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IMSA Watkins Glen

IMSA confirms Porsche penalty and BMW victory at Watkins Glen

IMSA SportsCar Championship officials have certified the official results from the Six Hours of The Glen, which means BMW wins after the on-the-road leading Porsche was stripped of victory.

#6: Porsche Penske Motorsports, Porsche 963, GTP: Mathieu Jaminet, Nick Tandy

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

BMW drivers Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly can now celebrate their first Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) victory, despite crossing the finish line second to the #6 Porsche 963.

In post-race technical inspection, the Porsche was found to have a chassis skid plate measuring thinner than the legal minimum. It was moved to the rear of the class finishing order, which elevated the #25 BMW to first place.

After receiving official notification from IMSA of the post-race technical penalty in Sunday’s race, Porsche Penske Motorsport subsequently requested a protest.

IMSA supervisory officials reviewed documents provided by PPM but did not find anything that would have overturned the penalty decision. Official race results and point standings were released on Thursday morning with the penalty upheld.

“Obviously, we are pleased by IMSA’s technical group decision,” said BMW M Team RLL team principal Bobby Rahal. “There is nothing like winning, but I was most happy with the pace of the BMW M Hybrid V8 throughout the Watkins Glen race.

“My thanks to everyone at BMW who have worked so diligently on both sides of the Atlantic over a very intense period of time on the new-era GTP program.

“Our guys were in Munich starting last July assisting with the car builds. We received the cars in September and began testing in October. Five races into the season, we are winners.”

#25: BMW M Team RLL, BMW M Hybrid V8, GTP: Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly

#25: BMW M Team RLL, BMW M Hybrid V8, GTP: Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

De Phillippi, Yelloly and the BMW squad were crushed to miss out on claiming victory on the track at Watkins Glen, but they learned of the Porsche’s infraction and were provisionally awarded the win later Sunday evening.

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The victory has vaulted the #25 duo from fifth to second in the GTP standings, 64 points behind the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims.

“We didn’t realize how insane of a feat it has been for us to win considering we were the last manufacturer to start the program,” De Phillippi said. “Considering where we were at [the season-opening Daytona 24 in January], it’s been an endless grind.

“We’ve had legitimate pace at the last couple races and we’ve proven that we’re in the mix now. We’re going to continue to keep pushing, and I think everyone realizes now that we are a threat for the championship and race wins.

“I think we’ve kind of taken everybody by surprise because we were the last to the party, but we’ve been swinging above our weight class the entire year, especially from Sebring onwards.

“That’s something we’re all proud of, but we want to be dominant and we’re not going to stop pushing until we get where we want to be.”

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