Bill Auberlen says “there’s nothing better” than winning the Motul Petit Le Mans on his 400th start with BMW and in the M6 GTLM’s final race.
The BMW Team RLL driver secured his 151st win out of 400 race starts with the manufacturer after a tight GTLM class battle in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale.
“It feels great, as you can imagine,” Auberlen told Sportscar365. “I’ve been with so many amazing people from BMW – the smartest, the best, the fastest.
“To do 400 races and on the anniversary of my 400th, to win, there’s nothing better.”
Auberlen praised the quality of racing in the class throughout the race, which saw seven of the nine cars finish on the lead lap and his co-driver Alexander Sims closely defending from Antonio Garcia in the final stint.
“It was like a train of the fastest cars ever and until the last few minutes of the race; every car except one was on the lead lap,” he said.
“That gives you an idea of how reliable, how good, how fast and how perfect these drivers are. You can’t count on them making a mistake.
“The thing was, we were quick all day. We led a lot of this race so we knew we had something and we had to position ourselves just right going into the last stint.
“We did, we were in the lead, and Alexander just hung on and did a great job.”
The Road Atlanta race also marked the final outing for the BMW M6 GTLM after two years of competition in the WeatherTech Championship.
It will be replaced by the new M8 GTE, which will make its debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The car won four of ten races this year with Auberlen and Sims claiming three of the victories and finishing 2nd in the championship.
“It’s kind of a shame because we finally got it working really well and now we have to retire it,” Auberlen said.
“The really cool part is, they already told me, since this is the biggest win it’s won, they’re leaving it in that livery. It’s got my name all over the thing! That will be cool, it will live in museums and maybe I’ll get to drive it again.”
John Dagys contributed to this report