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IMSA Long Beach: Race Report.IMSA Long Beach: Race Report.

IMSA Long Beach: Race Report.

5 min reading time

Strong pace of the BMW M Hybrid V8 goes unrewarded.

In the first sprint race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Long Beach, BMW M Team RLL was unable to achieve the hoped-for first podium finish of the year after a strong qualifying.

24 April 2024

BMW M Hybrid V8, IMSABMW M Hybrid V8, IMSA

In the first sprint race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Long Beach, BMW M Team RLL was unable to achieve the hoped-for first podium finish of the year after a strong qualifying. Nick Yelloly and Connor De Phillippi started the 100-minute race from second position but initially fell back during their pit stop in a yellow flag period and later due to a damaged front on the tight street circuit in California. While Philipp Eng and Jesse Krohn in the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 finished in sixth place, Turner Motorsport celebrated a podium in the GTD class.

In the third race of the season, following the endurance classics at Daytona and Sebring, BMW M Team RLL was denied the first podium of the year 2024 despite the strong pace of the BMW M Hybrid V8. In the first half of the race, Yelloly held his ground in the leading group and even took the lead. However, a yellow flag just before the planned pit stop for the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, which brought the field back together, resulted in De Phillippi falling back to fifth position. There, he was repeatedly involved in tight duels, leading to collisions and ultimately a damaged front that had to be changed in the pits. A few laps before the end, the race for car #25 ended after a slip into the tyre barriers. De Phillippi and Yelloly were classified ninth in the GTP class. Eng and Krohn, starting from ninth place, found it difficult to move forward on the street circuit but collected important points with a sixth-place finish.

BMW M4 GT3, IMSABMW M4 GT3, IMSA

BMW M works driver Robby Foley and his teammate Patrick Gallagher had reason to celebrate. The duo made a strong comeback in the Turner Motorsport #96 BMW M4 GT3, starting from seventh place and finishing second on the podium in the GTD category.

After starting from second place and showing strong pace in the race, the positions of sixth and ninth are disappointing. Nevertheless, it is good to see that our LMDh car is competitive on all tracks and over all race distances in its second year in the IMSA series. Congratulations to Turner Motorsport, Robby Foley, and Patrick Gallagher on the podium in the GTD class.
Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport
 BMW M Hybrid V8, IMSA BMW M Hybrid V8, IMSA

Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, 6th place): “The field was so close together that it was extremely difficult to move forward. Due to the yellow flags, the lapping of the GTD drivers, which we had hoped to take advantage of, did not come into play as expected. That is of course disappointing because the performance of the car was much better than the result. At least we took some points. Now we focus on Laguna Seca.”

Nick Yelloly (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 9th place): “The race did not go well. My stint was okay, even though I was unlucky once when lapping and lost a place because of it, but the yellow flag just before our pit stop put us on the back foot. We wanted to make up ground with a late stop, but the regrouping of the field nullified this strategy. We had a very strong car here in qualifying, and we were also among the fastest in the race when we could run freely. Especially in the corners, we were better than our competitors. We will continue to work on improving even further.”

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