BMW M Motorsport director Andreas Roos feels there is “more to come” from the manufacturer’s LMDh car as it gears up for its debut in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The BMW M Hybrid V8s is the only car that hasn’t topped a track session in the buildup to the first race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s new GTP era, in contrast to rival LMDh brands Acura, Cadillac and Porsche which have taken turns at the head of the times.
The fastest BMW lap time during official practice was a 1:35.911 set by Nick Yelloly in the No. 25 machine, seven-tenths slower than the overall leading figure posted by Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac driver Richard Westbrook.
But Roos believes that the new BMW prototype, which was developed in partnership with Dallara, will develop further as it accrues more track mileage.
“At the moment, nobody can say they are fully 100 percent prepared and everything is running according to plan,” Roos told Sportscar365.
“When you do a project like this, there is always something coming up or a problem.
“We didn’t do the mileage we wanted in the preparation for Daytona and every kilometer we lack is not helpful.
“On the other hand, we know that we haven’t explored everything that the car can do. We are confident there is still more to come.
“We already did some development steps, and we hope we can continue like this, getting more and more confident that we can be where we want to be.”
BMW attempted an overnight endurance test at Sebring in November but it was cut short due to mechanical issues.
Despite that setback, Roos indicated that the Rolex 24 at Daytona is “definitely not a 24-hour test” for the RLL North American factory squad.
“We didn’t explore everything from the car until now because of the lack of mileage we did,” he said.
“Maybe there are other unknowns that come up, but we have a lot of experienced engineers on the RLL and BMW sides. We have experienced drivers, so we hope we ticked everything.
“Our hope is that nothing unknown comes up and we have a smooth race. We will see.”
Roos explained that BMW M Team RLL has encountered different small problems at Daytona that have occasionally impacted its cars’ mileage in the race buildup, such as brake bleeding issues on the No. 25 car yesterday.
“It was no real mechanical issue: it’s just due to the lack of time and the compressed schedule,” Roos said of that particular problem.
“There are just some small things that come up. You don’t want to go into a race with a problem.
“We have enough experienced guys to get the car as best prepared [as possible]. I don’t expect that these problems will appear there.
“In general, we didn’t have any major issues on the technical side. For sure some smaller issues, but ones we could solve and didn’t have too many headaches about.
“The more mileage the drivers have in the car, the better it is for them.
“For us, it’s good when we do a 24-hour race, and our goal is definitely to collect as much mileage as we can over 24 hours. This all helps us.”