Team RLL M8s Finish Third and Fourth at Petit Le Mans

John Edwards, Jesse Krohn, and Chaz Mostert in the #24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE that Edwards had started from the GTLM pole finished third in class in the ten-hour Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road Atlanta, the 2018 season finale for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Their teammates Connor De Phillippi, Alexander Sims and Bill Auberlen finished fourth.

With an hour left in the ten-hour race, four GTLM class cars, a Ford, a BMW, a Porsche, and a Corvette were running nose-to-tail, with just 2.5 seconds separating them. Then the last round of pit stops began and the order changed at the front of the pack. The #911 Porsche, with Nick Tandy at the wheel, was the first of the four cars to pit; as others pitted it assumed a substantial lead. Ryan Briscoe in the #67 Ford ran second after the stop, but fell back to fifth. Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette moved into second, and the BMWs settled into third and fourth.

The #24 BMW departs after a late-night pit stop (Photo: David Rose)

Victory went to the Porsche that Tandy shared with Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki, while the #4 Corvette finished second, the #24 BMW was third. The #25 BMW, which had fought its way back to the front of the pack after losing a lap as a result of a collision on lap one, finished fourth. The GTLM class drivers’ championship went to Corvette racers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, who finished eighth in the race after a spin just two and a half hours before the end of the race took them out of the class lead.

The #25 Team RLL M8 GTE finished fifth in the GTLM class. (Brian Morgan photo)

The race completed Team RLL’s tenth season with BMW. Team principal Bobby Rahal said, “Both crews did great job today. In the end we did not have quite enough for a win, but P3 and P4 is an excellent result. Our enthusiasm for this M8 continues to grow every race.

“How fortunate we are to have earned BMW’s trust and faith ten years ago. In racing terms ten years is a very long time. I think it’s been a great partnership all the way around. We look forward to another ten years and we certainly hope our relationship with BMW goes even beyond that.”

Bobby Rahal and the RLL crew celebrate a late-race overtake (Photo: David Rose)

The #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3, run in the GTD class by Don Yount. Dillon Machevern, and Markus Palltala, was forced off course on the start-finish straight in the second hour of the race. The impact was heavy; the car was damaged beyond repair, but Machevern was okay. The GTD class win went to Cooper MacNeil, Gunnar Jeannete, and Daniel Serra in the #63 Ferrari.

The Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 retired after it was forced off course early in the race. (Brian Morgan photo)

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