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IMSA: Fifth place for BMW M Hybrid V8 at Laguna Seca – Turner Motorsport on GTD podium.
15.05.2023 Press Release
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.
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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.”