John Edwards and Jesse Krohn in the #24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE finished fourth and Bruno Spengler and Connor De Phillippi in the #25 M8 GTE finished fifth in the GTLM class in the two-hour-forty-minute IMSA WeatherTech Series race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on November 1.
BMW fared better in the GTD class, where Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen in the #96 Turner M6 GT3 finished second. The car ran second for almost the entire race. The win in GTD went to Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry in the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
The win in GTLM went to Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR-19. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor finished second in the #3 Corvette C8.R. BMWs #24 and #25 finished fifth and sixth on the track, but were moved up a position after the race when the #4 Corvette driven by Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin was demoted from third to sixth due to a technical infraction. The demotion of the #4 Corvette clinched the drivers’ title for Garcia and Taylor.
The M8s ran behind the Porsches and Corvettes for most of the race. John Edwards said, “Unfortunately, we did not have the pace today. It was a good effort by the team to get the balance right for our car and try different strategies, but ultimately, we lacked grip. Jesse and I will look forward to closing out the Michelin Endurance Cup title at Sebring in a few weeks.”
The Michelin Pilot Challenge series ran a two-hour race at Laguna Seca on the day before the WeatherTech Series race. Three M4 GT4s finished in the top ten. Robby Foley and Vin Barletta in the #95 Turner Motorsport car finished fifth, Greg Liefooghe and Nick Galante finished sixth in the #80 BimmerWorld car, and James Clay and Mike Skeen finished eighth in the #82 car, the second BimmerWorld M4 GT4. Barletta had crashed the #96 Turner M4 GT4 in practice, eliminating it from the race.
The overall and Grand Sport class wins went to Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal in the #39 Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 GT4.
The IMSA season finale will be run at Sebring on November 11–14, where the Michelin Pilot Challenge will run a two-hour race and the WeatherTech Series will close its season with the postponed Twelve Hours of Sebring.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]