Bruno Spengler finished second and Philipp Eng finished third in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series Road America race on May 14, while neither Maximilian Günther nor Alexander Sims finished the Formula E Race at Home series Monaco event on May 16.
BMW’s win streak in the virtual IMSA series was broken at Road America; M8 GTE racers had swept the podium at the first three races in the series. The win at Road America went to Porsche’s Nick Tandy. For the first time, the BMWs did not have the qualifying pace of Ford and Porsche. The Porsches of Tandy and Ayhancan Güven led early as the M8s played catch-up. Both Spengler and John Edwards were able to move up after taking on just two tires on their pit stops. Güven was spun out by another car with twenty minutes remaining, enabling Spengler and Edwards to move into second and third behind Tandy. Edwards fell back after contact and a spin with just five minutes remaining; he recovered to finish fifth. Eng was able to move up to third behind Spengler. M8 GTE racers Robby Foley, Connor De Phillippi, and Nick Catsburg finished seventh, eighth, and ninth, respectively.
Eng said, “With that fourth place in Mid-Ohio and third place here, things are going very well for me but that should not come as a surprise. I have been training unbelievably hard for this race. It involves a crazy amount of work for the entire team and all the drivers. We work really well together on the set-up and driving style. I was ahead of Bruno before the pit stop—and on reflection, if I could reverse the decision to change all four tires, I would, but everything is always clearer with hindsight. Nonetheless, it was a great performance from all of us. Finishing with a total of six BMW M8 GTEs in the top ten is an excellent result.”
In the Formula E race on a simulated Monaco circuit, both Günther and Sims were caught up in a first lap incident. Sims made it back to the pits before retiring, while Günther continued for a time, exiting the race after getting a drive-through penalty for the jump start and being involved in another accident. Pascal Wehrlein, racing for Mahindra, won his second consecutive race. He took over the points lead, leaving Günther five points behind in second.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]