BMW Team RLL has broken through for its long-awaited first class victory with the BMW M6 GTLM, snapping a 16-race winless streak for the team in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Alexander Sims held off a hard-charging No. 67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook for the class win in the No. 25 BMW, denying Westbrook his fourth consecutive class victory at Watkins Glen.
It came after an up-and-down day for the Bobby Rahal-led team, which fought a series of punctures to both cars that were isolated to the German manufacturer.
They also benefited by a late-race yellow, which ensured they’d be able to stretch their fuel to the end, completing a 1-hour and two-minute final stint.
Sims claimed his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory alongside BMW veteran Bill Auberlen, marking the team’s return to victory lane for the first time since Circuit of The Americas in 2015, which came with the BMW Z4 GTLM.
The No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia completed the GT Le Mans class podium in third, followed by the No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and class pole-sitter Joey Hand in fourth.
Late-race issues for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni, who was forced to pit due to a left-front puncture with three minutes to go, saw the Italian driver lose a likely class podium in his team and manufacturer debut.
Prior to the puncture, Bruni charged back through the field after serving a drive-through penalty for passing under a local yellow.
Michael Shank Racing, meanwhile, scored back-to-back wins in GT Daytona, with the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 of Andy Lally and Katherine Legge taking top class honors for the second consecutive race.
Lally held off a gaggle of GTD cars for the win, with the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan, Christina Nielsen and Matteo Cressoni finishing second.
A late charge by BMW factory driver Jens Klingmann gave the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 a third place result in class, ahead of the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Shane van Gisbergen in fourth.
The No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 completed the top-five in class.
An Acura 1-2 sweep appeared to be in the cards until the No. 86 car of Jeff Segal slowed on track with left-front suspension failure in the final 45 minutes.
RESULTS: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen