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Yelloly admits BMW GTP victory “wasn’t the best way we needed to win”

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The #25 M Hybrid V8 of Yelloly and Connor De Phillippi misplaced the lead within the last six minutes of the six-hour race on the iconic Watkins Glen monitor in upstate New York to the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963.

However the Nick Tandy/Mathieu Jaminet-crewed Porsche was stripped of victory when its underfloor skid block measured lower than the permitted minimal thickness. The PPM workforce has since acknowledged that it’ll “gather all the knowledge and comply with the protest process” after claiming the entrance skid put on was “lower than 1mm exterior of the authorized tolerance”.

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The Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMW operation has made big strides with its IMSA GTP program since a stuttering begin within the Daytona 24 Hours and was months behind its opposition from Acura, Cadillac and Porsche in getting its LMDh automotive out on monitor. 

However the automotive confirmed real tempo all through the Watkins Glen weekend, having already scored runner-up finishes at Sebring and Lengthy Seaside.

“We’ve been steadily bettering, and the primary win was inside attain,” stated Yelloly. “It wasn’t the best way we needed to win, as we desire to win on the monitor and rejoice on the rostrum.

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“Nonetheless, we gladly settle for the victory nonetheless – in spite of everything, it’s the first for the BMW M Hybrid V8 and in addition my first within the IMSA sequence.

“Subsequently, it holds a particular significance for all of us.”

1986 BMW March 86G GTP

It was BMW’s first GTP success since 1986, when John Andretti and Davy Jones triumphed – additionally at Watkins Glen – within the mighty McLaren NA-run, F1-engined March 86G. The final time a BMW prototype received a race in North America was in 1999 at Sebring with the V12 LMR.

BMW’s motorsport chief Andreas Roos added: “Whereas we’d have most popular to win on the monitor, this success is the results of lengthy, arduous work and the well-deserved reward for the incredible performances of everybody concerned on this program.

“I’m notably delighted that our tempo was constantly sturdy all through the weekend, and we set the highest instances. We’ve been bettering from race to race, and now we have earned our first victory within the GTP class. I’m extremely happy with our whole crew.”

Earlier than the information of the Porsche’s demotion from first to final place within the GTP rankings, De Phillippi – who was behind the wheel when Jaminet handed him in site visitors – rued what he thought was a missed alternative to win.

The automotive had already bounced again from two clashes, one with Sebastien Bourdais within the Ganassi Cadillac and one other with a GTD Lamborghini when Yelloly half-spun attempting to lap it, however proved to be the automotive to beat within the last two hours regardless of a number of unscheduled pitstops.

“If somebody had supplied us second place after the primary hour with the collision and the front-end change, we’d have been comfortable,” stated De Phillippi.

“However once you put your self in such an excellent place and are comfortably within the lead, the result may be very disappointing. In the end, I misplaced my whole cushion to the Porsche in simply two laps whereas lapping the LMP vehicles. That is IMSA racing.”

The opposite BMW was crashed out on chilly tires on the very first nook of the race by Augusto Farfus, who stated: “I apologize to my teammate Philipp [Eng] and the workforce. We knew that with the comparatively low monitor temperatures this weekend, it could be very tough to get the tires in the best working window.

“However I believed I had performed every thing within the warm-up lap to have optimum grip at the beginning. Sadly, that wasn’t the case, and I misplaced management of the automotive throughout acceleration. That was in the end my mistake.”

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