Following limited laps in practice due to a mechanical issue with the No. 25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, Bruno Spengler made the most of his very first laps of Road America in this afternoon’s qualifying session. His 2:01.155-minute lap around the classic four-mile circuit was only .565 seconds behind the class pole and scored the 2012 DTM champion the fourth starting position. Spengler will co-drive the all-red M8 GTE with Connor De Phillippi in tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute race. Jesse Krohn qualified the No. 24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE in the fifth starting spot with a 2:01.202-minute lap – only .047 seconds from his teammate. Krohn will co-drive with John Edwards tomorrow. The duo shared this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona victory with Augusto Farfus and Chas Mostert. The entire six-car GTLM field qualified within .715 seconds.
BMW Team RLL has scored three wins and five additional podium finishes at Road America since the program’s inception 12 years ago, including the team’s very first victory in 2009. BMW stands third in the GTLM class Manufacturer points standings. John Edwards and Jesse Krohn stand third in GTLM Driver points and Connor De Phillippi and Bruno Spengler stand sixth.
In the GTD class, Robby Foley qualified the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 he co-drives with Bill Auberlen in the fourth starting position with a 2:07.361-minute lap. The Turner crew had lots of work following the second practice session this morning after brake failure caused Foley to slide off the track in turn five on his only his fifth lap bringing out a red flag. The duo scored their best finish of the season – third – in the most recent Round Three race at Sebring International Raceway two weeks ago. Bill Auberlen continues to race for his 61st victory to become the winningest driver in IMSA history.
Earlier this morning, BMW teams qualified for this afternoon’s two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Robby Foley, driving the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, was the best of the four BMWs in the Grand Sport field and will start sixth. The second Turner Motorsport machine, the No. 96 of Vince Barletta will line up 19th. BimmerWorld Racing will start ninth (No. 82, James Clay) and 13th (No. 80, Nick Galante).
The two-hour-and-forty-minute race at Road America will take the green flag at 11:05 p.m. CT on Sunday, Aug.
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P4): “I had only 16 laps of practice before qualifying so I was not totally comfortable with the circuit yet. I am relatively happy with my performance and now we will work on a few more improvements with the car. Road America is an amazing track and I’m really enjoying being here.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P5): “Unfortunately, I had my fastest lap taken away and my second fastest lap was not quite good enough so we will start from fifth. We have made many improvements in practice and the car felt very good.”