A terminal brake issue half way through last weekend’s Daytona 24 Hours (January 30/31) prevented Lucas Luhr from advancing his bid for a second victory in the legendary race.
Luhr and his BMW Team RLL team-mates John Edwards, Graham Rahal and Kuno Wittmer had been running at the sharp end of the GTLM field throughout the race, with all four drivers completing double and triple stints to fully exploit the #100 M6 GTLM’s pace and remain in contention for the win.
However, whilst fighting amongst the class leaders in the dead of night Luhr experienced a front right brake failure and crashed, forcing him to retire from the opening round of this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
After qualifying an impressive third in class, Edwards took the wheel for the contest’s opening stages and put in a solid performance, recovering from a costly pit-stop problem before passing the baton to Luhr in fifth after 150 minutes of racing.
The former FIA GT1 World Champion used his spell behind the wheel wisely and, eager to make up for lost time, set about establishing a strong position among the class leaders. Luhr’s consistently fast pace over the course of his triple stint gave the quartet a perfect opportunity to pounce as night fell, with Rahal able to battle for third place shortly after taking control from the German.
Inspired strategy calls and further strong stints from his co-drivers meant that Lucas could push for the class lead during his second outing early on Sunday morning, only for his charge to be halted prematurely by the mystery brake failure.
“There was some kind of explosion at the front right that made the bonnet go up, so I couldn’t see where I was going,” explained Luhr. “I believe it was a brake problem. I had two or three good hits, but thankfully I got out ok.
“Something like this is frustrating, because we were running well and were right there in the hunt. It’s a shame for all the guys, too, especially with a new car that performed so well for its first outing.
“We’re all disappointed, yes, but the car has very good potential and I’m positive we’ll be back at the front next time out.”
Lucas and his team-mates will be back in action for the second round of the IMSA WTSCC at Sebring International Raceway on March 16-19.