John Edwards and Lucas Luhr managed to drive an amazing race this weekend, despite starting from the back of the 41-car field at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America. The No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM showed strong pace and good fortune, resulting in the season's first podium for the two drivers, and the 60th for BMW Team RLL. Teammates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner were able to drive through the pack to an eighth place finish in the No. 25 M6 GTLM.
IMSA engine regulations during qualifying resulted in infractions for both cars, which would place the No. 100 car and No. 25 car in 40th and 41st positions, respectively, for the green flag. Nonetheless, the drivers all managed to drive blisteringly quick laps through the field, passing the GTD-class leader by Lap 5. Good on-track strategy and a serendipitous caution period helped close the gap to the GTLM leader to just 4 seconds at the 30-minute mark, Auberlen in 7th and Luhr in 8th.
With a gamble on a two-pit strategy, the Werner/Auberlen car were unable to gain the advantage of a hoped-for caution, leading to a points-paying eighth place finish.
Edwards, on the other hand, took a shorter stint strategy, pitting again on lap 47 for fuel and tires, followed by a caution period late in the race. With only five minutes remaining, the green flag would wave to begin a charismatic. The No. 911 Porsche and No. 62 Ferrari both gave way to Edwards, resulting in a well-fought podium finish for the duo.
"I think we have to feel pretty happy," team principal Bobby Rahal remarked. On the Rahal.com website, he credited the team for a trouble-free race and praised the drivers for their fight from the back.
Drivers John Edwards and Lucas Luhr were very happy to have overcome some frustrations in performance. "We have had a ton of bad luck" Edwards said, regarding the prior races, "but we came out the other side with a podium."
Luhr stated that "over the weekend [BMW Team RLL M6 GTLMs] have been on pace and performance." He went on, "For everybody in the 100 crew, this is great!"
Catch third place finishers Edwards and Luhr, along with teammates Auberlen and Werner sitting in fifth place overall for the season at the next race at Virginia International Raceway on August 26.