Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen in the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 led the GTD class in the July 7 two-hour-forty-minute IMSA WeatherTech Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park from flag to flag, scoring the team’s first win of the season and securing Auberlen’s 59th win in his 420th professional race for BMW.
Jesse Krohn and John Edwards finished second in GTLM in the #24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE, and their teammates Tom Blomqvist and Connor De Phillippi finished fourth in #25.
Foley qualified the Turner car on the pole and led his entire stint. Auberlen extended the lead when he took over, preserving his edge through both a late-race caution period and a restart after a red flag period to remove a prototype from a tire wall. There were just seventeen minutes of racing remaining after the red flag period.
The Team RLL cars qualified first and second in class; Krohn put #24 on the pole, and Blomqvist placed #25 second on the grid. Krohn led until his first pit stop, while Blomqvist fell back to fifth at the start. Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche that he shared with Laurens Vanthoor took over after Krohn’s stop and held on to finish first; it was the fifth consecutive GTLM win for Porsche. After the red flag period the #912 Porsche, the #24 BMW, the #911 Porsche, and the #25 BMW ran close together on the circuit in the top four spots, but the BMWs were unable to improve their positions.
Mazda Team Joest prototypes finished first and second overall. It was Mazda’s second consecutive one-two finish; the team had scored its first-ever prototype victory a week earlier at Watkins Glen.
Team RLL technical director Brandon Fry said, “This was a good bounce back after a tough weekend at the Glen. Both of our BMWs were competitive, but we just did not have quite enough for the Porsches at the end. We will regroup and come back after them at Lime Rock. Congratulations to our BMW brothers at Turner Motorsport for their first win of the season and to Bill Auberlen for his 59th all-time victory.”
On the Saturday before the WeatherTech Series race, James Clay and Devin Jones finished sixth overall and sixth in the Grand Sport class in the two-hour Michelin Pilot Series race at CTMP. The win went to Robin Liddell and Frank DePew in a Camaro GT4. Sixth was enough for Clay and Jones to hold on to a one-point lead in drivers’ points going into the series’ next race at Lime Rock in two weeks.
Both the Michelin Pilot and WeatherTech series will run at Lime Rock on June 19–20. The WeatherTech race will feature the GTLM and GTD classes; prototypes will not run.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]