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After a hard two-hour-and-forty-minute IMSA MOTUL Course de Monterey race today at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, BMW M Team RLL finished fifth and eighth in the GTP class. While both BMW M Hybrid V8 machines looked strong early in the contest, unfortunately a third consecutive podium result was not to be.

Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus drove the No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 to a fifth-place finish, completing 102 laps of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit, and taking the checkered flag 22.8 seconds behind the winning No. 01 Cadillac V-Series R. Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly finished eighth in the No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 23-seconds behind their teammates.

The opening lap of the race saw both BMW M Hybrid V8s gain three positions in the first corner as the GTP class leaders encountered problems under braking. With De Phillippi in fourth and Eng in fifth, the race was slowed by the race’s second caution period. Pitting both BMWs under the yellow flag, the No. 25 car only took right side tires and jumped to second place. The No. 24 BMW elected to take four tires and Eng returned to the race in fourth place. The planned repaving of the iconic circuit was delayed because of winter rains, so today’s race was the last before the facelift. As a result, the race strategy had to focus on the tire degradation the antiquated surface has been known for in recent seasons. A third yellow flag flew just as the first hour of the race was completed with both BMWs pitting for fuel, tires, and a change of drivers to Yelloly in the No. 25 and Farfus in the No. 24 cars.

The second half of the race saw Yelloly and Farfus running strongly. With 45 minutes remaining Yelloly had the No. 25 BMW in third. Farfus ran in sixth. In the closing stages Farfus raced to No. 24 BMW to a fifth-place finish for the second top-five result by Farfus and Eng this season. A third consecutive podium was not to be for the No. 25 as the car ultimately finished eighth.

Augusto Farfus, driver No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 (P5): “Our race was good. I believe we had a good tire strategy. Philipp ran the first set long so I had two sets for the finish. Ultimately, heavy traffic made it difficult to move forward and luck just was not on our side. We started P8 and finished P5 – purely on pace – so we leave with quite a few positives.”

Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 (P8): “Things did not go exactly as we had hoped for the No. 25 car. Later in the race some of the yellow flags negated the advantage of our four new Michelins and in the closing stages we had two new tires to our competitors four. We learned a great deal this weekend so I am positive those lessons will pay off at Watkins Glen.”

The GT Daytona class saw Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull finish a very strong second in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 for the duos best finish of the season. Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher finished seventh in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 and GTD class points leaders, Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers took the checked flag 10th in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3.

Round five of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, will be held June 25th.  The race will be streamed live on Peacock Premium and a three-hour condensed broadcast will be televised on USA network beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Source. BMW


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