BMW Motorsport Joins Sprint Race Foray At The Start Of The IMSA Season

BY Sean Loo

The third race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will take place on the street circuit at Long Beach (USA) on Saturday, 15th April 2023.

Following the endurance classics at Daytona and Sebring (both USA), this marks the first and shortest sprint race of the year.

Fresh from a podium finish at Sebring, BMW M Team RLL heads to California with momentum, and will again field two BMW M Hybrid V8s in the GTP class. Over in the GTD category, three BMW M4 GT3s will also line the starting grid.

The 100-minute race, making it the shortest of the IMSA season, presents a unique challenge for the BMW M Team RLL drivers in the GTP category. Only one driver in the lineup, Connor De Phillippi (USA), is familiar with the distinctive street circuit, while his teammate in the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8, Nick Yelloly (GBR), as well as Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) in the #24 car, will be new to the track.

But, intensive sessions in the simulator will hopefully show some results, as the teams are working hard to build on the second-place finish from Sebring. Special emphasis will be placed on outright performance in qualifying, which is crucial on the tight circuit. The higher you qualify, the easier you can maintain your lead.

Meanwhile, in the GTD category, Paul Miller Racing heads to Long Beach with the momentum of two victories. Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow (both USA) triumphed most recently at Sebring, as well as the 2022 Long Beach race.

Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher (both USA) will represent Turner Motorsport in the #96 BMW M4 GT3. The car bearing the starting number #95 will switch from the GTD PRO to the GTD class for the sprint races and will be driven by Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA).

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will start on Saturday, 15th April, at 14:05 local time (23:05 CEST).