Tom Blomqvist and Connor De Phillippi drove the #25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE to a seventh-place finish in the GTLM class in the 100-minute IMSA WeatherTech Series race in Long Beach on April 13. Their teammates, John Edwards and Jesse Krohn, finished eighth in car #24.
The cars finished where they had qualified; the BMWs were not as quick as the other GTLM runners at Long Beach.
Edwards was able to move up to fifth before he pitted to hand off to Krohn, but the team did not secure the right rear wheel on the stop, so Krohn had to stop just after he left the pit box. The delay—and a subsequent penalty for stopping out of the box—dropped the car to eighth, where it finished. Porsche’s Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor won the class.
Edwards said, “A disappointing result, but the car was much improved over yesterday’s qualifying, so our pace was a bit better. As we evolve the car, I think we will be more prepared for Long Beach next year. Unfortunately, it is a very short weekend, so if the car is not right in qualifying, you start in the wrong spot. We were able to move up a couple of spots but then had trouble on the pit stop, and this is the one race per year when the pit stops matter most. We had to rush the stop, and unfortunately it bit us. I was encouraged by the balance of the car, however, and I think we will be a lot better when we return to this street course next year.”
The series runs again at Mid-Ohio on May 3-5.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy of BMW Motorsport]