What a climax to round nine of this season’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Lime Rock Park (USA)! Approaching the penultimate corner of the 2:40 hour race, the #1 BMW M4 GT3 of Paul Miller Racing was running second in the GTD class. However, the leading Mercedes, which looked certain to take victory, suddenly slowed, allowing Bryan Sellers (USA) to take the lead as he entered the finish straight. The shock win triggered great celebrations as the team took its second victory of the season. In stark contrast, there was disappointment for BMW M Team RLL and Turner Motorsport, who both failed to finish due to technical issues.
Sellers and Madison Snow (USA) had a disappointing qualifying at the home race of Paul Miller Racing, resulting in them starting from seventh on the grid. However, they fought back strongly to lie second entering the closing stages of the race. This podium would have been a success in itself, but a problem with the fuel supply on the leading Mercedes presented Sellers and Snow with a last-gasp victory. Paul Miller Racing thus extended its lead in the Sprint Cup, which includes all IMSA races with a maximum length of 2:40 hours.
BMW M Team RLL and Turner Motorsport were forced to retire from the race. The MOTUL BMW M4 GT3 suffered technical issues on lap 77, while the Turner Motorsport car returned to the garage on lap 33.
The IMSA season continues on the first weekend of August in Road America (USA).
Quotes after the race:
Bryan Sellers (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Paul Miller Racing): “We may not have had the fastest car in the class today, but we put ourselves in a position to win. Madison drove great first stints. Late race restarts can go either way. This time it came to us.”
Madison Snow (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Paul Miller Racing): “We made a great call to be the first in the class to pit. It gave me a clear track to really move up. Bryan was very strong at the end. That and a bit of luck gave us a great win.”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 MOTUL BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team RLL): “We went off on our own strategy because of our poor starting position and made up some track position early on. In the end, it just was not our day.”
John Edwards (#25 MOTUL BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team RLL): “Not to finish makes what began as a bad day even more of a bad one. We made a good call to undercut and move Connor forward, but today was not our day.”