Today, BMW M Team RLL had an excellent day at the beach. In only the team’s third race with the all-new BMW M Hybrid V8 racing cars, a second and fourth GTP class result was a well-deserved season’s-best effort.
Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly scored their second consecutive runner-up finish of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car season, with Yelloly making his first start at the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. The No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 completed 78 laps in the 100-minute event, a yellow flag ending the race under caution. Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus finished fourth in the No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8, both also making their first Long Beach starts.
The race’s first hour was only slowed by one caution period, following an incident on the opening lap, and lasting for the first 10 minutes of the race. Both BMW M Hybrid V8 machines had a turn in the lead before pitting. Yelloly stopped the No. 25 on lap 33 to hand off to De Phillippi, the Californian reentering in fourth. Two laps later, Farfus pitted the No. 24 car. Eng reentered the race in seventh. De Phillippi moved into a podium position (third) on lap 52 with Eng moving to sixth as a competitor made a late stop. Eng moved up to fifth as the last GTP competitor pitted. A rare error sent De Phillippi into a runoff area on lap 58 and back to fourth, but he climbed back to third, setting the race’s fast lap (1:11.503 minutes), and ultimately propelling himself and the BMW to second, in the final minutes of the race.
“To be honest we really did not know what to expect from the first sprint race for the GTP cars,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Right from the start of the weekend, the BMW M Hybrid V8s looked good. We gave a good run for the win, but we can be very proud of our effort today.”
“Thank you to the entire team for the great performance today! Congratulations to BMW M RLL, to BMW Motorsport, and to our drivers,” said Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport. “After our first podium in Sebring, here we are again on the podium with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly, including the fastest lap of the race by Connor. I’m also proud of the result by Augusto Farfus and Philipp Eng with a strong 4th place finish. The fastest race lap showed the great effort by the entire team over the last few weeks and the progress that has been made. At Long Beach, were able to fight for the win. This shows how good our cars are. I would also like to congratulate Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers and Paul Miller Racing for their victory in the GTD class today. Thank you everyone for these great results.”
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 (P2): “I put myself in a less than ideal situation when I ran long trying to pass the Porsche. Luckily, I found the TC-off button and spun the car around. There was still 30 minutes remaining, so I put my head down. The car was fantastic at the end and to see how competitive we were was great.”
Nick Yelloly, driver No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 (P2): “A second second-in-a-row finish is probably more than I could have hoped for, but we had high expectations. Yes, it was my first time at Long Beach and my first podium here, so I am delighted.”
Philipp Eng, driver No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 (P4): “The team made another good step forward following Sebring. Congrats to the No. 25 guys. Long Beach was a great experience. Hopefully, next time, will be time for the No. 24 car.”
Augusto Farfus, driver No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 (P4): “We can leave Long Beach with a smile. I really enjoyed my first visit to this circuit, and I am sure Philipp did as well. We had a seamless day and, as a team, BMW M Team RLL is really making progress.”
The No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow, IMSA’s 2022 Sprint Cup champions, scored their second consecutive GTD class win at Long Beach as well as their second consecutive win of the season. Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher finished eighth in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. The No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull, finished 11th.
“We certainly felt a lot of pressure to win this race again,” said Madison Snow. “The race really came to us after the pit stop. I moved from third to second during my stint. The Paul Miller boys had a great stop and we jumped ahead of the Aston. Bryan held him off as they both reentered the race and continued to hold him off until the checkered flag.”
Round Four of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be held May 14 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey.
No comments yet.