Over the first half of the race, the Fach Auto Tech team showed tremendous pace and led much of the race over their rival Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, Corvette C6-R, BMW Z4 GT3 and other Porsche GT3R counterparts. This included the heavily favorited Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon.
As they rolled through the 16 hour mark of the race, De Phillippi had the team running in the P1 position, leading the #20 Stadler Motorsport Porsche GT3R and #38 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. They looked well on their way to not only a podium position, but perhaps standing atop the podium.
After De Phillippi finished his stint while leading the class, a stoke of bad luck hit the team and the car came to a stop on the circuit. The cause was an apparent issue with a gearbox that overheated. This forced the car to be transported back to where the team could get to work and try to salvage as much as they could. Unfortunately, with the competition so closely matched, the premature failure on the car all but ended their hopes of a podium finish. It was now a fight to make the repairs as quickly as possible and complete the race.
It was a bitter-sweet 24 hours of racing for the #4 Fach Auto Tech team. Having led the race for so long and looking as if they would surely finish on the podium in the A6-Pro class, they had to settle for P10 in their class, down 37 laps due to the gearbox issues.
Despite the disappointment with their finishing position, De Phillippi couldn't help but come away feeling good about his first 24 Hour race in Dubai. "This weekend in Dubai was the most fun I've had in a race car. I had the chance to experience many new parts of racing like pit stops and race strategy, which added a whole new technical aspect for me. To have the speed the entire week and lead the race for as many hours as we did, it was really a great first 24 hour experience. With a bit of luck on our side next time, we will really have a chance to go for the overall victory. Big thank you to Otto Klohs, Fach Auto Tech and Porsche for giving me this first 24 hour experience."
About Connor De Phillippi:
Following in similar footsteps to American Porsche Works driver Patrick Long, Connor De Phillippi started racing go-karts at the young age of 5 years old. By the time he was 14 years old, he had won 21 national titles, including the only person to ever win 4 SKUSA SuperNational titles.
In 2008, De Phillippi made the move from karting to open wheel racing, winning the Skip Barber West Coast Series championship and Rookie of the Year honors. De Phillippi then participated in the Skip Barber National Series Racing Shootout, beating out 50 other competitors and earning him a full ride in the Skip Barber National Championship for 2008 as part of the MAZDASPEED Driver Development Program. In 2009, he won the Skip Barber National Championship, winning a record 7 of the 14 races. By winning the Skip Barber National Championship, De Phillippi won a full-ride for the 2010 Star Mazda Championship Series as part of the Mazda Road to Indy Program. That same year, after winning the Team USA Scholarship, he became the youngest and only second American to ever win the Walter Hayes Trophy in England. In 2010, he took the next step up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and ended the Star Mazda Series in third place overall, winning Rookie of the Year honors. 2011, he secured runner-up and finished third in the 2012 championship.
After being selected as a Porsche Junior driver in late 2012, De Phillippi transitioned from open wheel to sports car racing. Despite his lack of experience, De Phillippi managed to win the Rookie of the Year Championship in the highly competitive 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.
For more information on Connor De Phillippi, including links to “Follow” him on Twitter or “Like” his Facebook page, visit his personal website at, http://www.connordephillippi.com.