IMSA: Fifth place for BMW M Hybrid V8 at Laguna Seca – Turner Motorsport on GTD podium.

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Laguna Seca. At the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech
SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca (USA), BMW M Team RLL missed
out on their third consecutive podium finish. In the 2 hour and 40
minute race, Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) finished
fifth in the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8. Their teammates, Connor De
Phillippi (USA) and Nick Yelloly (GBR), who had finished second at
Sebring and Long Beach (both USA), fought for a podium spot for a
long time but ultimately dropped back to eighth place in the GTP
class in the final stages. In the GTD category, Bill Auberlen and
Chandler Hull (both USA) drove the Turner Motorsport #97 BMW M4 GT3
to second place on the podium.

 

The two BMW M Hybrid V8s started strongly and made up several
positions in the first few laps from their starting positions of
seventh and eighth. In the first half of the race, they held their own
in the tight GTP field, with car #25 in particular maintaining a
consistent pace on course for a podium finish. In the second half of
the race, strategy became a crucial factor as the Laguna Seca
WeatherTech Raceway is notoriously tough on tyres. During the final
pit stop, BMW M Team RLL changed all four tyres on the #24 BMW M
Hybrid V8, while only changing two on the #25 car. That allowed Farfus
and Eng to maintain their fifth place position in the closing stages,
while Yelloly and De Phillippi dropped from third to eighth place.

In the GTD class, Turner Motorsport gave a strong performance with
both BMW M4 GT3s. Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull celebrated a podium
finish in second place, while their teammates Robby Foley and Patrick
Gallagher (both USA) finished seventh. The class winners of Sebring
and Long Beach, Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers (both USA) of the Paul
Miller Racing team, had problems with tyre wear this time and finished
in tenth place.

 

Reactions after the race:

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “This
is not the result we had hoped for. After a not perfect qualifying, we
were able to improve the cars and show a good performance in the race,
but we couldn’t fight for a top position towards the end. Thanks to
the drivers, the whole BMW M Team RLL and BMW M Motorsport for their
efforts. Congratulations to Turner Motorsport and drivers Bill
Auberlen and Chandler Hull for their second place in the GTD class.”

Augusto Farfus (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, 5th
place):
“Our race was good. I believe we had a good tyre
strategy. Philipp ran the first set long so I had two sets for the
finish. Ultimately, heavy traffic made it difficult to move forward
and luck just was not on our side. We started P8 and finished P5 –
purely on pace – so we leave with quite a few positives.”

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 8th
place):
“Things did not go exactly as we had hoped for the
#25 car. Later in the race some of the yellow flags negated the
advantage of our four new tyres and in the closing stages we had two
new tyres to our competitor’s four. We learned a great deal this
weekend so I am positive those lessons will pay off at Watkins Glen.”

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