Sims and De Phillippi Take GT Le Mans Honours at Laguna Seca after Fuel Saving Run


Alexander Sims & Connor De Phillippi - BMW Team RLL - Continental Monterey Grand Prix - Laguna Seca
Credit: Michael L. Levitt/LAT Images

The #25 BMW Team RLL duo of Connor De Phillippi and Alexander Sims prevailed for a second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event last Sunday when they came out on top of the GT Le Mans battle in the Continental Monterey Grand Prix.

After taking over the car from Sims, De Phillippi was able to maintain the position at the front of the field despite the team opting to run a fuel conserving final stint, which paid dividends when the American crossed the line to take the victory by almost three seconds from the #912 Porsche GT Team pairing of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

“Wow, what a day!” said De Phillippi.  “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.”

Co-driver Sims heaped praise on De Phillippi for the way he managed the final stint and eek out the fuel, and he was delighted to secure a second consecutive victory for the BMW M8 GTE on the back of its maiden triumph last time out at the Virginia International Raceway.

“What a job by the whole team!” exclaimed Sims.  “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!”