When a 10th of a second separates the winner from the losers, champion race car driver Connor De Phillippi knows that time is of the essence.
De Phillippi is a Porsche Junior driver who races behind the wheel of a 911 GT3 Cup car. In May 2014, the rising American star joined forces with Jorg Gray as the brand's ambassador, revving his engines for the premier position. As the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Rookie of the Year and 2014 winner of Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, the 21-year-old is a vital representative of the Jorg Gray team.
Born in San Clemente, California, - not far from Jorg Gray's California-based headquarters - De Phillippi started racing at the age of 5, when his grandfather got him his own Tony Kart go-kart with a 50cc Comer engine. After practicing at a local track for several months on the weekends, the young driver dedicated the next few years competing at club races. Then he graduated to International Kart Foundation.
But De Phillippi isn't the only one in his family with a need for speed. One of his grandfathers raced airplanes; the other raced boats; his father competed in motorcycle racing and his uncle was a five-time World Champion Offshore boat racer and World Champion motorcycle racer. The appetite for adrenaline runs in his blood.
Champion on and off the track
After several seasons in the North American open-wheel ladder system, De Phillippi moved to Europe to race. In June 2014, De Phillippi captured his first career victory in Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland at the Hungaroring in Budapest, the same circuit where Formula One races.
"I couldn't be more happy, and it's a truly amazing feeling," De Phillippi told NBC Sports after the race.
When he isn't racing, he's watching the Speed channel to stay up-to-date on his favorite drivers and volunteering in his community with the Orange County-based non-profit, Miracles For Kids.
'Style, look and comfort'
On and off the track, a Jorg Gray timepiece travels with him wherever he goes.
"I wear a Jorg Gray watch every day," De Phillippi said in a news release. The driver owns a number of Jorg Gray watches from a variety of their collections, including Classic and Sports. "The JG8300-24 chronograph usually comes with me to the track because I just really like the style, look and comfort."
The Jorg Gray watch collection is considered the keystone of American watch design and is revered for its unique timepieces.
De Phillippi will "define his time" as he continues to blaze through the fast lane.