Official release: BMW Team RLL finished the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen (USA) in seventh and eighth positions in the GTLM class. The #25 BMW M8 GTE finished seventh with Bill Auberlen (USA), Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Alexander Sims (GBR) sharing the driving duties after a problem-free race. The #24 BMW M8 GTE, of Tom Blomqvist (GBR), John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN), finished 27 laps down in eighth after problems with the starter motor. The race was won by the #66 Ford GT.
BMW customer racing team Turner Motorsport fought through a tough and competitive field in IMSA’s GTD class to take the top podium spot after qualifying in 13th position. The winning Turner BMW M6 GT3 was co-driven by Dillon Machavern (USA), Markus Palttala (FIN) and Don Yount (USA).
Reactions to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen:
Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 7th place): “Obviously, during the first stint of the race you’re just trying to play it safe. Six hours is a long one so we just tried to keep a clean car. The race developed as expected; the first lap was a little crazy with some crashes but we made it through. It was clear that we were missing pace compared to our competitors. We tried to run a strategic race and that went as planned but we weren’t able to capitalise on it in the end. All the guys on the team worked really hard and we move on to Mosport looking for a better result.”
Alexander Sims (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 7th place): “We clearly didn’t have the pace today. We experimented with strategy at the end and had to do some fuel saving. Credit to the team for working as hard as they could, and trying to find any possible advantage, but this was not our weekend.”
Bill Auberlen (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 7th place): “It was great to be back behind the wheel of the BMW M8 GTE. The team did a really great job, but today was obviously not our day.”
Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 8th place): “It’s a shame about being out of it because of early problems when there’s nothing you can really do but finish the race and get the points. Even without the problems today, we did not have the pace.”
John Edwards (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 8th place): “We weren’t really fighting for a podium position so it was just a matter of lapping to finish the race after we had the issue with the starter early on. We tried to make the time useful however, practicing some fuel saving measures, but ultimately it is hard to look at the positives on a day like today.”
Tom Blomqvist (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 8th place): “Watkins Glen was a fun experience! It is obviously a great shame we never had the pace to fight for a proper position in this race, and we ran into some troubles that hindered our end result, but the track was fun. I enjoyed racing with the BMW Team RLL guys, everyone was really welcoming, and I hope to be back here racing sometime in the not too distant future.“
Next for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a trip north of the border to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville (CAN) where the next round will be staged on 8th July.