BMW M Hybrid V8s Face Setbacks in Detroit IMSA Event

The fifth race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season took place on the tight streets of Detroit, USA, proving to be a challenging event for the BMW M Team RLL. The two BMW M Hybrid V8s struggled against unfortunate circumstances and the tough street circuit.

Photo from BMW Group

The team entered the weekend with high hopes, backed by strong performances in practice sessions. However, qualifying did not go as planned. Both Philipp Eng and Nick Yelloly were on course to set competitive lap times when a red flag halted the session just before its conclusion. This incident forced the #24 and #25 cars to start from the sixth and eighth positions on the grid, respectively.

The race itself was no less challenging. Philipp Eng and Jesse Krohn, driving the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8, faced an early setback with a drive-through penalty. Despite their efforts and an aggressive race strategy, the duo could only secure a seventh-place finish. The narrow, twisty nature of the Detroit street circuit made overtaking difficult, exacerbating their struggles from a poor starting position.

In contrast, the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, driven by Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly, showed promise during the race. The car was performing well until an unfortunate series of events unfolded. Initially, De Phillippi slid into the tyre barriers while contesting for the lead. Despite this, he continued until another incident, a lap later, severely impacted the track barrier, breaking the rear suspension and forcing the car to retire from the race.

In the GTD-PRO class, the Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, driven by Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers, managed to finish in fifth place, showcasing a commendable performance amidst the overall disappointment for the team.

Reflecting on the race, Jesse Krohn expressed frustration over their inability to showcase the true potential of the BMW M Hybrid V8 due to setbacks in qualifying and the early penalty. He noted that while the improvements to the car were evident, the team couldn’t translate them into better results on the street circuit. Nick Yelloly echoed similar sentiments, acknowledging the progress made during the race thanks to their pit stop strategy, but lamenting their inability to secure a good result.

The team now looks ahead to the next race at Watkins Glen, a track where they enjoyed success last year. With the lessons from Detroit, BMW M Team RLL remains hopeful for a better performance in the upcoming championship rounds.

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