Another real classic is on the schedule for BMW Team RLL to wrap up the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Petit Le Mans. The ten-hour endurance race will be held at Road Atlanta (USA) at the weekend.
BMW Team RLL kicked off the season with fantastic success, namely the GTLM victory for the #25 BMW M8 GTE at the 24-hour race at Daytona (USA) in January. Since then, the team has added two pole positions and two runner-up finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CAN) and Laguna Seca (USA) to its tally.
Two of the drivers that shared the Daytona win – Philipp Eng (AUT) and Colton Herta (USA) – will rejoin the team this weekend for Petit Le Mans. Eng will co-drive with John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) in the #24 BMW M8 GTE. The #24 car will race in a special black livery that debuted at Laguna Seca last month.
Herta will share duties in the #25 BMW M8 GTE with Connor De Phillippi (USA), also one of the Daytona winners, and Tom Blomqvist (GBR). That car will feature the traditional BMW Motorsport white livery. The 2019 Petit Le Mans will start on Saturday, 12th October at 12:00 p.m. local time.
Quotes ahead of Petit Le Mans
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL): “We have had some success at Road Atlanta over the years and while this year has had some highs and lows, we hope to end the season the way we started it – with a win. You always feel good going back to places you have had success at, and of course, Petit Le Mans is one of those places. The high of the season was obviously our win at the 24 Hours At Daytona and lows being some of those like Long Beach and the mid-season races but we look to end on a high note and bookend the year with wins. The pace of the BMW M8 GTE at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and at Laguna Seca was pretty good so I’m hopeful that those performances were a precursor of good things to come at Petit Le Mans. It’s a tough race. If you talk to most drivers they say it’s really a one lane race track in a lot of areas, especially with all the faster traffic coming by you, so the chance of getting caught out by lapping traffic is pretty good. It’s probably one of the more demanding races on our schedule, like Sebring and Daytona. Everyone is looking forward to going. We’re just hoping we have a trouble-free race and if we are able to pull that off, we should be in the hunt.”
John Edwards (#24 BMW M8 GTE): “I’ve been fortunate to finish on the podium in half of my appearances at Petit Le Mans, but have yet to grab the elusive win. Hopefully, this can be the year for Jesse, myself and Philipp! We’ve had some tough races this year so it would be great to finish off the year with another podium. This is always an intense race with a lot of variables and often some rain. The race finishing at night also adds another variable that makes the fight at the end even more challenging. We are prepared for a long 10-hour battle.”
Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M8 GTE): “I’m looking forward to one of the highlight events of the year. Road Atlanta is one of the best tracks to race at and will offer action for the full 10 hours of racing.”
Philipp Eng (#24 BMW M8 GTE): “I am very much looking forward to be coming back to race with BMW Team RLL at the super exciting Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Winning this race would be a big dream come true.”
Tom Blomqvist (#25 BMW M8 GTE) : “Last race of the season and I can’t believe it is nearly over! I’m looking forward to this race because it’s a track I’ve tested at and I really like the flow of it. It’s also one of the longer races of the season which brings another element to the table. We know our car should be strong there so without a doubt we’re going with high expectations. We’re aiming to end the season the way the boys started it, with a win!”Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE): “Petit Le Mans is always a big one during the season. Not only is Road Atlanta one of my favourite tracks, but Petit is also the event that sets the tone for the upcoming 2020 season. I’m looking forward to getting on track with the information we’ve learned from the last few events and expect nothing less than to fight for victory.”
Colton Herta (#25 BMW M8 GTE): “I’m super excited to be back with BMW and with the whole BMW Team RLL. The car showed a lot of pace when we tested so I’m expecting a great weekend ahead. This race is an awesome one to close out my season and I am really looking forward to it.”