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IMSA: BMW M Team RLL kicks off second GTP season - 13 BMW M works drivers to start at 24 Hours of Daytona.

Season two for the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) begins on 27th/28th January with the highlight at the start, the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA).

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Daytona. Season two for the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) begins on 27th/28th January with the highlight at the start, the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA). Eight BMW M works drivers will start for BMW M Team RLL in the two LMDh cars. In the qualifying session at the conclusion of the ‘Roar before the 24’, the test weekend immediately before the race, Connor De Phillippi (USA) drove the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 to the fourth starting position. In the #24 sister car, Jesse Krohn (FIN) was eighth. Five more BMW M works drivers will be in action in the two BMW M4 GT3s which compete in the GTD categories.

 

De Phillippi was 0.366 seconds off pole position with a qualifying time of 1:33.022 minutes and has a good start position for the race from the second row. He shares the cockpit with Nick Yelloly (GBR), Maxime Martin (BEL), and René Rast (GER). Alongside Krohn, Philipp Eng (AUT), Augusto Farfus (BRA), and Dries Vanthoor (BEL) will drive the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8.

 

For the Paul Miller Racing team, three BMW M works drivers will take the wheel of the #1 BMW M4 GT3 in the GTD-PRO class. Madison Snow, Neil Verhagen (both USA), and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) form a quartet with Bryan Sellers (USA). They start from position twelve in their category. Robby Foley (USA) and Jens Klingmann (GER) are part of the Turner Motorsport crew in the #96 BMW M4 GT3 in the GTD class and, together with Patrick Gallagher and Jake Walker (both USA), start from position 16 in their category.

 

The 24-hour race begins on Saturday, 27th January, at 13:40 local time (19:40 CET). On Friday, 26th January at 13:45 local time (19:45 CET), the BMW M Endurance Challenge takes place. At the season opener of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, five BMW M4 GT4s are on the starting grid of the 4-hour race.

 

Quotes before the race:

 

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW M Team RLL): “We arrived at last year’s Rolex 24 having just finished giving birth to the BMW M Hybrid V8 programme in the last quarter of 2022. While I was generally pleased with our performance – one of the cars staying on the lead lap until the 22nd hour – this year we arrive at Daytona better prepared. If that preparation translates into increased reliability, we can expect a very good Rolex 24.”

 

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 4th starting position): “In qualifying we had the best car of the whole weekend. We are satisfied that we have made a good step in the right direction. There is still some optimisation to be done here and there, but I am happy for the team about the significantly better result compared to last year. We are slowly but surely getting to where we need to be to close the gap. The race is long, and a lot can happen. We are ready for the action.”

 

Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, 8th starting position): “This is not the place where I wanted to end the session. I didn't get everything together for a fast lap after we had focussed on race speed and not on qualifying in the test sessions. Of course, it would be better to start further ahead, but we definitely have a much better car for the race than the start position suggests. I think we are very well prepared.”

 

BMW M Motorsport starters at a glance:

 

GTP:

 

#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, BMW M Team RLL:

Philipp Eng (AUT)

Jesse Krohn (FIN)

Augusto Farfus (BRA)

Dries Vanthoor (BEL)

 

#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, BMW M Team RLL:

Connor De Phillippi (USA)

Nick Yelloly (GBR)

Maxime Martin (BEL)

René Rast (GER)

 

GTD PRO:

 

#1 BMW M4 GT3, Paul Miller Racing:

Bryan Sellers (USA)

Madison Snow (USA)

Neil Verhagen (USA)

Sheldon van der Linde (RSA)

 

GTD:

 

#96 BMW M4 GT3, Turner Motorsport:

Robby Foley (USA)

Patrick Gallagher (USA)

Jake Walker (USA)

Jens Klingmann (GER)

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