IMSA season-to-date: BMW

May 23, 2018

IMSA season-to-date: BMW

May 23, 2018

BMW Team RLL’s ultimate pace with its new M8 GTE has fluctuated through the opening four races of the year. The new car is off to a strong start even as it’s just come up shy of its first victory.

BMW expected that post-Daytona adjustments to IMSA’s Balance of Performance tables would help the new car for Sebring, which they did. BMW’s pair of new full-time drivers made their mark immediately.

Connor De Phillippi scored pole and Jesse Krohn set the fastest race lap. De Phillippi said in advance of the race that the BMW Team RLL team’s dedication and work to put the car at the front in only its second race was an impressive feat. He finished second with Alexander Sims and Bill Auberlen there to score the car’s first worldwide podium.

Long Beach proved a tougher task as the car’s strengths were not suited to the long straights and tight corners of the street course. However the flowing, sinewy Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course proved a better match. Just like at Sebring, BMW had a pole and a second place finish in the race. This time it was John Edwards on pole, with Sims and De Phillippi second on Sunday.

Sims and De Phillippi are sixth in the standings, but only 12 points of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class leaders.

Edwards and Krohn have had a luckless start to the season, proven by the fact that through no fault of their own they’re the only one of eight full-season GTLM cars without a podium finish.

The BMW team won with the previous generation M6 at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last year.

Meanwhile BMW makes its return to Le Mans next month, with the BMW Team MTEK team. Sims is the only one of the four BMW Team RLL IMSA drivers competing there. He’ll share a car with Antonio Felix da Costa and Augusto Farfus.

BMW YEAR-TO-DATE STATISTICS (4th, 120) 

No. 25 Alexander Sims/Connor De Phillippi

Event Start Finish Laps Led Notes
Daytona 8 9 Auberlen, Eng extra drivers
Sebring 1 2 35 Auberlen third driver; De Phillippi pole
Long Beach 7 8 9
Mid-Ohio 3 2 21
Points 109 (6th)

No. 24 John Edwards/Jesse Krohn

Event Start Finish Laps Led Notes
Daytona 9 7 Catsburg, Farfus extra drivers
Sebring 3 7 51 Catsburg third driver; Krohn fastest lap
Long Beach 8 5
Mid-Ohio 1 7 Edwards pole
Points 98 (8th)

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