The 7:13 a.m. sunrise over Daytona International Speedway’s third turn showed only one BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM racing car remaining in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. After a long night, the No. 25 of Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler and Dirk Werner, with Farfus behind the wheel, races in the 7th position.
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At 3 a.m., on lap 360, the No. 100 M6, with Lucas Luhr behind the wheel, suffered a heavy crash in turn one, impacting the front and rear of the car. Luhr was unhurt, but the damage from the suspected mechanical failure forced the team to retire the car from the race.
The No. 25 M6 continued its strong run with Dirk Werner and then Bill Auberlen driving the M6 through the early morning hours. When Auberlen handed off to Bruno Spengler for the second time in the race on lap 438 just after 5:30 a.m. the Californian was in third place. The crew made a second brake change on Spengler’s last pit stop before he gave the No. 25 M6 to Farfus.
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “We had to change brakes twice, so at the moment we have to see how the race develops. We are a little bit slower than the competition, but we are hanging in there . We have to carry on pushing and carry on doing the job we are doing now. I think everything can still happen, it is still a very long race and there is still a lot of stuff that can happen during the race. The team is doing a great job on strategy and at the end it is up to the traffic you get, but you have to get through it.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “We are very good through the infield, but lacking on the long straights. It is difficult. It is still a long race to go. We’ll see if there are any tricks up the BMW sleeves and just keep pounding away.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “It is still crazy out there. Still a lot of yellows because people are crashing or having problems, so it is a tough race. So far we have a good car and everything is running well. We had our little issues with a flat tire at the beginning, Augusto had some oil on the track and all sorts of different stuff, but the car is still running well and I hope we just keep on doing like we are doing now and will be there at the end.”
Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “Something failed, but I don’t know what exactly. There was some kind of explosion at the front right that made the bonnet go up, so I couldn’t see where I was going. I had two or three good hits .My best guess is the right brake disc exploded. It’s a shame because we were running well and we were right there in the hunt. It is just a shame for all the guys with a new car that had such a good performance for the first time running and they don’t get rewarded.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “That was a little more straightforward than the opening stint. I think everyone has kind of settled down a little bit and found a nice rhythm. It was nice to run in the top two most of the time and I led for most of one of the stints. Then Nick Tandy got by me in the final stint and we settled into P2. We are just ticking off laps right now to get to the end. It is nice to see we have some pace but the competition is definitely going to be tough. I think as we get into the last three or four hours of the race it is going to be a really intense battle between the Porsches, Corvettes and us.”
Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.