John Edwards and Jesse Krohn in the #24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE finished second in the GTLM class in the two-hour-forty-minute IMSA WeatherTech series race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 15. Their teammates, Tom Blomqvist and Connor De Phillippi, finished fifth in class in Car #25. BMW was coming off two consecutive IMSA wins at Laguna Seca.
The BMWs had qualified well; Krohn took the pole in Car #24 and Blomqvist qualified third in #25. Krohn led from the start, stalked by Dirk Müller in the #66 Ford GT. A momentary loss of power in #24 let the Ford get by for the lead. While Krohn quickly recovered, Müller held on to first; he and co-driver Joey Hand went on to win.
The two Corvettes, running a different pit strategy from the other teams, were running fresher tires than the BMWs late in the race. They found their way by #25 with about ten minutes remaining. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia finished third in Corvette #3, while Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin finished fourth in #4. The entire race was run under the green flag.
Krohn said, “Good day overall. Slight hiccup during my stint when I lost all power, and that ultimately cost us the lead—and may have cost us the win. It’s tough to know here, because traffic plays such a big part, but if you are the first car going through the traffic, you most likely gain, so losing that lead early-on was a bad blow for us. Overall, the team executed very well; the car was working pretty well and we came away with P2. Considering the issue we had, we can be very happy with our result!”
In GTD class, the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 driven by Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley was spun by another racer during Auberlen’s stint. The car finished seventh in class; the win went to Cory Lewis and Bryan Sellers in a Lamborghini.
In Saturday’s two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race, James Clay and Devin Jones drove the #82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 to finish fourteenth. Russell Ward and Dominik Baumann won in a Mercedes-AMG GT4.
The finale for both series will be run at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on October 11–12.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW NA.]