BMW teams rolled out their 2017 IMSA race cars for the January 6–8 Roar Before The 24 test days at Daytona.
Both BMW Team RLL and Turner Motorsport participated in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series test sessions. Team RLL brought its two M6 GTLMs, including car #24 for John Edwards, Martin Tomczyk and Nick Catsburg and car #19, the John Baldessari art car, for Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, and Augusto Farfus. The #24 car turned the third quickest GTLM time of the weekend behind a pair of Ganassi Racing Ford GTs. The fastest GTLM lap was set by Ryan Briscoe in the #67 Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
Turner Motorsport brought one GTD class M6 GT3 that Jens Klingmann drove on test days. Turner does not yet have a funded program for the 2017 season, but he told SportsCar365.com that he anticipated being on the grid for the Rolex 24. He noted that participation in the Roar is required for Rolex 24 entrants, as performance information from the event is used in Balance of Performance calculations. The fastest lap in GTD was set by Sven Mueller in the Manthey Racing 911 GT3 R.
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series cars also participated in test days. BimmerWorld brought its two Street Tuner class F30 328s, JDC Miller Motorsports brought its 228i, and Murillo Racing brought its 328i. The Mini JCW Team brought two cars;
Derek Jones in the #73 Mini set the third fastest time in Street Tuner behind a pair of Porsche Caymans. The CTSCC season opens with the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona on Friday, January 27. The Rolex 24 at Daytona will open the IWTSC series on January 28-29.—Brian S. Morgan