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Land Audi Set for IMSA Return at Petit Le Mans

Land Motorsport confirms Petit Le Mans effort with Audi R8 LMS…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Land Motorsport is set to return to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in October’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, with an expanded U.S. a possibility for 2018, according to Connor De Phillippi.

The German squad has entered the fourth and final round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with De Phillippi and Christopher Mies confirmed in its U.S.-designated Audi R8 LMS, nicknamed “Peggy Sue.”

De Phillippi, Mies and the Wolfgang Land-led team will return Stateside on the heels of a successful summer stretch of GT3 racing, highlighted by overall victory in the Nürburgring 24 and a 1-2 finish in last month’s ADAC GT Masters race at Zandvoort.

“Peggy Sue’s rebuilt, she’s ready to go, and she actually leaves this week,” De Philippi told Sportscar365. “Some of the Land guys have been working on that.

“We’re excited. We’ll be at Petit Le Mans and Chris and I will be there although we haven’t decided on the third driver yet and that’s still up in the air.

“We would have liked to be at The Glen but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out.”

The team impressed in its WeatherTech Championship debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, finishing second in GT Daytona, just 0.293 seconds behind the class-winning Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

It was followed up by a fourth place class finish for De Phillippi, Mies and Jules Gounon in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, leaving them with a bit of unfinished business.

“The guys still talk about Daytona,” De Philippi said. “They’re not disappointed but we have to be proud to be that close, especially with the European team coming over.

“I know everyone is super eager to come back next year and hopefully during the winter time, we’ll be able to put everything together and make a debut or a return back in 2018.”

De Phillippi said they plan to test at Road Atlanta in September, in preparation for the ten-hour enduro, with plans for 2018 beginning to be formulated.

“At the moment, there’s nothing 100 percent planned,” he said. “I know they would like to start with Daytona, similar to what we did this year, see how the results go and hopefully move forward.

“At the moment, it’s full focus ahead at Petit and hopefully everything comes together to do the full championship or the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup next year.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. David Chaste

    August 2, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Those checks from Audi Sport are clearing really well. When will connor De Phillipi be made a gold driver??

    Anyone who has ever been a factory development driver should be a gold at least. You have to be very good to even be looked at by a factory

    • krzysiek_aleks

      August 3, 2017 at 12:17 am

      And he will be gold next year, that’s for sure

    • Tarek R

      August 3, 2017 at 10:31 am

      What about Michael Shank Racing and the Acura effort? Far worse IMO.

  2. Andy Flinn

    August 3, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Tarek, IMSA, as they have explained to the public, has granted MSR (and the Lexus GTD program) and their drivers ONE YEAR to develop their BRAND NEW GTD race cars.

    Next year, there won’t be Acura or Lexus factory-supported cars in GTD. Instead, they will be sold off to customer teams. Acura had already provided a detailed quote (with price) of what an Acura GTD car will cost to buy and race next year.

    This open process has already been explained at least twice this year.

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