The yearly IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stop at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is always special for BMW Team RLL. The 4.0-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course is Bobby Rahal’s favorite circuit in North America as well as the site of the team’s very first victory with BMW – a win from pole for Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand in 2009. Over the last decade of competition the team has scored two more pole positions, two more victories and five additional podium finishes. Last year, Connor De Phillippe and Alexander Sims looked to be winners until a fuel issue dropped the No. 25 M8 GTE from the lead on the penultimate lap.
With the recent success at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, a similar high-speed, flowing, old school circuit, where the team qualified one-two and finished second and fourth the team is ready for a good weekend at Road America.
Tom Blomqvist, competing in his first race at Road America, and Connor De Phillippi will drive the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE and John Edwards and Jesse Krohn will pilot the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE. DePhillippi, in sixth place, remains the top-standing BMW driver in GTLM Driver points. Edwards and Krohn stand seventh and Blomqvist, having missed the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, is ninth.
Quotes ahead of the race at Road America.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL): “I think most folks know that Road America is my favourite circuit in North America. Over the years the track has been very good to us as it has seemingly been designed for a BMW with the track’s long straights and flowing corners – regardless if it is a BMW M3, BMW Z4, BMW M6 or BMW M8. We were very competitive at Canadian Motorsport Park so I believe we have to be optimistic about our chances at Road America.”
Tom Blomqvist (#25 BMW M8 GTE): “I’ve been lucky enough to have tested already at Road America earlier in the year and I can tell you it’s one of my favourites. It’s an epic track and one that should suit our package. We’ve been making steady progress in the right direction and we will be aiming for nothing less than a top three finish.”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE): “Road America is one of the ultimate tracks in North America and it fits the strengths of our BMW M8 GTE perfectly. We came so close to pulling off the victory last year and this coming weekend we have the chance to redeem ourselves. The combination of high and low speed flow is second to none.”
John Edwards (#24 BMW M8 GTE): “We had a good test at Road America and we had good pace there last year. The track at Road America should suit our BMW M8 GTE well and I think we have a good shot at winning. The atmosphere in Elkhart Lake is always awesome as it feels like the town is centred around racing. I’m looking forward to being back and hopefully standing on the podium again.”
Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M8 GTE): “Road America is my favourite track in the US. Fast, long, technical and flowing corners is everything that a driver wants from a race track. Road America also suits our BMW M8 GTE very well.”