BMW Team RLL misses out on podium in Sebring

BMW Z4 GTLMs finish fourth and eighth at 63rd Twelve Hours of Sebring.

BMW Team RLL misses out on podium in Sebring
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: John Edwards, Lucas Luhr, Jens Klingmann
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Lucas Luhr (DE), John Edwards (US) and Jens Klingmann (DE) finished fourth in the GTLM class for BMW Team RLL in the 12 Hours of Sebring (US), the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC). The three drivers completed a total of 329 laps with the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM. The No. 3 Corvette crew of Antonio García (ES), Jan Magnussen (DK) and Ryan Briscoe (AU) claimed the GTLM victory.

With ambient temperatures up to 91degrees Fahrenheit, the endurance classic at the Sebring International Raceway turned out to be a truly heated affair. For most of the race, the GTLM field was running closely together, delivering some gripping racing action for the fans surrounding the 3.74-mile, 17-turn circuit. Following a final full-course yellow with two hours to go, the cars on the lead lap were once again bunched up before entering the decisive phase of the race. With final stint driver Luhr at the wheel, the number 24 car crossed the line in fourth after 12 hours of racing, despite a problem with the power steering in the final stages of the race.

In any case, the presence of the winning squad with the BMW 3.0 CSL from 1975 made this race really special for us.

Jens Marquardt

For Dirk Werner (DE), Bill Auberlen (US) and Augusto Farfus (BR) the race didn’t go according to plan with the No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM. After five and a half hours, Werner entered the pit lane with a damaged front subframe, running in sixth at that time. The necessary repair work cost the trio more than ten laps, and they dropped to the very back of the GTLM field. Werner, Auberlen and Farfus proved their fighting spirit in the second half of the race, ultimately finishing eighth.

In the GTD class Turner Motorsport raced the No. 97 BMW Z4 GTD. BMW works driver Andy Priaulx (GB), Boris Said (US), Markus Palttala (FI), the 2014 BMW Sports Trophy winner, and Michael Marsal (US) took the chequered flag eighth in class.

Prior to the start of the race, the winning BMW 3.0 CSL from 1975 went out on an honorary lap with Hans-Joachim Stuck (DE) at the wheel. Several members of the BMW Motorsport crew from 40 years ago followed him in two BMW M4 Convertibles. Among them were Jochen Neerpasch (DE), the first Managing Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH, and Stuck’s 1975 team-mate, Brian Redman (GB). In addition, Stuck had the honour of serving as “Grand Marshal” for the event.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “Obviously we had hoped for a more successful outcome of the race and would have loved to make it into the top-three, especially considering it was the 40th anniversary of BMW Motorsport’s maiden Sebring win. A podium was in reach for car number 24 until the final stint. However, a power steering failure made this impossible in the end. Number 25 also suffered a dose of bad luck: a technical problem took it out of contention quite early in the race. However, I would like to praise the whole team. Especially for our drivers, it was far from easy today due to the heat.

Everyone put up a fantastic fight in these tropical conditions and gave their all. In any case, the presence of the winning squad with the BMW 3.0 CSL from 1975 made this race really special for us. We will now work hard to return to the podium in the forthcoming United SportsCar Championship race, as it was the case at the season opener. The race in Long Beach will be a completely new ballgame. Congratulations to the Corvette crew for this victory.”

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “It has been a disappointing day in many respects. The strategy was working very well on the 24 car and then we had a power steering issue at the end. We could have ended up second for sure. It was just a shame, but we ended up fourth, that is not the worst thing in the world, but it is disappointing when things were kind of going according to plan. Then on the 25 car we had a suspension breakage that lost us a lot of time. It still finished, but it is a lot of work on this track and you would like to be rewarded a little bit more for all that work.”

Lucas Luhr (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, 4th place): “It has been a long day. When we first came here we all thought our pace was better than it really was at the end. We have finished fourth twice now, which is not an ideal result. But we had problems at the end that meant the car didn’t steer properly. It was very tough and hard and I am just glad the race is over. We were there. We were on the lead lap, we stuck to our plan, but we were missing a little bit to have a fight with the others today. We go back home, see what went wrong, what was good and we will come back and hopefully we will be on the podium.”

John Edwards (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, 4th place): “It was a hot one today. My stints were fairly close together so I had to kind of rush to get my lunch in, rehydrate and get back in the car. At the end of the day the car was consistent, and not super difficult to drive, but I think we are lacking a little bit of pace that some of the front runners had at least in the race trim. Having this in mind, P4 isn’t too bad.”

Jens Klingmann (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM, 4th place): “Of course we had hoped for a bit more here in Sebring. A podium would have been great. This time we were even closer than when we came fourth in Daytona. However, for me personally it was a great experience. It was my first race in Sebring – and I found my way quite well straight away. The team did a great job. It’s a pity that the power steering hampered us from scoring a better result. But I’m sure the boys will make it onto the podium in the next races. I’m already looking forward to being back with the team in Road Atlanta.”

Dirk Werner (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, 8th place): “It was a tough day for us, and in the end for the whole team and our car, especially because in the middle of the race we were over ten laps back because we had a problem with the car. We tried to put the car back on the track and show it to the fans to the end of the race. It was still fun to drive, but it is disappointing for sure because there was a good chance today to maybe get onto the podium, and also get some good points. The next one is Long Beach and that is Bill’s home track so we will be good there.”

Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, 8th place): “I had huge hopes coming into here. With the livery that was representing the victory from 1975 I wanted more than anything to bring home a win. Instead we had a very rare mechanical failure. We have never had problems with this part as we had today. If it is going to come up it is going to come up in Sebring, that will do it. But I set the fastest race lap, which shows we had pace, and we just have to take it to the competition in Long Beach and keep going on.”

Augusto Farfus (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM, 8th place): “I am very disappointed with the race. It didn’t go as we planned. Even if we did have a failure, we didn’t have the pace over the distance. But I have to say the team has done a great job and I am looking forward to more races in the US, but now for me it is time to go to Europe and concentrate on the DTM.”

The third round of the 2015 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship will be held in Long Beach, California on April 18th.

BMW

shares
comments
Honda, ESM and Michael Shank Racing show speed at Sebring

Previous article

Honda, ESM and Michael Shank Racing show speed at Sebring

Next article

Marsal toughs out top-10 in Sebring

Marsal toughs out top-10 in Sebring
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020