BMW M Hybrid V8’s Tough Break at IMSA Long Beach

During the first sprint race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Long Beach, BMW M Team RLL faced a challenging event. Despite a strong start from the second position by Nick Yelloly (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA), their race was compromised. An early pit stop during a yellow flag and a subsequent accident caused significant delays, preventing a podium finish. Meanwhile, Philipp Eng (AUT) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) manoeuvred their #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 to a sixth-place finish, demonstrating resilience amidst harsh racing conditions.

Image by BMW Group

The race marked the third of the season, following the endurance events at Daytona and Sebring. Initially, Yelloly showcased competitive form, briefly leading the race. However, a yellow flag disrupted their strategy before a crucial pit stop, causing De Phillippi to drop to fifth. Intense on-track battles led to further collisions and damage to the car’s front, necessitating additional pit stops. Ultimately, their race ended prematurely when car #25 slid into the tyre barriers, relegating them to ninth in the GTP class.

In contrast, Turner Motorsport celebrated a significant achievement in the GTD class. Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher (both USA) piloted their #96 BMW M4 GT3 from a seventh-place start to a solid second-place finish on the podium, underscoring the car’s capabilities and strategic execution.

Post-race comments revealed mixed emotions. Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, expressed disappointment over the missed podium opportunity but remained optimistic about the car’s performance across varying tracks and race conditions. He praised the team’s efforts and acknowledged the potential for improvement, looking ahead to the next race at Laguna Seca.

Jesse Krohn reflected on the compact field at Long Beach, noting the difficulties in advancing positions under the yellow flag conditions. Despite the disappointment, he highlighted the positive takeaways regarding points gained. Nick Yelloly echoed these sentiments, discussing the impact of the untimely yellow flag on their strategic plans and emphasizing the car’s strengths, particularly in cornering, even as the team looks to refine their approach for future races.

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