BMW M8 makes Podium at Sebring

Sunday, March 18, 2018

At the classic 12 Hours of Sebring (USA), the new BMW M8 GTE celebrated its maiden podium finish. After 328 laps, Alexander Sims (GBR) finished round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship second in the GTLM class at the wheel of car number 25. He had shared driving duties with fellow BMW Team RLL drivers Connor De Phillippi and Bill Auberlen (both USA), leading the pack in some phases of the race.

The number 24 BMW M8 GTE – driven by Jesse Krohn (FIN), John Edwards (USA) and Nick Catsburg (NED) – had to retire in the final hour of the race.

The number 911 Porsche secured victory, just 6.230 seconds ahead of the second-placed BMW M8 GTE. De Phillippi, Sims and Auberlen did a flawless job in the cockpit after starting from pole position. Their BMW M8 GTE mastered the tough 12 hours of racing without major technical issues. Following a brake change towards the end of the first half of the race, the trio lost a lap to the leaders, but managed to keep their cool and fought back into the group of front-runners. Sims was able to secure the first podium finish for the newly developed BMW M8 GTE as final-stint driver. In total, it was the 69th podium for BMW Team RLL and the 26th runner-up finish since 2009.

For car number 24 the race took a decisive turn after four hours and 17 minutes, when there was a collision between the BMW M8 GTE and the number 66 Ford GT. Edwards had to head back to the pits with a water leak and some extensive repair work followed. The car rejoined the race nine laps down from the leaders. Edwards, Krohn and Catsburg ultimately had to retire in the final hour of the race. 

Bobby Rahal (BMW Team RLL, Team Principal): “After Daytona, this has been a much more competitive race for us. Naturally when you are that close you are disappointed not to win. But if you look at the big picture, we made a lot of progress. It’s been a lot of hard work put in by a lot of people. I’m just pleased we are able to bring home a second place. This is a pretty good Sebring.”