Michelin Alley takes a deeper look at the GT Le Mans teams’ performances at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. BMW Team RLL finished its debut race with both new M8 GTE cars.
Car: BMW M8 GTE
Drivers: 24-John Edwards/Jesse Krohn/Nicky Catsburg/Augusto Farfus, 25-Alexander Sims/Connor De Phillippi/Bill Auberlen/Philipp Eng
2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona Started/Finished: 24-9th/7th, 25-8th/9th
Laps Led: 0
Fastest Laps: 1:45.022 (25-Eng, 8th), 1:45.242 (24-Catsburg, 9th)
Recap: BMW Team RLL took this debut race for the new M8 GTEs as a learning experience to go through 24 hours without any reliability issues, and succeeded fully in that regard.
Turning Point: When Auberlen’s right front tire hit debris in the sixth hour (full analysis here), which set the No. 25 BMW back. They returned after 30 minutes of repairs, having lost 17 laps. The No. 24 car ran fifth as late as 23 hours, 13 minutes into the race.
Notes: BMW endurance race extra drivers Philipp Eng and Nicky Catsburg set the respective fastest race laps in these two cars. … Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn completed their first GTLM starts as BMW Team RLL’s newest factory driver additions to its lineup.
Quotes: “Our BMW M8 GTE successfully completed its baptism of fire here at Daytona,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “To finish such a tough debut race with both cars after 24 hours without major technical problems is something we can be more than proud of.
“Everything has been said with regards to the reasons for the gap in performance compared to the competition. The car couldn’t show its true potential yet. That’s why BMW and IMSA will continue their productive and open talks and have agreed to find an appropriate BoP assessment for the upcoming events starting with Sebring, allowing the BMW M8 GTE to show its true performance for the benefit of the series, BMW and all of our fans.”