2020 Sunoco 240 Challenge winner Robbie Dalgleish showed his class in the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge At Daytona race on Friday, making up a staggering 14 places off the line to put the Fast Track BMW in with a chance of the podium.
With the BMW M4 GT4 suffering electrical issues during final practice on Thursday that persisted for qualifying, Robbie was not able to set a time during the 15-minute session. This meant the blue and white Sunoco branded car had to start at the back of the GS pack, in 31st on the grid.
With no pressure, and under instruction to enjoy the moment, Robbie put in a superb performance to move forward from the moment the flag fell. Quickly finding his rhythm he scythed his way through the field, moving up 14 places to hand the car over to BMW Junior driver Beitske Visser for her double stint. Unfortunately, soon after the car picked up a puncture due to debris on the circuit. The resulting pit stop dropped them down the order, further compounded by a second puncture.
With fellow Scot Stevan McAleer completing the race with a double stint the team were left wondering what could have been, finishing three laps down in 22nd place.
“It wasn’t to be but I’m happy with my stint and it has been an amazing experience. The full course yellow came out and we pitted and refuelled but didn’t change tyres so we were sitting in P12 and ready to go. We were in the perfect position because we were bang on for three stops but then two laps later, we got a puncture. With the puncture we had problems with air pressure, so we lost a couple of laps and then half an hour later we got another puncture.
“I’ve been living in a different world since the beginning of January. I don’t really want it to end but who knows, this could be the start of something. The team were amazing, we win together, we lose together, and my team-mates have been great as well.
I would never be here If it wasn’t for this programme so thanks to Sunoco for continually running the Challenge and allowing drivers like me to have this opportunity.
Anders Hildebrand, Managing Director – Anglo American Oil Company
“It was stunning. With the issues in qualifying and the sensor failing, Robbie had to start second from last and it’s always nervous. There’s always a lot of action into the first corner and the concertina effect but there were no crashes and Robbie was able to pick them off one-by-one.
“Bringing the car from 31st to 17th, he’s a class driver. Coming from Mini Cooper with 130bhp into a GT4 car with four times the power, on 31-degree banking, at 170 miles per hour – I’m impressed.”