Connor De Phillippi returns to the American race tracks, when he from 2018 onwards will be a full season driver for BMW Team RLL in the WeatherTech SportsCars Championship. That was announced by the team late Thursday evening.
The 24 year old Californian has raced in Europe for the past 5 seasons. First as a Porsche Junior driver, and lately as a Audi driver, winning both the ADAC GT Masters title and the 24 hours of Nürburgring.
De Phillippi will replace the legend Bill Auberlen as the full season driver at BMW, while Auberlen still will compete at the long distance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans. Auberlen surpassed the 400 races for BMW at the season finale at Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans), where the team took the victory. He is only 3 wins away from the all time record for North American racing drivers, so he might be able to achieve that during the 2018 season. He will from now on be a BMW ambassador for the brand in North America, where he is a well-known face.
John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk will once again be present at the team, which is run by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while the fourth full season driver and the 6th for the endurance races, will be announced on 15 December at the big BMW gala show.
BMW Team RLL has already been testing the brand new BMW M8 GTE this week, and it will be the future car in both IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Edwards, De Phillippi and Tomczyk will also be present at the IMSA test next week at Daytona in Florida, before the ROAR and the 24 Hours race itself will happen in January.