Connor De Phillippi and Bruno Spengler in the #25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE finished fourth in the GTLM class in the IMSA WeatherTech series race at Daytona on July 4, which marked IMSA’s return to the track for the first time since the Rolex 24 in January. Their teammates Jesse Krohn and John Edwards finished sixth in car #24. In the GTD class, Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley finished eighth in the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3.
The two-hour-forty-minute race was delayed for 45 minutes because of lightning strikes. It started in wet conditions, but all of those who started on rain tires switched to slicks within the first twenty minutes. The entire race was run without a caution period.
The Team RLL cars led the GTLM class for some time, but fell back in the final hour of the race. De Phillippi said “The team maximized our performance, but we did not have the capability to go as long as the others on fuel. That forced us to make an extra pit stop and cost us a better finish.”
The win in GTLM went to Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the #3 Corvette C8.R; it was the first win for the new mid-engine Vette and the 100th IMSA win for Corvette.
The Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 was a front runner in the GTD class until it was set back by a puncture. The GTD win went to Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz, who dominated the class in the #14 Lexus RC F GT3.
The WeatherTech Series returns to competition at Sebring in two weeks. The Michelin Pilot Challenge did not run at Daytona; it will be back at Sebring.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW NA.]