John Edwards remains optimistic for the BMW M8 GTE’s competition debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona following troubled running and mechanical issues so far this weekend.
Edwards’ No. 24 BMW had an electrical issue followed by a splitter delamination problem, which prevented it from running in the first two practice sessions on Thursday.
It came after a challenging outing at the Roar Before the Rolex 24, which saw the car complete less than 60 laps over the three-day test, resulting in Edwards and co-drivers Jesse Krohn, Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus missing out on valuable track time.
“We’ve had a bit of teething troubles with the No. 24 car this weekend,” Edwards told Sportscar365.
“The M8 has run quite well in testing in Europe but unfortunately, we just haven’t had a lot of time with the car here to get some miles on it. We know it has a lot of potential, we just have to find a way to extract it.”
The car set its first flying laps of the weekend in qualifying, where Edwards was 1.6 seconds off the GT Le Mans class pace.
The BMWs will bring up the rear of the field, qualifying eighth and ninth.
“We ran qualifying and night practice with no issues and we have 24 hours to test it,” Edwards said. “It seems like we’re able to run.
“We had some issues at the Roar and issues in the second practice with the splitter but we’ve been able to run three sessions now.
“We have 24 hours so anything can happen. It could be fixed to a certain point and then we find out 20 hours into the race that it still has an issue, but we’re able to run laps whereas before we struggled to do a couple of laps in that car.”
Despite the limited running, Edwards is still optimistic for their chances, admitting that what track time has been lost can be made up for in the early stages of the race.
Nevertheless, he recognizes that both cars have been off the pace with the M8 GTE only once being less than one second behind a session pacesetter so far this weekend.
It came despite a pre-event Balance of Performance adjustment, which provided a boost increase and weight break.
“We’re pushing, obviously, but that’s another separate issue from all the other stuff we’ve had going on,” Edwards explained.
“We’ll see what we can find in the race but we’ve definitely been pushing in practice.
“My focus is on my first couple of stints and getting myself up to speed. For BMW, we always want to win the race. For the first 20 hours, we just need to learn and be on the lead lap.
“The whole plan is just to be on the lead lap with four hours to go and from there, it will be a very different picture from today and what anybody can predict.”