In the season’s first sprint race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Long Beach, USA, the BMW M Team RLL missed a chance at their first podium finish of the year despite a strong start. Drivers Nick Yelloly (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA) began the 100-minute race in second place. Their performance, however, was compromised during a pit stop amid a yellow flag period and further setbacks due to damage to the front end on the challenging street circuit. The #24 BMW M Hybrid V8, manned by Philipp Eng (AUT) and Jesse Krohn (FIN), managed a sixth-place finish. Meanwhile, Turner Motorsport achieved a podium finish in the GTD class.

In this third race following the endurance classics at Daytona and Sebring, the BMW M Team RLL’s podium aspirations were again thwarted, despite the BMW M Hybrid V8 showing strong pace. Yelloly initially held a leading position and even led the race, but a yellow flag just before a crucial pit stop regrouped the field and saw De Phillippi fall to fifth. His aggressive racing led to multiple collisions and a damaged front end, necessitating a pit stop for repairs. The race ended prematurely for car #25 after a mishap with the tyre barriers, classifying De Phillippi and Yelloly ninth in the GTP class. Starting from ninth, Eng and Krohn struggled to advance but ultimately secured valuable points with their sixth-place finish.

Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher of the USA, driving for Turner Motorsport in the #96 BMW M4 GT3, had a more successful outing. Starting seventh, they surged to a second-place finish on the GTD podium, marking a notable comeback.

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “Part one of the first double-header with our BMW M Hybrid V8 in the IMSA series and the FIA WEC unfortunately did not bring the hoped-for first podium of the season. After starting from second place and showing strong pace in the race, the positions of sixth and ninth are disappointing. Nevertheless, it is good to see that our LMDh car is competitive on all tracks and over all race distances in its second year in the IMSA series. We will continue to work hard to reward ourselves with corresponding results. The next opportunity to do so will be in May at Laguna Seca. Congratulations to Turner Motorsport, Robby Foley, and Patrick Gallagher on the podium in the GTD class. I am pleased to see that the circuit in Long Beach continues to be good ground for the BMW M4 GT3 after the last two years’ victories.”