Finally after an incredible start to the season in Daytona, BMW Team RLL has followed it up its a perfect race which saw the #25 Motul BMW M8 GTE win Road Atlanta. After some near misses (including a last lap crash at Road America), it’s great to see BMW back on top in IMSA. Read on for the full release.
For a third consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend, BMW Team RLL performed at a podium level. The No. 25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE of Connor De Phillippi and Bruno Spengler took top honors at theTirerack.com Grand Prix, held at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The No. 24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE of John Edwards and Jesse Krohn finished third.
In capturing the team’s 22nd victory and second GTLM class win of the 2020 season, De Phillippi and Spengler completed 254 laps in the six-hour contest, finishing 4.383 seconds ahead of the No. 4 Corvette C8.R. John Edwards and Jesse Krohn finished a strong third, only 5.297 seconds behind their teammates. Adding to their victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, this result keeps Edwards and Krohn in the lead of the Michelin Endurance Cup that is made up by the four endurance races of the season.
The key to the victory presented itself with just under an hour to the checkered flag. On the final round of pit stops, Spengler pitted from second, one lap before the leading Porsche, allowing De Phillippi, on one lap warmer Michelin tires, to sweep into the lead on the next lap following the Porsche’s stop. The race ended with a two-lap shoot-out after a prototype crash in turn four with 10-minutes to go brought out a yellow flag.
The double-podium finish marks the third consecutive podium finish (P3 – Road America, P2 – VIR and P1-P3 Road Atlanta) in the last three 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races. BMW Team RLL has now amassed a total of 82 podium finishes since beginning its BMW racing program in 2009. Unofficially, De Phillippi and Spengler now stand third in GTLM driver points. Edwards and Krohn Stand fifth. BMW moves to within eight points of Chevrolet in manufacturer points.
Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern suffered a mechanical issue with the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 on lap 50 during Machavern’s first stint. The car spent 43 laps in the garage for repairs before returning to the race with some three-and-one-half-hours remaining in the contest. The trio ultimately finished 11th.
The next round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, will take place on Sunday, September 27. The two-hour-and-40-minute race will take the green flag at 2:10 p.m. ET. Follow us on Twitter @BMWUSARacing for news from the pit box and get live scoring and in-car camera views at IMSA.com.
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P1): “Today everyone executed perfectly. The race was fast-paced and made for an exciting battle from flag-to-flag. Thanks to the team and Bruno for his fantastic performance.”
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P1): “An awesome day today! I loved racing Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. It’s time to celebrate my first victory with BMW Team RLL!”
John Edwards, Driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P3): “What a great day for BMW Team RLL! Congratulations to Connor and Bruno and the 25 car guys. We’ll be looking for a 1-2 here when we return in six weeks for Petit Le Mans.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P3): “A great day for the team. I think we maximized our chances in the 24 car and today was great preparation for Petit Le Mans.”