Alexander Sims feels BMW Team RLL and their M8 GTE are firmly in the mix for good results for the remaining of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship following an impressive second place finish in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday.
The car, which Sims shared the car with Connor De Phillippi and Bill Auberlen, ended just over six seconds away from the race winning Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki, with Sims particularly happy with the ‘fun’ battle he had with his fellow Briton Tandy.
Sims admitted that Porsche had too much for BMW in the closing stages when they turned up the wick of their engine, but it was still an encouraging weekend for the team.
“It was very nice to be in the hunt for the win,” said Sims. “The fight with Nick Tandy was fun. Ultimately they turned on the pace a lot in the last stint, so I couldn’t catch him really.
“Second place is pretty good. The BMW M8 GTE was working well, BMW Team RLL did a great job. We are in the mix now.”
Co-driver De Phillippi was extremely pleased with his weekend at Sebring, as it not only included the podium but also his first pole position as a BMW driver, and he says the team deserved the result after the problematic start to their life with the M8 GTE.
“This whole weekend has been super memorable for me,” said De Phillippi. “First pole as a BMW works driver, and our first podium position for the new BMW M8 GTE.
“I’m very proud of the guys. They deserve this one. We will celebrate tonight.”
Third driver Auberlen, who will partner Sims and De Phillippi during the North American Endurance Cup races in 2018, was also happy for the team that they were able to show some true pace, especially on the back of their rough start to the year in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“You just have to be happy with this result,” said Auberlen. “The BMW M8 GTE ran flawlessly from beginning to end. I’m happy for everyone. The guys worked very hard for it.”