Monday, January 22, 2018

ROLEX 24: What Colours will Bimmer Billy & His Bavarian Racing Team be wearing this Year?

Although I'd hoped to have penned Somme-thun' Quaint 'bout "Ol Bimmer' Billy, nee Bill Auberlen, who drove the latest Art Car last year at DayToner' - for Yuhs readin' enjoyment. As Y'all know, I've been Out 'N Aboot in The Wild, Wild West on the road, and just run outta time! Especially if I want to try typing anythingy' about the fast approaching Rolex 24; CRIKEYS!

Bill Auberlen's name is synonymous with BMW, having raced for the brand since joining PTG in 1996, before winning his first of multiple championships for the German marque in '97, when he claimed the IMSA GTU Crown.

Bill made his Circuit de la Sarthe debut in '98 aboard the Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren F1 GTR, finishing fourth overall.

Then returning to North American competition, Auberlen gave BMW it's maiden Prototype victory, taking the chequered flag aboard the BMW V-12 LM Prototype with co-driver Didier de Radigu├Ęs at Laguna Seca raceway.

As Karmically, Belgian De Radigues, whom I've never heard of, began his racing career as a Motorcycle racer, ultimately contesting the 500cc Grand Prix championship as team-mate to some Yank' World Champions named Eddie Lawson & Kevin Schwantz Before switching to cars. Whilst I didn't know that Auberlen was a Motorcross racer before switching to four wheels...

Fast forwarding to last year's Petit Le Mans, I've previously noted how Auberlen was triumphantly piloting the BMW Team RLL M6GT LM, adorned with Bill Power' on its rear wing commemorating his Mega 400th start for the Bavarian marque to an incomprehensible 151st victory!

Yet for 2018, Bill's accepted a new role as Brand Ambassador for BMW, and at age 49, will just contest this year's four rounds of the North American Endurance Cup events. (for starters) As he'll be replaced fulltime by Connor De Phillippi, who's half his age, and a Bad Arse Saloon driver to Boot!

As BMW will buck thou current mid-engine trend with this year's BMW M8GTE racecar - powered by a four-litre twin turbo V-8, which replaces last year's M6 GTLM coupe.

As BMW will shift its focus this year, by entering the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the very first time, seeing them return to Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time since 2011 with a brace of the new M8GTE's, making their debut at this year's Rolex 24...

As now I'll be partially pullin' for Messer Auberlen to win once again at Daytona, albeit his competition will be fierce! But hopefully as Bill says, every new BMW racecar's better...