Munich. BMW Team RLL is picking up momentum in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. At Laguna Seca (USA), Alexander Sims (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA) took their second victory in a row in the GTLM class in the #25 BMW M8 GTE. The duo had previously triumphed at the “Virginia International Raceway”. Their team-mates John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) came home fourth at the end of an eventful race, which featured plenty of crashes and yellow-flag phases.
This was BMW Team RLL’s 19th victory since 2009. Principal Bobby Rahal (USA) and his team has now won three of its past four races at Laguna Seca. The team split its race strategy for the two cars. De Phillippi had to save fuel during his stint to ensure that he made it to the finish. This plan paid off, as the American ultimately crossed the finish line 2.488 seconds clear of the second-placed Porsche.
Reactions to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Laguna Seca:
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “For Alexander Sims and Connor De Phillippi, what a great win. It was tight on fuel and to be frank, I wasn’t so sure we were going to pull it off and then we had to stop with John Edwards which was unfortunate because he was doing great. He and Jesse Krohn ended up 4th though we split the Corvettes. For our team, this is three wins in four years at Laguna Seca and the checkered flag will be flying over our headquarters in Columbus. I am just really happy for BMW and for the whole team. Everyone works hard on this program, both in Munich and in Columbus. We even had some Indy Car people helping out this weekend. Great team effort!”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 1st place): “Wow, what a day! Eventful in the beginning with lots of yellows. We knew we were in a good position in the end. We had to be fuel efficient and the engine did exactly that. I did the job I needed to behind the wheel and the team made all the right calls. Super happy for the team. It was definitely a team effort! We can be proud of our two results, one of them was on pure pace and today’s was a really intelligent race. Now we go on to Petit and look forward to having Bill Auberlen back as part of the team again and try to close the season out on a positive note.”
Alexander Sims (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 1st place): “What a job by the whole team! We took a decision on the strategy to fuel save and extend that last stint. Connor did an absolutely awesome job to save fuel and keep a good pace. Absolute credit to the team and to Connor for winning that race by having that mega last stint. So pleased to get this second win in the new BMW M8 GTE!”
John Edwards (#24 BMW M8 GTE): “With the last yellow falling outside of our fuel window, the team decided to split the fuel strategy. We were the car in front and got to go flat out and the other car had to save a lot of fuel. We were hoping for just one more yellow, even a short yellow to get us a few more laps to make it to the end. Unfortunately for us but fortunately for our sister car that yellow never came and they made it on their strategy.”
Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 4th place): “The team did an amazing job getting the car ready and giving us such a great race car for this weekend. On our car unfortunately, the gamble on fuel strategy did not pay off but I am super happy for our sister car and their win. The whole team has put in a lot of hard work this season and they deserve it.”