Round four of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) is held on an iconic Californian race track this coming weekend: Laguna Seca (USA).
Munich. Round four of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series) is held on an iconic Californian race track this coming weekend: Laguna Seca (USA). BMW M Team RLL travels to the circuit near Monterey with fond memories of great success. In the 13 years (2009 to 2022) that BMW M Team RLL raced BMWs in IMSA’s GT classes, the team has finished on the podium there eleven times, including three GT class victories. Now, the team hopes that this Laguna Seca success will continue with the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the new IMSA GTP era.
In the three races been held in the 2023 season so far, BMW M Team RLL has scored two runner-up finishes at Sebring and Long Beach (both USA) with the new BMW M Hybrid V8. That effort has BMW standing second in the IMSA GTP class manufacturer points. By benefit of two second-place finishes with the number 25 car, drivers Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) stand fourth in GTP driver points, only one point from third. Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) stand seventh in driver points, with a season’s-best fourth-place finish at Long Beach in the number 24 car.
In GTD class, current point leaders Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow (both USA) will bring the number 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 to Laguna Seca looking to extend their winning streak of two victories at Sebring and Long Beach. Turner Motorsport brings two GTD entries, the number 96 BMW M4 GT3 of Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher (both USA) and the number 97 car of Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA). Last season, Auberlen and Foley co-drove to a third place GTD finish at this event.
The two-hour-and-forty-minute race at Laguna Seca will start on Sunday, 14th May at 12:10 local time (21:10 CEST).
Quotes ahead of the Laguna Seca race:
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW M Team RLL): “It’s easy to show that Laguna Seca has been a great circuit for me as a driver and a team owner. I won four Indy Car races in-a-row there among many other victories. BMW M Team RLL has three GT class wins in addition to quite a few seconds and thirds. If you are lucky enough to have good fortune at a circuit it tends to stay, so, yes, I am looking forward to the new era GTP debut at Laguna Seca. If we can continue to improve the BMW M Hybrid V8 the way we have been, I am feeling optimistic about our chances.”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8): “Laguna Seca is one of the most iconic tracks on our schedule and the first place I ever drove a race car. Returning here, now in our GTP car, is going to be very exciting and pose an entirely new challenge to us as a team. Tyre degradation will be very high per usual, so there will be a lot of strategy coming into play. Our aim will be to learn something every session and fight for a victory.”
Nick Yelloly (#25 BMW M Hybrid V8): “Another new bucket list circuit for me! I am really looking forward to jumping back in the car and working on improving from where we left off in Long Beach. Having watched countless races on television from Laguna Seca, driving down the corkscrew for the first time I'm sure will be awesome.”
Philipp Eng (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8): “I’m really looking forward to getting to know a new race track again. I’ve never been to Laguna Seca, but I’ve done a lot of laps there with the simulator and I’ve prepared intensively. So I feel absolutely ready. I hope that we can take the positive momentum from Sebring and Long Beach and ideally get on the podium with both cars. And that, if everything goes well, we can celebrate our first victory with the BMW M Hybrid V8.”
Augusto Farfus (#24 BMW M Hybrid V8): “I think the BMW M Hybrid V8 will be quite a bit of fun at Laguna Seca. It is an iconic circuit and the progress we have made with the car so far this year should continue to move us toward the top.”