Lucas Luhr defied the terrible weather conditions to claim a remarkable second place overall finish at Petit Le Mans on Saturday (October 3).
The #24 BMW Z4 he shared with regular team-mate John Edwards and additional endurance co-driver Jens Klingmann came home just five seconds behind another GTLM entry on a day when the atrocious weather foiled the usually much faster sports-prototype contingent.
The German’s second in class, as well as fourth for the other works Z4, helped BMW Team RLL claim the runners-up spot in both the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships. Luhr, meanwhile, finished fifth in the Drivers’ standings alongside Edwards having scored a victory and two further podiums Stateside in 2015.
Road Atlanta’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season finale featured several full-course caution periods and a mid-race suspension before finally being halted two hours short of its scheduled 10 as darkness began to fall. Aquaplaning and accidents were commonplace but the #24 crew maintained their composure to bring the BMW home in one piece.
As well as a fast performance it was also an efficient one, with Luhr et al winning the DEKRA Green Challenge Award for the third time this year on the Z4’s final North American outing before being replaced with the all-new M6 in 2016.
“It was a tough race for everybody today – for the drivers and the crews,” said Lucas. “It is a shame that the season had to end this way with a shortened race, but that’s racing. Congratulations to Porsche, they did a good job all year long and you are not going to win a championship if you don’t deserve it. We did everything, I think we can be proud of BMW, of our BMW Z4 GTLM and BMW Team RLL. We put on a hell of a fight and hopefully we can come back next year and then we can take the championship.”
The rebranded IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2016 campaign kicks off with the Daytona 24 Hours on January 30/31.