R we’re aiming to show how much closer the driver and car can grow in the future.”

 

A new level of driver focus – the interior.

Given the aim of achieving the best possible fusion of driver and car, the driver was the logical starting point for the design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. For the seamless integration of the driver into the car, the designers extrapolated the principle of driver focus beyond the geometric form of the interior. In the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R, the idea of centring attention on the driver begins with his immediate surroundings. This new approach led the designers first to the driver’s helmet, race suit and seat before moving onto the lines and surfaces of the interior.

This way of doing things changes the nature of conventional interior functions. As the layer of interaction closest to the driver, the helmet visor assumes the functions of a display and projects situation-based information such as the car’s speed, gear engaged and engine revs into the driver’s direct field of view. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R thus enhances the driver’s direct perception. The idea of the Head-Up Display, which has already proved its effectiveness in series-produced BMW models by flagging up driving-related information without distracting the driver, is therefore expressed in a whole new way. “Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” is the name of the game – i.e. enabling the driver to concentrate fully on the job of driving the car.

As well as helping him to do his job, the driver’s race suit (a classical design by Puma®) visually expresses the connection between the driver and the car. If both the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel, illuminated piping integrated into the sleeves of the suit shows the progress of information – from the shift impulse display, for example – out of the steering column over the driver’s arms and into his visor.

The side-section design of the large carbon-fibre seat shells reflects the anatomy of the seated driver, thus providing maximum support in any driving situation. At the same time, the seats ensure the driver’s body has the best possible connection with the car, giving him a physical feel for it with almost his whole body, in any situation, and thus allowing him to react faster and more effectively. The seat shells follow a rising diagonal path rearwards, a line extended behind the seats into the rear by a structural carbon-fibre element that increases the torsional rigidity of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. The white seat surfaces with fanned-out quilting, integrated into the seat shell, mimic the design of the driver’s race suit, while BMW Motorsport’s signature stripes on the six-point safety harness add an extra splash of colour.

 

Commitment to lightweight construction and technical refinement.

In the area around the driver’s seat, the designers have drawn back the covers on the lightweight design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R and lent tangible form to its racing character. A carbon-fibre roll cage integrated into the structure of the car’s roof and side sections forms the basis for the interior’s singularly minimalist geometry. All the elements in the interior are there out of absolute necessity; every component has been designed with a purpose, a function linked directly to the structure of the machine or the job of driving. In an interior made almost entirely from carbon fibre, the only wood-like presence is the “instrument panel” – actually a cross-member and purely structural element. This is a reference to a central element of the earlier BMW 3.0 CSL, in which even the racing version had distinctive wood trim ringing the whole of the interior. A particular highlight here is the additional information illuminated through the wood. Recalling the BMW 3.0 CSL’s victory at Laguna Seca in May 1975, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R displays the track layout and braking points through the instrument panel’s wood strip. By using light in this way, this ultra-sophisticated, super-smooth information display removes the need for a classical display and slips perfectly into the car’s minimalist interior design philosophy. Only the small central eBoost charging display interrupts the flow of the otherwise unbroken wooden surface. BMW Motorsport stripes for the instrument panel surround lend extra colour.

The commitment to paring the car down to the bare essentials places particular emphasis on the steering column. As a mechanical link between the driver and car, it is home to all the operating elements and controls. The only “comfort” function are the two vents on the sides of the steering column, which supply the driver with fresh air at ambient temperature. A small display on the steering column provides the driver with secondary information such as lap times, overall race time and the car’s current track position, as required. Other racing elements in the interior include red anodised safety features, such as the outlet nozzles for the fire extinguishing foam, the extinguisher itself, and the two switches on the centre console for the emergency shut-off and fire extinguishing mechanism. The rear only has space for two helmets integrated into the centre tunnel. These are held in place by a belt when not in use. Underneath the longitudinal braces jutting out to the rear are the covers for the eBoost energy accumulators. Meticulously crafted aluminium sleeves add high-quality accents at the junctions between individual structural elements. In its materials and detailed solutions, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage displays both technical sophistication and subtlety of form.

 

Motor racing through and through – the exterior.

“Both inside and outside, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is primarily a reflection of its function,” explains Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles. “The exterior and interior design is based around the requirements of motor sport as far as the car and driver are concerned; aerodynamics and driving dynamics on the one hand, the most direct connection between driver and machine on the other. In my view, that’s something the Hommage car expresses in a very emotional way. At the same time, all the details from the BMW 3.0 CSL are present in the Hommage model. And they are all there to be discovered in their original form. It’s a bow to the 1975 car.”

The exterior design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is a pure expression of motor racing. The stretched body is framed by distinctive air deflectors, powerful wheel arches and a prominent rear spoiler, which likewise cite the successful IMSA racing version of the original BMW 3.0 CSL. Every detail of the Hommage car has its origins in the successful racing machine from 1975, but all have since been updated and integrated technically into a modern design language. The colours and graphics used, not to mention the addition of a number 25, reference the extraordinary record of success notched up by the works BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975. Indeed, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R even revives details such as the “Bavarian Motor Works” decals on the windscreen and rear window. Swathes of exposed carbon fibre spotlight the 1975 model’s commitment to lightweight construction and, as a cutting-edge material, bring it into the modern era.

 

Power and athleticism – the front end.

The front end of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R, one of the broadest and lowest of any model in the BMW family, positively exudes power and athleticism. The flow of the surfaces and graphic accents in the front apron showcase the car’s wheels and underline its wide, powerful impression. In the centre of the front end is a large version of the signature BMW kidney grille, which references the upright form favoured at the time. The familiar four-eyed face – with its contemporary, hexagonal interpretation – emphasises the sporting intent of the front end. Laser lighting and LED technology enable slim, modern light graphics, and the narrow contours of the headlights give the BMW the focused look typical of the brand’s cars. A stylised, blue-lit “X” inside the lights separates the light functions from one another and, at the same time, recalls the X-shaped headlight taping used for endurance races. The large, black front splitter made from carbon fibre and with accents in BMW Motorsport’s colours sets the seal on the front end as it plunges down to the road. Together with the kidney grille, it creates a large stylistic aperture, providing a visual hint of the engine’s power and performance. From the side, the front apron and kidney grille present a modern take on the shark nose design that was already turning heads in 1975, ensuring the car would be easily recognisable.

 

From the side – sporting flair with a touch of elegance.

The long wheelbase and sweeping bonnet stretch the Hommage car’s silhouette visually and lend it a touch of elegance to go with its dominant sporting brio. The familiar line graphics along the car’s flanks further strengthen this impression. The exclusive exterior colour Brilliant White with its slight metallic effect adds a gleam to the surfaces and lends the powerful contours a vivid sculptural impact. The line graphics in BMW Motorsport colours pick up the surface movements in the front, rear and flanks, further emphasising the car’s sinewy looks. Dark carbon-fibre surfaces round off the flanks at their lower edge and point to the commitment to lightweight design of the original BMW 3.0 CSL. The matt gold 21-inch light-alloy wheels with black inlays add a special flourish.

 

The rear end – muscular presence.

The rear of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R makes a statement of maximum sporting intent. The large rear spoiler and carbon-fibre double diffuser are straight out of the racing car blueprint and brim with aerodynamic sophistication. The powerfully contoured rear apron draws the eye to the car’s wheels and, in so doing, visually showcases the power of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. The BMW Motorsport line graphics reproduce this movement, further strengthening its muscular presence on the road. The rear light design is particularly distinctive, a strip of LEDs extending along the spoiler to link the two lights and providing a stylistic border for the rear end.

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R also cuts a dynamically imposing figure when viewed from above. The bonnet fans out in a wide “V” from kidney grille to headlights, recalling a striking and dynamic element of earlier BMW coupes. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R therefore combines all the classic BMW hallmarks within a modern and emotionally rich design language, adding even greater lustre to the already glittering engineering achievement of 40 years ago.

 

©2015 Sam Cobb

BMW Team RLL and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Team Up at Road America

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 6, 2015… The No. 24 BMW Team RLL Z4, driven by John Edwards and Lucas Luhr, will be racing with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation livery this weekend in Round Seven of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The fifth installment of the Mission: Impossible movie franchise from Paramount and Skydance Media opened to #1 at the worldwide box office on July 31st and reached a global box office gross of more than $150 million in its first week of release. The film features several BMW models including the all-

new BMW 7 Series, the brand’s flagship in its sixth generation. BMW is the exclusive worldwide automotive partner of this installment of the legendary action film franchise starring Tom Cruise.

“Ultimate performance is exactly what Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, our BMW Z4 racing program and, most importantly, the BMW brand is all about,” said Trudy Hardy, BMW of North America LLC. Vice President of Marketing. “The decision to run the film’s livery this weekend at Road America was an easy one and is just one more example of how BMW NA has marketed on the race track since our very first days in North America 40 years ago with the BMW 3.0 CSL.”

This is the second time BMW has lent its superior technological support to the franchise, enabling it to deliver breathtaking automotive stunt scenes shot around the globe. BMW previously partnered with Paramount on 2011’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.”

In addition to providing production support to the filmmaking team, BMW of North America will launch a series of “Mission to Drive” marketing initiatives around the film including television, radio and digital advertising. The automaker was the exclusive sponsor of the world premiere of the film in Vienna, Austria.

Road America has seen more BMW Team RLL success than any other circuit in North America. The venerable four-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis. is a personal favorite of team principal Bobby Rahal and his team has won races for BMW three times (M3: 2009, 2010, 2012), finishing second twice (M3: 2011; Z4: 2014).

This season BMW Team RLL arrives at Road America with a four point lead in the GTLM class Manufacturer points standings by virtue of two wins and an additional four podium finishes in the first six races of the ten-race season. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner stand second in the driver points standings. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr stand third. The No. 25 Z4 and No. 24 Z4 are second and third in team points standings respectively.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag at 2:05 p.m. CT Sunday, August 9th and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.

Paramount Pictures and Skydance present a Tom Cruise / Bad Robot Production, “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION.” With the IMF disbanded and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hell bent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces its most impossible mission yet. Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin.

The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, with a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and story by Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce. Based on the television series created by Bruce Geller. Produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger. Jake Myers is an executive producer.