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De Phillippi: “Pressure Was On” For Third Land Win of Day

Land Motorsport wins three races in one day, De Phillippi ecstatic…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Connor De Phillippi said the “pressure was on” to secure GT Daytona class honors in the Motul Petit Le Mans with Land Motorsport, marking the team’s third race win of the day.

The class victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale comes after the German squad also won races in DMV and VLN competition earlier in the day at Hockenheim and the Nürburgring, respectively.

“We got three victories in one day at three different championships with three different teams,” De Phillippi told Sportscar365.

“The pressure was on for us to seal it today and we managed to pull it off.”

The dominant run in the GTD ranks came courtesy of strong stints by the Californian and co-drivers Christopher Mies and 18-year-old Sheldon van der Linde, in only race in a GT3 car.

De Phillippi said the class win was also redemption for coming so close at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in which the team missed out by a fraction of a second to the Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“It was the cherry on top,” he said. “The season’s almost over, we’ve got our first U.S. win after being so close at Daytona.

“We all left there with a bit of a sour taste in our mouth because we knew it was just right in front of us.

“We recovered, we did some homework, we improved on areas where we knew we were weak at in the first two rounds and we came here ready to give it all we had.

“We really had a mega car today and I can’t believe how strong it was compared to the others.

“That’s all with thanks to the team and both my teammates did a flawless job and I think we proved that us young guys can also do it.

“A lot of teams don’t give young guys like Sheldon a chance to show what they can do in a race car and Montaplast and Land did that exactly. I think we have them to thank for this.”

On a more personal note, the Petit Le Mans victory is also De Phillippi’s first major U.S. win in almost a decade after having success in Europe.

His most recent win on U.S. soil was in Star Mazda at Indianapolis in 2012.

De Phillippi, the 2016 ADAC GT Masters champion, won this year’s Nürburgring 24, also alongside fellow Audi GT3 pool driver Mies.

“My first major Star Mazda victory was here [at Road Atlanta] in 2010 so that was a special point in my career,” De Phillippi said.

“To be back here seven years later and get my first bit GT win with these group of guys is simply flawless.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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