The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the most intense races in the IMSA calendar. This year was no different. In fact, it was much worse due to the awful downpour, causing the endurance race to be red flagged not once, but twice. At the time of the red flag though, the #25 M8 GTE, being driven by Augusto Farfus was in the lead, allowing BMW to take the win in the GTLM class.
The winning #25 M8 GTE was driven by Connor De Phillippi, Augusto Farfus, Philipp Eng, and Colton Herta; all of which showed great skill in the race despite the downpour prior to the red flags. It marked the third GTLM victory in the IMSA series for the M8 GTE since it joined last year. It also marks the first time BMW has stepped back onto the podium since their class victories in 1997 and 1998.
Aside from the winning in their class, BMW was also able to capture the hearts of fans with the #24 M8 GTE which was driven by former IndyCar champion Alex Zanardi. Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in a racing accident in 2001, managed to drive the #24 M8 GTE for a good part of the endurance race. Unfortunately, he, together with team mates John Edwards, Jesse Krohn, and Chaz Mostert experienced technical difficulties during the race and had to settle for 9th place.
“My appearance here at Daytona, with all the fantastic reactions from the fans, colleagues and opponents has been like a fairy tale. I would like to say a big thank you to BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL for one of the best experiences of my life,” said Zanardi.
The victory was especially important to BMW as their longtime race executive Charly Lamm passed away during the race weekend. BMW has since dedicated their victory at Daytona to him, and even put 'Godspeed, Charly' at the rear of both cars.