Connor de Phillippi admitted he could not have been happier to have clinched the first pole position for BMW’s M8 GTLM at the Sebring International Raceway on Friday, with his best lap of 1:55.839s also a new lap record for a GT Le Mans car at the track.
De Phillippi, who will share the driving duties in the #25 BMW Team RLL machine with Alexander Sims and Bill Auberlen for the second race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, feels the team has a great race car at their disposal this weekend, and they are now aiming for the win on Saturday.
“I could not be happier to score the pole in my first qualifying drive for BMW Team RLL,” said de Phillippi. “The car was spot on and it all came together on the first flying lap. We have a really good racing car.”
Bobby Rahal, the Team principal of BMW Team RLL, knows the important part of the weekend comes on race day, but after an extremely difficult opening round of the season for the team at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Qualifying first and third was a good start to round number two with the M8 GTLM.
“It is nice to be back in the hunt,” said Rahal. “Obviously, where one qualifies for a 12-hour race is not the most important thing, but it is certainly better to be first than ninth.
“What this first pole for the BMW M8 GTE reflects is the tremendous work everyone at RLL and BMW Motorsport has invested in the programme.”