De Phillippi makes history with BMW M8 GTE Program

Nines races into the inaugural racing season of the newest BMW race car, San Clemente native Connor De Phillippi added another entry in the record books by delivering the first victory for the all-new BMW M8 GTE at the Michelin GT Challenge this past weekend at Virginia International Raceway (Sunday,August 19th).

The Team RLL No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, driven by Connor De Phillippi and British teammate Alexander Sims, completed 88 laps of the classes two-hour-and-forty-minute race, winning with just a 1.323 second margin of victory.

De Phillippi had a great start of the race moving from fifth to third in the first corner, and handed the car over to his teammate just 2.3 seconds behind the race leader with a little over an hour left remaining in the race. With smart strategy and taking only fuel during the last pitstop instead of fuel and tires, De Phillippi and Sims brought their BMW M8 GTE home to its first ever global victory.

“It was down to the last pit stop,” De Phillippi said. “Obviously, after the contact with the slower car and drive through penalty for Sims, we had to rethink our strategy for the final hour of the race. We went with a more aggressive strategy by staying out longer and not taking new tires on the final pitstop, which gave us enough of a gap to hold off the competition in the final twenty minutes.”

“To achieve this first win in my first year with BMW is something I’m very proud of. The entire BMW Team RLL has been working tirelessly since last November on this new project and we’ve gone through many weekends where we struggled. But now the day has finally come and it’s time to celebrate this win!”

The tenth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take place on the west coast next month up at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on Sunday, Sept. 9th and will be broadcasted live on FOX Sports 1 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. PST.

Connor Signs With BMW Of North America

This week BMW Team RLL completed the first US test of the BMW M8 GTE at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in Homestead, Fla., in preparation for the upcoming 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The team’s 10th season representing BMW will not only see the debut of a new racing car, but it will also see a change to the driver lineup as Bill Auberlen transitions to a new role in support of BMW of North America’s customer racing program as a BMW NA Brand Ambassador, among other duties. Racing fans will not be disappointed though as Bill will join BMW Team RLL for the four endurance races; Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen and Petit Le Mans.

De Phillippi storms to victory at wet Zandvoort

Connor De Phillippi and Montaplast by Land Motorsport celebrated their first ADAC GT Masters victory of the 2017 race season in treacherous rain conditions at Circuit Park Zandvoort (22-23.07). The team from Germany was the dominant squad during the race, and with a safety car in the final 8 laps of the race it allowed De Phillippi a final chance to plot an attack for the win. When the green flag waved for the final restart, it was a late braking move into turn 1 that catapulted the #1 Audi R8 LMS into the lead which could not be touched until the checkered flag flew.

Californian-born De Phillippi, who now races for Land Motorsport full-time around the global, emphasized that this victory was a key point scoring weekend that was needed in the season to reignite their title fight

“Up until this point in the season we have scored a few podiums, but we have no had the most dominant car We’ve been focused on being mistake free and waiting for our opportunity to shine. With the rain we had today, it allowed us as drivers to shine through and make our magic happen. I’m extremely happy to het a win at the halfway point in the season and now we will aim to do the same at the Nürburgring in August.”

“We will be going to the Nürburgring with nothing less than a race victory as our primary goal.

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