BMW Team RLL hopes to keep the podium momentum, a third-place finish at Road America in the last round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, at this Saturday’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. VIRginia International Raceway, in Alton, Virginia, is one of North America’s oldest natural terrain road racing courses. Featuring cars in the GTLM and GTD classes, the two-hour-and-forty-minute Michelin GT Challenge was the site of the first win and double-podium finish for the BMW M8 GTE program in 2018.
This weekend, the No. 24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE will be co-driven by John Edwards and Jesse Krohn, the third-place finishers at Road America and two of the four BMW Team RLL quartet that won the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Edwards and Krohn stand fourth in GTLM driver points. Drivers Connor De Phillippi and Bruno Spengler will pilot the No. 25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE. The duo currently stands sixth in GTLM driver points. BMW stands second in GTLM Manufacturer points, one point ahead of Porsche in third and eight points in arrears of Chevrolet.
“We proved at Road America that we that we were competitive again – almost winning the race,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “VIR is a fast, flowing circuit that favors the strengths of the BMW M8 GTE. With good strategy and a bit of luck we can continue to expect a good result.”
In the GTD class, Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley will drive the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. The pair is looking for their first win of the season after scoring their best finish of the season – third – in the Round Three race at Sebring International Raceway in mid-July. Auberlen is only one win away from becoming the all-time leader in IMSA victories.
John Edwards, Driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE : “VIR has a little bit of everything, with big commitment corners like the esses and Turn 10, mixed with slow, technical sections that make it critical to have a good all-around balance. I love driving the track but it is always one of the hottest races of the year so it will be a challenging one.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE : “I always look forward to the races at VIR. It’s always fun to be the fastest class in a race and because there are no prototype cars this weekend a flawless strategy is a must for a good result.”
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE : “VIR is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar and was also the site of my first win with BMW in 2018. Bruno and I have shown we have a lot of speed this season, but we just have not been able to put it all together for the win. VIR will be new for him, but he showed at Road America that he can
quickly get up to speed.”
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE : “I only know VIR from iRacing competition so far. The circuit is quite technical and has a little bit of everything. I enjoy the challenge of a new track and look forward to the weekend.”