Rahal: Double BMW Daytona GTLM wins not just "lucky"

James Newbold
Rahal: Double BMW Daytona wins not just

BMW Team RLL boss Bobby Rahal says his team's victory over Porsche in the GTLM class at the Daytona 24 Hours proves the team weren't "lucky" to win last year.

The #24 M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn, John Edwards, Augusto Farfus and guesting Australian Supercar regular Chaz Mostert took victory by 14 seconds after a race-long battle with the two factory Porsches, with Krohn making the decisive pass on Nick Tandy in the final hour.

It marked BMW's second consecutive victory in the IMSA Sportscar Championship's flagship race, with Farfus, Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Colton Herta taking advantage of a fortuitously-timed red flag to win last year having only led 25 laps.

This year, the victorious crew led for a race-high total of 428 laps and Rahal - whose cars have languished at the bottom of the IMSA GTLM manufacturers standings for the past two seasons - hailed the victory as evidence that 2019 was no fluke.

"Whoever thought we were just lucky to win last year were shown otherwise today, that was a battle for 24 hours," he said.

"The drivers did a fantastic job, and the same goes for the crew. We did not make any mistakes.

"I am delighted for my team and BMW Motorsport. Congratulations to Porsche and Corvette, who were good from the word go with their new cars. We are simply very happy today."

Farfus added that it was "the best 24-hour race I have driven in my whole life" and paid tribute to his team's "exceptional" performance.

Rahal: Double BMW Daytona wins not just

"It was extremely fast, extremely close, and you could not afford to make any mistakes," he said.

"We drove a perfect race, the car worked well throughout the entire race. You don't get through the full 24 hours like that very often. To win this race twice in a row is exceptional."

New Corvette 'didn't have pace' to win

Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg finished fourth as Corvette gave its new mid-engined C8.R a competition debut, which two-time Daytona winner Garcia believed was the "best possible result".

The #3 crew led twice for a total of seven laps, but finished as the first car off the lead lap in fourth with Garcia admitting "we didn't have enough pace to be on the podium or to win".

"I'm proud that at least one car finished near the lead lap," he said.

"For sure every time out we want to win and do the very best possible. Today, this was the best possible result.

"I'm very happy the Corvette C8.R went across the finish line for the first time.

"It wasn't a win, but I'm sure that knowing how it reacts and how much room there is for development, this Corvette will be a winning machine before long."

The #4 car shared by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler but fell out of contention with an oil leak. It rejoined after eight hours in the pits to complete more mileage.

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