BMW Team RLL qualified third and sixth in the GTLM class for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge race at VIRginia International Raceway, in Alton, Virginia. Connor De Phillippi qualified the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE in the third starting position with a 1:41.095-minute lap, only .706 seconds behind the pole-winning Porsche. De Phillippi and co-driver Bruno Spengler stand sixth in GTLM driver points. With a 1:41.716-minute lap, John Edwards will start the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE from the sixth position tomorrow. Edwards and co-driver 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, stand fourth in GTLM driver points.
Prior to this evening’s 15-minute qualifying session, practice time for the team was halved as the day’s second one-hour session was held in very wet conditions and 12 of the 20 cars entered elected not to run, including BMW Team RLL.
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.
In the GTD class, Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley will line up the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 in the second starting position in the GTD class, following Foley’s excellent 1:45.310-minute time in qualifying – only .074 seconds from the pole-winner. 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.
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P3): “That was a solid effort. I feel we maximised what we had and made no mistakes. Now we will focus on carrying it all over to tomorrow’s race. Thanks to the team for a great car today.”
John Edwards, Driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P6): “Obviously, I did not put a lap together. After the limited practice time, I made a few mistakes on my last two laps when the tires were up to optimum pressure. Overall, the car felt good and I’m confident we can move up in the race.”