Following the two longest races of the 2018 IMSA Series at Daytona and Sebring, BMW Team RLL heads to Long Beach for the season’s shortest race with a length of 100 minutes.
Connor De Phillippi and Alexander Sims will drive the #25 BMW M8 GTE at Long Beach. The duo finished second at Sebring along with Bill Auberlen. The veteran will rejoin the team at Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta as he focuses on his new role as a BMW NA Brand Ambassador. John Edwards and Jesse Krohn will pilot the #24 BMW M8 GTE. Both De Phillippi and Krohn will have their first taste of the streets of Long Beach this weekend.
Historically, BMW Team RLL has an excellent record at Long Beach. Eight podium finishes, including three victories (2015, 2013 and 2011) mean there are strong expectations for the BMW M8 GTE based on the team’s Sebring performance.
“We're coming off our first pole and podium at the last event, and I’m excited to keep our momentum moving forward towards that first victory.”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE)
Bobby Rahal (Teamchef, BMW Team RLL)
“We have had good fortune at Long Beach over the years. We have won three times and had a number of podiums. In fact, we have had at least one car of the two on the podium every year since 2009 except the past two years and we were a contender in those so overall we have a pretty good track record in Long Beach. The BMW M8 GTE certainly seems to have the performance needed to be able to do it again. It’s just a matter of qualifying well and getting through traffic, both of which are key in Long Beach. I have to feel pretty optimistic about our chances.”
“What an awesome place to be going back to this year. Last year was my first time at Long Beach and due to it being a street track, the only laps you do are on the race weekend and so I have done relatively few laps there compared to the other circuits on the calendar. It’s exciting, bumpy and there is zero tolerance for mistakes in most corners so it’s going to be a thrilling race and one which I think the BMW M8 GTE will be competitive at and will give us a solid chance of getting a good result. We’ve kept improving the car and the entire BMW Team RLL crew have been working flat out, so I feel that we have a good shot of continuing our momentum from Sebring’s first podium with the BMW M8 GTE into the Long Beach weekend.”
“It was great to run with some pace at Sebring and we are feeling more confident with our new BMW M8 GTE. After some long endurance races, I’m excited to get the sprint part of our season starting with the shortest race on the streets of Long Beach. We had a shot at the win there last year in the BMW M6 GTLM and I expect to be competitive again with the BMW M8 GTE, it’s a challenging race with only one pit stop planned, so any small error can change the whole outlook of the race.”
“Long Beach will be one of the new tracks for me this year. I have always liked street circuits although it has been a long time since I had a street race. I am really looking forward to the weekend and hope we get a strong result.”
The countdown is on: BMW M Motorsport teams are all set for their first races with the BMW M4 GT3 in 2022.
BMW M4 GT3 completes its final tests in December, ahead of the first major races in January 2022. BMW Team RLL, Turner Motorsport, Schubert Motorsport and ST Racing are the first teams to field the new car.