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IMSA Long Beach: Strong pace of the BMW M Hybrid V8 goes unrewarded – Turner Motorsport on the GTD podium.

In the first sprint race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Long Beach (USA), BMW M Team RLL was unable to achieve the hoped-for first podium finish of the year after a strong qualifying.

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GT Racing
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Long Beach. In the first sprint race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Long Beach (USA), BMW M Team RLL was unable to achieve the hoped-for first podium finish of the year after a strong qualifying. Nick Yelloly (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA) started the 100-minute race from second position but initially fell back during their pit stop in a yellow flag period and later due to a damaged front on the tight street circuit in California. While Philipp Eng (AUT) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) in the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 finished in sixth place, Turner Motorsport celebrated a podium in the GTD class .

 

In the third race of the season, following the endurance classics at Daytona and Sebring (both USA), BMW M Team RLL was denied the first podium of the year 2024 despite the strong pace of the BMW M Hybrid V8. In the first half of the race, Yelloly held his ground in the leading group and even took the lead. However, a yellow flag just before the planned pit stop for the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, which brought the field back together, resulted in De Phillippi falling back to fifth position. There, he was repeatedly involved in tight duels, leading to collisions and ultimately a damaged front that had to be changed in the pits. A few laps before the end, the race for car #25 ended after a slip into the tyre barriers. De Phillippi and Yelloly were classified ninth in the GTP class. Eng and Krohn, starting from ninth place, found it difficult to move forward on the street circuit but collected important points with a sixth-place finish.

 

BMW M works driver Robby Foley and his teammate Patrick Gallagher (both USA) had reason to celebrate. The duo made a strong comeback in the Turner Motorsport #96 BMW M4 GT3, starting from seventh place and finishing second on the podium in the GTD category.

 

Reactions after the race:

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “Part one of the first double-header with our BMW M Hybrid V8 in the IMSA series and the FIA WEC unfortunately did not bring the hoped-for first podium of the season. After starting from second place and showing strong pace in the race, the positions of sixth and ninth are disappointing. Nevertheless, it is good to see that our LMDh car is competitive on all tracks and over all race distances in its second year in the IMSA series. We will continue to work hard to reward ourselves with corresponding results. The next opportunity to do so will be in May at Laguna Seca. Congratulations to Turner Motorsport, Robby Foley, and Patrick Gallagher on the podium in the GTD class. I am pleased to see that the circuit in Long Beach continues to be good ground for the BMW M4 GT3 after the last two years’ victories.”

 

Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, 6th place): “The field was so close together that it was extremely difficult to move forward. Due to the yellow flags, the lapping of the GTD drivers, which we had hoped to take advantage of, did not come into play as expected. That is of course disappointing because the performance of the car was much better than the result. At least we took some points. Now we focus on Laguna Seca.”

 

Nick Yelloly (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 9th place): “The race did not go well. My stint was okay, even though I was unlucky once when lapping and lost a place because of it, but the yellow flag just before our pit stop put us on the back foot. We wanted to make up ground with a late stop, but the regrouping of the field nullified this strategy. We had a very strong car here in qualifying, and we were also among the fastest in the race when we could run freely. Especially in the corners, we were better than our competitors. We will continue to work on improving even further.”

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