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IMSA: Both BMW M Hybrid V8 cars retire at Road America – Paul Miller Racing celebrates class win with BMW M4 GT3.

The third-to-last race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) at Road America (USA) was disappointing for BMW M Team RLL. Both BMW M Hybrid V8 cars retired prematurely in the 2-hour and 40-minute-long race.

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Elkhart Lake. The third-to-last race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) at Road America (USA) was disappointing for BMW M Team RLL. Both BMW M Hybrid V8 cars retired prematurely in the 2-hour and 40-minute-long race. Connor De Phillippi (USA) had an early collision with the wall in the #25 car, forcing him to retire. Philipp Eng (AUT) had to park the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 after 55 laps due to technical issues. In the GTD class, Paul Miller Racing celebrated their fourth season victory and extended their lead in the overall standings.

 

After their retirements, the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 driven by Eng and Augusto Farfus (BRA) and the #25 car driven by De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly (GBR) were classified in ninth and tenth positions in the GTP class. As a result, De Phillippi and Yelloly lost their second place in the overall standings, which they held after a victory and three other podium finishes this season. In the GTD class, Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers (both USA) drove to a dominant victory. Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA) finished sixth in the #97 BMW M4 GT3 of Turner Motorsport, while their teammates Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher (both USA) ran out of fuel in the final lap and were classified twelfth.

 

The penultimate GTP race of the season will take place on 17th September in Indianapolis (USA). The GTD class will compete at the VIRginia International Raceway (USA) on 27th August before that.

 

Quotes after the race:

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “That was a very disappointing race for BMW M Team RLL and BMW M Motorsport. Losing the car shortly after the start, which was in second place in the championship, is tough. The GTP prototypes are particularly challenging to drive on cold tyres, as we have seen throughout the season. Such things can happen, even though it's very frustrating. That's racing. The #24 car had an issue with its electronics. We still need to analyse exactly what happened. Although we are all disappointed today, we will work hard from tomorrow onwards to get back to our proven strength at the next race in Indianapolis. We had a good test there and are accordingly confident. My heartfelt congratulations go to Paul Miller Racing for the victory in the GTD class. The team impressively demonstrates how strong our BMW M4 GT3 is on North American racetracks.”

 

Philipp Eng (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, DNF): “Compared to qualifying, we had a much better pace in the race, and I held the fastest lap for a long time in the first half of the race. Unfortunately, I had a minor collision with a Porsche that cost me a lot of time; otherwise, we could have been much further ahead. As for the issue with the electronics, we'll have to investigate further. I'm not sure if it was a result of the collision, but we will find out.”

 

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, DNF): “In the formation lap, unfortunately, I spun while trying to warm up the cold tyres and ended up in the gravel. The marshals pulled me out, and I was able to continue. It seems that the action significantly altered the balance of my car, which I didn't notice at first. It was only when I had overtaken all the GTD vehicles and went through 'The Kink' at full speed for the first time that I suddenly lost the rear of the car and hit the wall. Fortunately, I'm okay, but I feel really sorry for the entire team. However, I'm confident that we will come out stronger from this experience.”

 

Madison Snow (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Paul Miller Racing, 1st place GTD class):

“We came out of the gate very strong. The BMW was handling as good as it gets in qualifying. Once I had the GTD PRO class cars get past me I focused on getting a gap and staying out front.”

 

Bryan Sellers (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Paul Miller Racing, 1st place GTD class):

“This weekend a large challenge was the newly resurfaced race track. After qualifying, we felt that we should not ask too much or push so hard that we would put ourselves in a position where the track had less grip. There was a lot of time to be lost in traffic and careful management was important.”

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