Lucas Luhr was unable to reap the rewards from his competitive pace at the second round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSCC), the 12 Hours of Sebring, last weekend (March 19) after his #100 BMW M6 GTLM was struck by a Prototype Challenge (PC) competitor in the contest’s closing stages.
A podium finish had been firmly within the reach of Luhr and his team-mates, John Edwards and Kuno Wittmer, who had consistently fought among the top three GTLM class runners throughout the chaotic race. However, the #100 crew was rendered helpless to continue their impressive performance after the incident in the final leg scuppered their podium chances and relegated them to sixth, which is where they finished at the illustrious round-the-clock event.
With the #100 machine making a typically storming getaway from second on the grid and closely tracking the class-leading #25 BMW Team RLL sister car in the opening stages, things were looking favourable for a first victory of the season right from the get-go. Despite negotiating close fights with other front-running GTLM crews, as well as several caution periods, after taking control from starter Edwards, Luhr rose to the challenge and kept his cool at the sharp end of the field until the red flag was deployed amidst increasingly inclement weather conditions after three hours of running.
The #100 crew renewed their unrelenting charge when action resumed with six and a half hours on the clock, slicing through rivals left, right and centre to seize second in class by the start of the closing quarter. The German gave no indication of reining in his competitive speed when he took the wheel once more and continued to fight among the GTLM frontrunners, until the unfortunate incident sent him spinning with three hours remaining. A painstaking recovery was the name of the game from there on in, but a healthy haul of points for the unlucky trio could do little to detract from the disappointment of missing out on what would have been a sensational podium finish.
“It was frustrating especially when I got hit at the last restart in turn seven,” admitted Luhr. “It was looking really good, but it was very unfortunate and sometimes things are not meant to be.
“Hats off to everybody at BMW in Munich and back at BMW Team RLL because we had a brand new car after what happened in Daytona. Both cars ran without any technical issues and that is something we can be proud of. That is impressive work by everybody. But what happened is racing and maybe we will be a bit luckier in the next race.”
Lucas will be looking to launch another bid for victory when the IMSA WTSCC returns for the next round at Long Beach, which takes place on April 15-16.