BMW Team RLL drivers Connor De Phillippi and Bruno Spengler shared the duo’s first ever podium with a second-place finish in today’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. The pair, driving the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, completed 85 laps around Virginia International Raceway in the two-hour-and-forty-minute race, finishing 3.5 seconds behind the winning No. 3 Corvette. Teammates John Edwards and Jesse Krohn fell victim to a mechanical issue early in the race and ultimately finished 19 laps down.
The story of the day and the 2020 IMSA seasons so far was the victory in the GTD class by Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. The win marked Auberlen’s 61st IMSA victory and moves the driver synonymous with The Ultimate Driving Machine® to the top of the standings in all-time IMSA victories. Today’s race marked Auberlen’s 443rd race start in a BMW, also a record.
An elated Auberlen stated, “I am humbled to own this record and dedicate it to my mom and dad. My thanks to BMW for having the faith in me to sign me back in 1996. I have been lucky to have many great co-drivers and Robby (Foley) was the man today, driving two great stints and making it look easy. To everyone at Turner Motorsport, my second home, I’m delighted to have shared this with you all. Now, let’s go see about win number 62.”
“Today was quite a day for Bill and BMW of North America’s racing programs,” said Victor Leleu, BMW NA Motorsport Manager. “Bill has been an integral part of our motorsport team through the years and we could not be happier for him to have achieved this record. There is no one better.”
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P2): “It feels great to get our first podium finish. We drove hard and clean to put ourselves in a position to fight for the win and at the checkered flag were only one step away from the top of the podium. We’ll soon get Bruno (Spengler) his first IMSA win.”
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P2): “I entered the race with only very few laps of practice and had to really focus. Connor (De Phillippi) did a great job and when I got in the car my target was clear – to finish on the podium. I found my rhythm, but the competition did not make it easy. I am delighted with our effort.”