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PressClub Canada · Article.

BMW Team RLL finishes fifth at Watkins Glen – Turner Motorsport misses out on GTD class win by 0.6 seconds.

In Sunday’s IMSA Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at ‘Watkins Glen International’ (USA), BMW Team RLL scored a fifth place finish with the #24 BMW M8 GTE of John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN). The #25 BMW M8 GTE of Tom Blomqvist (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA) was credited with a seventh place finish after retiring from the race on lap 159. The race was won by the #911 Porsche.

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During refueling in the pits, a fire broke out on the #25 BMW M8 GTE, which was brought under control by BMW Team RLL and nobody was injured. The fire may require the build of a spare chassis in the few days remaining before the team is scheduled to arrive at ‘Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’ for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix this coming Thursday. 

 

The #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 missed a second consecutive GTD class win at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen by only 0.676 seconds after a strong closing stint by Bill Auberlen (USA) and great opening drives by Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern (both USA). 

 

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be back on track in only a few days preparing for the July 7thMobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at ‘Canadian Tire Motorsports Park’, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

 

Reactions to the race at Watkins Glen.

 

Brandon Fry (RLL Technical Director):“Tough day. We unfortunately had an incident with the #25 car with a fire in the pits, so we need to understand what happened there. Ultimately, that stopped that car short of the end of the race. The #24 car struggled a little bit with fuel economy but not pace so we just need to figure that out before next weekend’s race in Canada. CTMP should be a good track for us and for our cars I think. Watkins Glen International was as well but the race was just a little tough for us today. We have high expectations for the 2 hour 40 minute race at CTMP.”

 

John Edwards (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 5thplace):“We ran at the front in the beginning of the race. It was promising with how close everyone’s pace was but we just lost some time at some points throughout the race. At a track like Watkins Glen, where everyone is very fast, it can be hard to gain that time back. So looking at the pace of the car we are definitely disappointed to finish 5th. Things are close here and CTMP is a similar track so we expect to be close there as well. Everyone seems to be on pace so we just need to minimise mistakes there.”

 

Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 5thplace):“For the amount of hard work we put in this weekend the result does not really correlate. The car felt good, everyone was so close and the pace of the race was very fast, with no room for mistakes. We didn’t have the cleanest race so we ended up in P5. Last year was my first year at CTMP. I really like the flow and the track, so I am looking forward to it. I am glad we do not have to wait more than a week to go out there and try and redeem today's result because we definitely could have been in a better position today if things worked out just a little bit differently.”

 

Tom Blomqvist (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 7thplace):“We got ourselves into a good position early on but it was a little bit of a strange race and everyone had to manage a lot with the fuel and with the yellows at the beginning. We were running our strategy and it looked like we were on for a good result but unfortunately an incident caused some damage to the front. The car was still okay but things started to go wrong a few laps later and it definitely did not get better with the fire. The track for next weekend’s race looks cool and really fun. I am really looking forward to racing at CTMP. We have made a lot of progress this week with the car and we're hungry for some good results now. We just need to run a smart race and see what that brings. I am looking forward to it!”

 

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 7thplace):“I think from the beginning it was pretty clear we were going to be in the mix; the car was really, really good. I felt like the M8 GTE was very well balanced, so I was very optimistic about results. During a few points in the race we made some decisions to do other strategies and those did not fully work out. Our pace was still good and even after the contact Tom had, the car felt very good. We had to retire the car but to think of the positives this is the best balanced M8 I have had and we can take that with some smiles. For me, CTMP is one of my favourites on the calendar. It really suits our car and is similar to both Watkins Glen and Road America. Higher tyre degradation can be an issue there and some rain can also play in our favour. Anything is possible in Canada, so if we have a cleaner race, I believe that we can finish in a good position.”

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