Former Mazda Road To Indy standout and Porsche Junior driver Connor De Phillippi has been signed to drive for the BMW Team RLL IMSA GT Le Mans program. De Phillippi comes into the factory program as fellow Californian Bill Auberlen, the brand’s most accomplished driver, moves laterally with a new BMW Brand Ambassador role that will also see his IMSA activities reduced to the four North American Endurance Cup rounds.
“I am honored to have been asked to become a BMW NA Brand Ambassador and look forward to additional opportunities with BMW of North America,” said Auberlen, who won on his 400th start with BMW at Petit Le Mans in October.
“First and foremost I am a racing driver and am looking forward to four races with BMW Team RLL in 2018. My goal remains to get to the top of the list in all-time North American sports car victories and I want that achievement to be shared with BMW. We are only three wins away. We have not yet determined what else I may be driving but every opportunity in a BMW racing car is a good one.”
For De Phillippi, who won the GT Daytona class at Petit Le Mans in an Audi R8 LMS GT3, being hired to pilot one of the new BMW M8 GTE on a full-time basis with team veteran John Edwards, Martin Tomczyk, and others who will be named in December is a significant step in his career.
“To be part of the BMW family is something I am very proud of,” he said. “Driving for BMW Team RLL is quite an achievement for me and I hope I can add to the success of the team next year.”