Lucas Luhr’s hopes of notching up a second Daytona 24 Hours victory on debut as a BMW factory driver were effectively ended on Saturday evening (January 24) when hefty front and rear damage resulted in a loss of 29 laps.
The #24 BMW Team RLL crew responded magnificently though to finish fourth in the GTLM class at the opening round of this year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and score solid championship points.
The German, along with co-drivers John Edwards, Jens Klingmann and Graham Rahal, clawed back five of those lost laps over the remaining 15 hours after Edwards was shunted from behind and into the car ahead.
Luhr was first aboard once the damage had been repaired and, eager to make up for lost time, helped reduce the team’s arrears by three laps amongst the Daytona darkness.
The former FIA GT1 World Champion also spent time at the wheel after Edwards had taken Saturday’s start but was initially delayed when a broken damper needed replacing on lap 134.
Luhr, Edwards and Klingmann will be hoping for better luck when the TUSCC reaches Sebring International Raceway for round two of this year’s campaign on March 19-21.
“First of all I have to say I am very proud of the improvements the whole team – the guys from BMW Motorsport, BMW Team RLL, and BMW of North America – have made since last year. It is still the same result, but we were ready to fight and ready to hunt. Our car had an accident with John, which was unfortunate but the other car also had a little off.
“Speed-wise we had improved a lot since last year and I am very proud to be part of it. Some days in racing it is just not your day, and unfortunately today it was not our day, but we are second and fourth and these are very important points for the manufacturer and for the team championship, so I think we can work with that and move on to Sebring.”