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IMSA Watkins Glen: Race Report.IMSA Watkins Glen: Race Report.

IMSA Watkins Glen: Race Report.

3 min reading time

IMSA Watkins Glen: Race Report.

Turbulent weekend ends with fifth and sixth places for BMW M Team RLL.

24 June 2024

BMW M Hybrid V8, IMSABMW M Hybrid V8, IMSA

At the scene of the first victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship a year ago, the BMW M Team RLL #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 was once again in the spotlight – this time, however, for a different reason. After a practice accident on Saturday, the team managed a great feat by completely rebuilding the car overnight and sending it into the 6-hour race at “Watkins Glen International”. After a turbulent race with numerous yellow phases, rain showers and a race interruption, the #25 car finished in sixth place – right behind the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8, which came in fifth.

Connor De Phillippi lost control of his car during practice and crashed into the track barrier. The BMW M Hybrid V8 was so heavily damaged that BMW M Team RLL had to resort to a different chassis and completely rebuild it overnight. Just minutes before the start the car rolled to the end of the pit lane, from where it started the race. Despite a drive-through penalty as a result of missing the formation lap, De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly staged an impressive comeback that ended in sixth place. Philipp Eng and Jesse Krohn started from eighth place and worked their way up to fifth.

BMW M4 GT3, IMSABMW M4 GT3, IMSA

In the GTD class, Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher and Jake Walker drove the Turner Motorsport #96 BMW M4 GT3 into fifth place. In the GTD-PRO category, the Paul Miller Racing #1 BMW M4 GT3 with drivers Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers, and Neil Verhagen was running well in the race for a long time, but fell to eighth place due to penalties in the restart phase just before the end.

The herculean effort of BMW M Team RLL and the BMW M Motorsport crew in rebuilding the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 was remarkable and deserves great recognition. Thank you to all involved for their fantastic commitment! From a sporting perspective, however, the course of the weekend at Watkins Glen is disappointing as, after last year's victory, we had high hopes of achieving another good result. We need to improve significantly to be able to compete at the front at this high level.
Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport

Comments after the race:

 BMW M Hybrid V8, IMSA BMW M Hybrid V8, IMSA

Philipp Eng (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8, 5th place): “Fifth place is not the result we wanted, but, except for qualifying where we had balance issues, I was quite satisfied with our pace over the weekend. We had the fastest time in practice, and I could also keep up with the pace of the Cadillacs in the race. After a pit stop, I even led the race for a few laps. Our focus is now on Road America. The biggest praise today definitely goes to the crew of number 25. That repair was a fantastic performance!”

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8, 6th place): “Thank you to the entire team for the incredible effort to get the car to the start after my accident on Saturday! This applies not only to our number 25 crew but to everyone, as the number 24 team also helped. For everyone it was like a 24-hour race. The car was only finished just before the start, so for us it was just about completing a clean race. But the balance improved over the six hours, and if we hadn't been stuck behind the Acura at the end we might even have been able to run with the leading trio.”

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