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GTD PRO podium for the BMW M4 GT3 – Technical problems set back BMW M Hybrid V8s.

At the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series), the Daytona 24 Hours (USA), the BMW M Team RLL missed the hoped-for podium finishes with the BMW M Hybrid V8.

BMW M Motorsport
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LMDh
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IMSA Series
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GT Racing
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24h Races
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Customer Racing
 

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Daytona. At the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series), the Daytona 24 Hours (USA), the BMW M Team RLL missed the hoped-for podium finishes with the BMW M Hybrid V8. Although the two LMDh cars were able to keep up with the speed of their competitors and stay in the leading group of the GTP category until into the night, technical problems then set both prototypes back. Paul Miller Racing had reason to celebrate. The North American BMW M Motorsport team finished third on the podium in the GTD PRO class .

 

For the BMW M Team RLL, the second 24-hour race in Daytona with the BMW M Hybrid V8 initially went according to plan. Both car #24 with drivers Philipp Eng (AUT), Jesse Krohn (FIN), Augusto Farfus (BRA), and Dries Vanthoor (BEL), as well as the sister car with Connor De Phillippi (USA), Nick Yelloly (GBR), Maxime Martin (BEL), and René Rast (GER), held strong speed and stayed in the leading group until late at night. However, both crews then had bad luck with technical difficulties.

 

The #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 stopped on the track due to electronic problems, but could have returned to the race quickly as only the steering wheel needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, there was a mishap with the recovery crew while towing the car back to the pit, which cost additional time, Ultimately, the BMW M Team RLL lost 13 laps due to the unfortunate incident.

 

The #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, which had even been in the lead at one point, suffered a leak in the gearbox cooler. Later on, a brake change was necessary on the rear axle, which led to a total of 15 laps behind.

 

Paul Miller Racing showed an impressive comeback from twelfth place in the GTD PRO category and even led the race for long stretches in the #1 BMW M4 GT3. In the final hours of the race, however, the team was unable to compete for the win due to a problem during a pit stop, but it was enough for drivers Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers, Neil Verhagen (all USA), and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) to take third place on the podium. In the GTD class, Turner Motorsport also had a strong comeback, but Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher, Jake Walker (all USA), and Jens Klingmann (GER) fell far behind due to a mechanical defect at the oil pump drive.

 

Reactions after the race:

 

Franciscus van Meel (CEO BMW M GmbH): “Luck was not with the diligent. We were well prepared for the race beforehand and started with a good feeling. Accordingly, we are now disappointed with this result. But it is what it is. We have two more big races with the BMW M Hybrid V8 in Qatar and Sebring in the next six weeks. Now it's about implementing everything we didn't achieve here in Daytona and coming out on top.”

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “Looking at our results this weekend is, of course, very disappointing. But we have shown that our BMW M Hybrid V8 could keep up with the competition and even led at times. If you compare that to our debut a year ago, we have made huge strides in the right direction in terms of performance. Unfortunately, we had technical issues during the night with both cars, which should not happen in such a race. We now have to analyze these precisely to ensure that we are better prepared for the upcoming races. It is also a shame that Paul Miller Racing with the BMW M4 GT3 had problems at the end and fell back to third place in the GTD PRO.”

 

Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, 7th place): “I feel for everyone on the team who worked so hard for this event. We definitely deserved a better result. For me personally, it was a fantastic experience. I had an incredible amount of fun in my first race with the new car and learned a lot. I am convinced that we could have achieved a very good result without our problems.”

 

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 8th place): “That was not the race we wanted. Until the race, we had actually had a positive week here in Daytona, but unfortunately, luck was not on our side. You cannot afford technical problems like the ones we had in such a race. We have to learn from that with a view to Sebring.”

 

Neil Verhagen (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Paul Miller Racing, 3rd place GTD PRO): “My first 24-hour race in Daytona and my first start in an IMSA race – that was a great experience. I was in the best possible team, and we led the race for long stretches. Unfortunately, some problems late in the race put the win out of reach. Nevertheless, we still made it to the podium. We can be proud of that. Generally, a podium in Daytona is, of course, a reason to be happy, but when you were so close to the win, it hurts not to reach it in the end.”

 

Robby Foley (#96 BMW M4 GT3, Turner Motorsport, 14th place GTD): “We actually drove a smart race all the time and always stayed in touch with the top. We had a car that could have fought for the win in the GTD class. Unfortunately, we had the technical problem exactly at sunrise. The guys repaired it very quickly, but with 15 laps behind, we were, of course, out of the race for a top placement. Now I'm looking forward to making up for it at the next race in Sebring.”

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