Lucas Luhr remains optimistic of a strong IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign, despite a challenging weekend at the third round of the 2016 series – the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix – on the streets of Long Beach last Saturday (April 16).
The BMW Team RLL driver set competitive lap times around the fabled Californian street circuit throughout the weekend and was second fastest in the GTLM class during the opening free practice session. But he was unable to boost his championship aspirations on race day.
On what was the street circuit debut for the BMW M6 GTLM, the 36-year-old German started the race in sixth place, confident of making gains from his grid position through the 100-minute event.
Unfortunately for the 2011 FIA GT1 World Champion, an electrical issue on his #100 machine forced him into the pits after only four laps.
Luhr, a four-time Long Beach sportscar winner, emerged ninth in class once the issue was rectified, but his car’s race was ended shortly before the chequered flag when contact with another machine caused co-driver John Edwards to lose a wheel and sustain damage against a safety barrier.
Despite the disappointment, Luhr believes the lessons learned by the team at Long Beach will allow them to bounce back strongly at round four of the series at Laguna Seca, on May 1.
“That was a very tough and challenging day for all of us,” Luhr said. “You have to realise that the M6 is still a brand new car and it is the first time we have run it around a street circuit. Especially at Long Beach, with all the bumps and the changing of concrete to asphalt, it brings its own challenges.
“To be honest, I think this race came a little bit too early for us, but that is racing. You don’t learn so much from a win; you learn a lot more from negative days which this definitely has been. We have a lot of things to look at, a lot of things to learn, and I am sure we will come back stronger.”