Current ADAC GT Masters and Nürburgring VLN Champion Connor De Phillippi brought his Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 to a second place finish at the famous Rolex 24 at Daytona Endurance race.
The team regulars De Phillippi and Mies, with an assist from co-drivers Jules Gounon and Jeffrey Schmidt, impressed in their first stateside appearance, with particular praise heaped on De Phillippi for his overnight stints in the wet. Despite being only his third attempt at Daytona, the 24 year old wowed in the rain, at one point building a more than 25-second lead over second place. De Phillippi credits his experience in Europe for his performance.
“During my 3-hour night stint in the rain, our performance was simply in a league of our own. With so many races in Europe being in the rain, it was essentially normal conditions to me. We hope the rain continues all the way to the finish of the race.”
Despite an ill-timed tire puncture and some bodywork damage that dropped the team back to 7th place, De Phillippi and his Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport teammates rallied to be back out in front in the closing stages of the race. However, unfortunately, a Daytona 24 win, and the coveted Rolex watch, was not in the cards for the team. After a full 24 hours of racing, the Audi nicknamed ‘Peggy Sue’ crossed the finish line less than three tenths of a second behind first place.
“We can all be very proud of what we achieved today. To come across from Germany and finish second against the best team the US has to offer is a massive accomplishment. Zero mistakes were made during the pitstops and every driver performed in all conditions. I guess this means we just have to come back next year and try once again to win that coveted Rolex watch.”
Though he didn’t take victory, pundits, fans and competitors alike were impressed with De Phillippi’s master class in the overnight hours. FOX Sports Commentators Brian Till and Tommy Kendall expressed their praise during the race broadcast, with Kendall backing up his kind words on Twitter by asserting that De Phillippi earned it. Other commenters called his drive a “highlight” and a “standout performance.”