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BMW in “Much Better Position” One Year After First GTP Podium

BMW’s Andreas Roos says German brand can “fight for a good result,” one year after maiden GTP podium…

BMW M Team RLL is in a “much better position” to compete for results at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Cadillac compared to last year according to its motorsport boss Andreas Roos.

The German manufacturer returns to the site of the first overall podium finish for the M Hybrid V8 at Sebring this weekend, 12 months after Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly and Sheldon van der Linde finished second in only the car’s second race.

That podium came after Yelloly navigated his way through a chaotic race finish that saw the top three cars from Acura and Porsche eliminated with 20 minutes to go.

Roos described the 2023 podium as a “very good result” although noted that it came despite the notion that the brand was ‘not in the position to really fight.’

“Generally I think we are in a much better position than last year,” Roos told Sportscar365.

“In Daytona, we were just happy to have the cars there and then Sebring came already the race after.

“Yes, we were on the podium, but we also have to be honest. Last year we were not in the position to really fight for the best lap times, but we managed to have a clean race.

“This at the end saved us the second place, which was at the end a very good result for us. So at the end we managed already last year to have a clean race and without any issues.

“I think this year we hopefully can build up on this, having again a clean race, survive the first let’s say ten to eleven hours and be then in a much better position than last year to also fight for a good result at the end again.”

Roos’ comments were echoed by Yelloly, who indicated that BMW M Team RLL is “100 hundred percent” better prepared for the Florida endurance classic last year, noting that the 2023 podium served as a great morale boost.

“Last year, it was more that we knew we were building as a group and we needed to stay out of trouble,” he said.

“I finished the race last year and you could see each restart, it was getting more and more chaotic and it was bound to happen at some point, which it did.

“It was a great boost of morale and great for the company and RLL to get that first podium off our backs.

“Then we followed that up in Long Beach with a podium on pace, which obviously started our trajectory to a pretty decent season, I have to say, considering the time scale that we had before 2023 began.”

Yelloly hinted that BMW has gained “a lot” of strength compared to twelve months ago, with the focus now on achieving consistent results.

“In short, we’ve had a lot of development in the background, particularly on the software and system side,” he said.

“As drivers, we’re more experienced, we understand how to go about the race weekends. As a team naturally [it was] the first year running prototypes last year, now it’s our second.

“As a group we’re working better together, just to try and maximise the package that we’ve got.

“I would say it’s a good step forward in terms of overall feel and performance in the car, we’re just going to now try and get the results to show it.

“I think still with systems and software, you can always improve that side of things.

“When you’ve got a general base of car balance and ride heights, you’ve collected all that data throughout a season, you’re not going to find the be-all and end-all, I don’t think, within the actual car setup and how your parameters are up there.

“But you can really tune and make the car much more drivable with how the systems are interacting with that mechanical balance.

“So getting those, turning up and getting those right out of the box, I feel can really set you off on the right foot.”