BMW Team RLL returns to ‘Daytona International Speedway’ for round two of the 2020 IMSA season
After a break of over five months, BMW Team RLL will restart the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA) at the weekend. Round two of the season will also be held at ‘Daytona International Speedway’ (USA) where the team took its second consecutive GTLM win in the 24-hour race in January. In every other case, the upcoming race would be the singular focus for the team, but all the thoughts of BMW Team RLL and the entire BMW family are now with Alessandro Zanardi (ITA), who was severely injured in a hand-bike accident.
Zanardi had made his return to the North American racing scene in January 2019, competing with BMW Team RLL in a specially-prepared BMW M8 GTE in the 24 Hours of Daytona. “Alex is loved worldwide,” said Team Principal Bobby Rahal. “Whichever discipline he competes in, he goes after it with an indomitable spirit. His time with us at Daytona last year was something we will always remember.”
Other than in January, round two of the 2020 IMSA season at Daytona will be a sprint race. John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN), who were part of this year’s winning crew at the ‘24 Hours of Daytona’, will team up again in the #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE. The #25 sister car will be driven by Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Bruno Spengler (CAN). The ‘IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona’ will take place this Saturday, July 4th and starts at 06:10 p.m. local time (00:10 a.m. on Sunday CEST).
Quotes ahead of round two at Daytona
John Edwards (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “First of all, our thoughts are of course with Alex Zanardi and his family as we get ready to restart our season at Daytona. Alex is the most resilient human being I’ve ever met and his positivity after the adversity he’s faced is inspiring to anyone he’s around. In terms of our season, it’s been strange to lead the championship for half a year after only completing one race, but now we have to earn it again. Daytona in July will be a much different challenge than running in January, with different tire compounds required and a much higher demand on our physical fitness. Our focus now is on the championship so we will be aiming for consistent podiums every weekend as we restart our season.”
Jesse Krohn (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I have had mixed feelings over the last few days. My childhood hero and a legend of our sport is fighting for his life after a cycling accident and this has been on my mind a lot. Before Alex’s accident I was super excited and looking forward to going back to racing but over the last few days, racing has been less on my mind and my thoughts have been with Alex and his family. Going back to Daytona after our success there in January is something I have been looking forward to and doing my first ever sprint race at Daytona will present us with a new challenge. In a sprint race you are going to need to take more risks than in a 24h race and this is something we have not had at Daytona before. Overall I’m looking forward to going back to racing and hopeful to hear some good news about Alex soon.”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “Although I’m ready to return to the track, my heart is with Alex’s family. He’s a star that shines on all of us and I’m praying for strength during his recovery. I’m looking forward to finally get back to the racetrack with my BMW Team RLL family. I’ve missed the fierce competition and the feeling of battle alongside my team. We will be aiming to start where we left off at Daytona in January.”
Bruno Spengler (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE) : “Alex is in my prayers every night. We shared a car together in 2015 at Spa and I will remember it for the rest of my life. He is an idol for me. While the majority of our thoughts will be with Alex, on Saturday we’ll share our focus with Daytona for a second time this year. As much as I enjoyed the sim racing season, it will be good to be back behind the wheel of a real BMW M8 GTE.”