BMW’s first official roll out o the new M Hybrid V8 has not been very successful. The iconic 24 Hours of Daytona kicked off on Sunday but an hour into the race, first mechanical problems arose for BMW M Team RLL. The #25 racing car had to retire for a prolonged period of time before coming back on the track to complete the race. The #24 M Hybrid V8 had no mechanical issues, but unfortunately its lack of pace placed it 6th at the end of the 24 hours race. Philipp Eng (AUT), Augusto Farfus (BRA), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Colton Herta (USA) gave a consistent performance in the #24 car.
A number of components had to be replaced on #25 after failure of the hybrid powertrain, on a component shared across the entire GTP lineup. After two and a half hours, Connor De Phillippi (USA), Nick Yelloly (GBR), Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) and Colton Herta, joined the back of the field. At this point, the goal was to finish the race and collect valuable data for next races. The No. 60 Acura ARX-06 of Meyer Shank Racing won 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona in the GTP class.
Tough Race for BMW M4 GT3 Also
The all-new BMW M4 GT3 racing car made its Daytona debut as well. In the GTD PRO class, Turner Motorsport competed with the #95 BMW M4 GT3 but was forced to retire. At some point, BMW M works drivers John Edwards (USA) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) took the car to a sixth place. But two hours later, Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA) were forced to retire due to problems with the steering. They were classified ninth.
In the GTD class, BMW M works driver Maxime Martin (BEL), Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis (all USA) drove the #1 BMW M4 GT3 to eighth place for Paul Miller Racing. After enduring some technical problems, Turner Motorsport crossed the line in 17th position with the #96 BMW M4 GT3 and drivers Jens Klingmann (GER) – also a BMW M works driver, Robby Foley, Michael Dinan and Patrick Gallagher (all USA).
To mark this historic GTP debut, BMW had an impressive presence at the Daytona 24 Hours. An M display greeted fans with the world debut of the BMW M3 CS. The BMW M2, M4 CSL and XM were also displayed. The BMW executive team was well represented as well. BMW M CEO Oliver Zipse was on site as well, and was joined by Frank Van Meel, BMW M CEO, former M CEO Markus Flasch, Timo Resch, Head of Marketing and Sales BMW M, and Adrian Van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design.