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WeatherTech Championship

De Phillippi, BMW Score GTLM Pole

Connor De Phillippi scored the maiden pole for the BMW M8 GTLM at Sebring…

Photo: IMSA

Connor De Phillippi narrowly edged James Calado to take the first pole for the BMW M8 GTE and will lead the GT Le Mans class field to green tomorrow in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

De Phillippi’s best lap of 1:55.839 in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL entry was a new class track record, and checked in a mere 0.058 seconds faster than Calado’s fastest time in the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE for Risi Competizione.

It was the first pole for BMW since taking the top spot at Circuit of The Americas last year,

The BMW received multiple Balance of Performance breaks since January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and has been competitive throughout the weekend so far.

Jesse Krohn continued BMW’s strong showing at Sebring by posting the third fastest time in class, while Richard Westbrook and Joey Hand will start fourth and fifth in the No. 67 and No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT machines, respectively.

Daniel Serra smashed the existing GT Daytona class track record set last year by Tristan Vautier en route to the pole in the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3.

The nine car field was covered by 1.061 seconds with the top six all within a 0.412 seconds.

Serra’s pole-winning time of 1:58.710 was over a second faster than Vautier’s time a season ago. The top six cars in class were under the previous track record.

It marks the second consecutive pole for the team after starting from the top spot Daytona with drivers Serra, Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, and Mathias Lauda.

Christopher Mies took his No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS to second in class, a full 0.519 seconds in arrears, while Jack Hawksworth and Dominik Baumann completed a row two sweep for the 3GT Racing program in the team’s Lexus RC F GT3 entries.

In all, six different manufacturers (Audi, Lexus, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG, and Acura) are represented in the top ten in class.

A final 20-minute warmup session for the WeatherTech Championship is scheduled for 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning ahead of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The race itself is scheduled for a 10:40 a.m. ET start.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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