This past weekend, IMSA filled up the schedule at the legendary Wisconsin race track Road America. In addition to being a generally treacherous track, less-than-ideal weather conditions made the weekend’s events especially hairy, forcing teams to adapt and use less-than-ideal tactics.
You can see why Road America is such a complex, high-speed, and dangerous track by riding along with legendary BMW racer Bill Auberlen in his Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. He actually won GTD class in the IMSA Weathertech Sports Car Championship in this very car two months prior at Mid-Ohio, which made him the winningest driver in IMSA history.
After piloting his GT4 M4 in GS class during last Saturday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Road America (that’s right, he typically races in two different classes each race weekend), he’s now well over 60 wins.
You can also see how rain would cramp one’s style here; just look at the speeds he’s hitting, and heavy braking he’s flexing, as he thunders through the Midwestern track’s unforgiving corners. Rain tires can only do so much.
To extend the Auberlen hype even further: he won the GS race on Saturday while running on fumes. Due to some risky bets with pit strategy, many racers had to consciously preserve fuel to get across the finish line. Bill was one of them, trying to wrangle a hangry, S55-powered M4 that was sputtering and gasping for fuel as he reached the chequered.
Luckily, he’d carved out something like a sixteen-second lead, and everyone else was on a fuel-saving strategy, too, otherwise, his goose would’ve most certainly been cooked. Unfortunately, the chickens came home to roost with other racers’ strategies, leaving them stuck on track (off-line of course) with dry fuel tanks. Alright, I’ll cut it out with the old-timey idioms.
Semi-related: Turner Motorsport is a hilarious follow on Twitter.
I’ve blabbered about the M6 GT3 before, it’s truly one of the best GT3 race cars, ever. Long, flowing bodywork, a massive, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 under the hood, it’s a real monster of a race car. I’m going to miss it when it’s largely replaced by the new, G82 M4 GT3 next year.