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Tomczyk, Sims Added to BMW Team RLL Full-Season Lineup

Sims, Tomczyk join Auberlen, Edwards at BMW Team RLL for 2017…

Photos: BMW

Photos: BMW

BMW Motorsport has confirmed that Martin Tomczyk and Alexander Sims will join BMW Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.

The announcement came at the manufacturer’s Season Review event at Munich on Friday.

Sims will join Bill Auberlen in one of Team RLL’s two BMW M6 GTLMs for the full WeatherTech Championship season, with Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler completing the lineup for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

This car will feature the art car livery revealed earlier this month for the Daytona race.

Meanwhile, Tomczyk is set to pair up with John Edwards in the other car for the full season, joined by Nicky Catsburg and Kuno Wittmer at Daytona.

Sims formed part of ROWE Racing’s Total 24 Hours of Spa-winning lineup this year, while Tomczyk has become one of the DTM’s longest-serving drivers having competed in the German series every season since 2001. He also won the championship in 2011.

Auberlen and Edwards return to the Bobby Rahal-led squad but their 2016 co-drivers Lucas Luhr and Dirk Werner have been replaced, with Werner recently announced as one of Porsche’s new GT drivers for 2017.

It’s believed Luhr will not return as a BMW factory driver as well.

“We are looking forward to an exciting second season with the BMW M6 GTLM in North America,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

“I’d like to thank Dirk Werner and Lucas Luhr for their hard work last season – and now it’s time to welcome Alexander Sims and Martin Tomczyk.

“I am convinced that they will both settle in very quickly at BMW Team RLL and will soon be successful.

“I wish Dirk all the best in his new sporting challenges. We have been delighted to have him on board since 2010. He impressed us with his speed, his professionalism and his down-to-earth nature.”

Catsburg, like Sims, drove for ROWE in the Blancpain GT Series in 2016, with the Dutch driver stepping up to an increased factory role with BMW.

Former IMSA GTLM champion, Wittmer, meanwhile, is also a returning driver to RLL having raced at Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta with the team in 2016.

2017 will be the BMW M6 GTLM’s second and final year in competition, with BMW switching to an all-new GTE car that will also be used for its FIA World Endurance Championship entry in 2018.

Tomczyk, Edwards and Spengler are on the provisional entry list for the pre-season test at Daytona next week.

Rene de Boer contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. You

    December 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Wonder where Lucas will end up.

    • Avery

      December 9, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Probably in some GT3 program in Europe, but I’d love to see him in a Prototype for the full season or the NAEC at least.

  2. Rennsport4.4tV8

    December 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Sims is a beast, but I have no faith in RLL.

    • Gabe

      December 10, 2016 at 2:25 am

      That’s right, nerds rock!

  3. JamieR

    December 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I thought Wittmer deserved a seat.

    A big season for RLL, they need to improve consistency as they never seemed to bring home results even when in a fast car.

    On the other had, at least they would have to worry about Earl ‘dodgems’ Bamber frequently driving them off the road.

    • Rennsport4.4tV8

      December 11, 2016 at 12:19 am

      I agree. They have to get some wins in 2017. In 2016 they fell short even in the races where they had one of the fastest cars. If I was BMW I would be letting them know their time is running out to show results.

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