BMW M Hybrid V8 Nabs First Victory at IMSA in Watkins Glen


The BMW M Team RLL has been awarded the victory in the 6-hour race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) at Watkins Glen (USA). Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) crossed the finish line in second place after a dramatic final phase, but a post-race penalty for the first-place Porsche due to a technical violation granted the historic first win for the BMW M Hybrid V8. The last time a BMW prototype won a race in North America was in 1999 at Sebring (USA) with the BMW V12 LMR.

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The BMW M Team RLL had a firm grip on a historic first victory for the BMW M Hybrid V8 at the 6-hour race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) in Watkins Glen (USA). However, in a dramatic final phase, Connor De Phillippi (USA), leading the race, lost significant time while lapping and had to settle for second place in the last few laps. Nevertheless, a fantastic result was achieved with the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, shared by De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly (GBR). The strong pace of the LMDh prototype was particularly noteworthy, showcasing its potential to win the race on its own merits. In the GTD class, Paul Miller Racing secured a podium finish with the #1 BMW M4 GT3 after a spectacular comeback.

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In the GTP class, the two BMW M Hybrid V8 cars started the race from fifth and seventh positions after qualifying was canceled due to heavy rain on Saturday. In the very first turn, Augusto Farfus (BRA) in the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8 caused a moment of shock as he lost control of the car while accelerating on apparently still cold tires and crashed into the barriers. The vehicle suffered significant damage, preventing it from being repaired during the race. This marked an early retirement for Farfus and his teammate Philipp Eng (AUT).

During the first hour of the race, De Phillippi collided with a spinning Cadillac directly in front of him, damaging the front of the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, which had to be replaced. However, he and Yelloly fought back from the back of the GTP field with a strong pace and found themselves in the lead during the final hour of the race. Only in the last minutes, as traffic became heavy with lapped cars, did De Phillippi’s lead of approximately seven seconds diminish. Five minutes before the end of the race, he conceded to the charging Porsche. Although victory was not achieved, the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 crew secured their third podium finish of the season.

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In the GTD class, Paul Miller Racing showcased an impressive comeback. After facing early technical issues with the #1 BMW M4 GT3, drivers Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers, and Corey Lewis (all USA) had already fallen three laps behind. However, through strategic utilization of the yellow flag periods, they managed to make up the deficit and ultimately finished in second place, celebrating on the podium. Bill Auberlen (USA), who shared the #95 BMW M4 GT3 in the GTD-PRO class with Chandler Hull and BMW M works driver John Edwards (both USA), emerged uninjured from a spectacular rollover incident that occurred five minutes before the end of the race, leading to the final yellow flag period that determined the outcome of the race. In the sister car with the number 96, Robby Foley, Patrick Gallagher, and Michael Dinan (all USA) finished in 13th place in the GTD class.


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