John Edwards and Jesse Krohn in the #24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE finished third in the GTLM class in the IMSA WeatherTech Series race at Road America on August 2. Their teammates Connor DePhillippi and Bruno Spengler in car #25 finished sixth.
The race was red-flagged after a deluge began with 42 minutes remaining. When the racers returned to the track, 30 minutes were put on the clock, with action beginning under yellow to enable the racers to circulate behind the pace car and make pit stops for wet weather tires. Edwards led the class when the race returned to green, only to hydroplane in treacherous conditions on the final lap; he recovered, but fell to third.
Both M8 GTEs looked quick at Road America; they had received a much-needed balance of performance adjustment that gave them added boost, less weight, and additional fuel capacity. Spengler, who had never raced at the circuit before, ran in second and third for his entire opening stint. DePhillippi continued to run in the top three much of the way, but a mechanical problem during the final caution period dropped the car back.
With Edwards and the Porsche of Nick Tandy that was chasing him going off course on the final lap, the two Corvettes moved into the lead. The #3 Corvette with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia aboard took the GTLM win, and the #4 Corvette driven by Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner finished second.
In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport #96 M6 GT3 driven by Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen ran strong on both drivers’ stints, with Auberlen running in third and then in second for a time before the rain came. A stop to put the car on rain tires set it back; it finished seventh. The class win went to Lexus racers Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell.
On the day before the WeatherTech race, Auberlen and Foley in the #95 Turner Motorsport M4 GT4 finished fifth in the two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Devin Jones and James Clay finished tenth in the #82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4. The win went to Corey Lewis and Sheena Monk in a McLaren.
Over the course of the race weekend, IMSA announced that its two races in the northeast would be replaced by races in the south. A six-hour race at Road Atlanta on the weekend of September 4–6 will replace the six-hour race at Watkins Glen originally scheduled for that weekend, and the GTLM/GTD race originally scheduled for Lime Rock Park in September will instead be run as part of a NASCAR weekend on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9–10.—Brian Morgan
[Photo of M8 GTE and Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 courtesy BMW NA. Photo of Turner Motorsport M4 GT4 courtesy BMW Motorsport.]