DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – BMW has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor the Grand-Am Continental Tire  Sports Car Challenge race on Jan. 27, 2012.  The agreement marks the first time BMW has sponsored a race at the “World Center of Racing.”  Financial terms were not disclosed.

In addition to the race entitlement, BMW will have display and hospitality rights for the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, showcasing new models for fans in both the Sprint FANZONE and the midway area inside the historic racing venue.

“BMW is an iconic automotive brand,” said DIS President Joie Chitwood III.  “We’re proud to have them as a partner and hope our fans enjoy their display areas during the race weekend.”

“BMW welcomes all competitors to the BMW Performance 200, the opening act of the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, and the start of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season,” said Ludwig Willisch, President BMW of North America LLC. “More than 75 cars in two classes will take the green flag and we are sure the race will set the stage for another great year of Grand-Am racing.”

A longtime competitor in Rolex Sports Car and Continental Tire Challenge competition, BMW teams won championships in two of the three Grand-Am series in both 2010 and 2011. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates began 2011 with a BMW Powered victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and continued their winning ways to capture a second consecutive sweep of Grand-Am Daytona Prototype Engine Manufacturer, Driver and Team titles. Turner Motorsport added the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport Driver and Team titles, contributing to a second consecutive GS Manufacturer’s championship for the BMW M3.

The BMW Performance 200 Grand-Am Continental Tire Series race will be part of an event-filled weekend to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. 

Approximately 30 of the past overall champions in the Rolex 24 will return to Daytona as part of the 50 Years of Champions Exhibit presented by Continental Tire.  The cars will be part of the Rolex 50 Years of Champions charity gala on Jan. 26 at the Ocean Center, an event to help raise money for the Halifax Health Foundation.  The following day, the racecars will take to the streets of Daytona Beach in a special procession from the Ocean Center to Daytona International Speedway.

At the speedway, these championship cars from around the world will be a part of a special exhibit for fans throughout the weekend of the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona.  The 50 Years of Champions Exhibit is open to fans free of charge and will be located outside the speedway behind the Sprint Tower. 

The championship cars will also participate in parade laps around the historic 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway prior to the start of the twice-around-the-clock endurance challenge on Jan. 28.

Admissions to the Rolex 50 Years of Champions event are available by contacting the Halifax Health Foundation at (386) 254-4111.  This once-in-a-lifetime event will feature the past championship cars on display with a number of the Champion drivers in attendance participating in Q&A’s and interacting with guests.

Tickets to the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and all Daytona International Speedway events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visit

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