Porsche would like to repeat last year’s major success at the upcoming IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in Sebring (USA). The factory team will field two ca. 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR in the venerable twelve-hour race in Florida. Like at the season-opening round in Daytona (USA), the vehicles in the GTLM category will sport a modern interpretation of the legendary Brumos Racing design. In the GTD class, two customer squads will each run a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“After coming third last year we now want to do better,” commented Kiwi driver Earl Bamber. “We’ve known that the Porsche 911 RSR is a powerful weapon in fierce competition since winning here in 2018.
“We have to use our heads and carefully consider in which phases of the race we can push to the absolute limit. If we’re tactically clever and stay out of trouble, then we have the best chances of scoring a top placing in the dark at the end.”
The Sebring International Raceway is both famous and infamous. The well-used term “respect the bumps” gives a very clear indication of what drivers and other responsible parties are up against on the 6.02-kilometre track with its 17 corners: the circuit, which was remodelled from a former military airfield, features brutal washboards. About a third of the circuit is not paved to modern standards, but instead consists of old concrete slabs. This requires intensive work to find the best vehicle setup in order to prepare man and machine for the demands of the 12-hour race. One of the most famous curves is “Sunset Bend”, a tight and very bumpy right-hander onto the start-finish straight. In addition to the races at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Road Altanta, the 12 Hours of Sebring counts towards the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).
The Porsche drivers
Patrick Pilet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) will again share the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. In 2018, the trio won the long-distance races at Sebring and “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta. Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) drive the sister car. At the season-opening round in Daytona, the three scored a podium result with the No. 912 vehicle. Helming the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Pfaff Motorports customer team is the Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Germany) and the two Canadians Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon. Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) and his compatriots Patrick Lindsey and Nicholas Boulle share the cockpit of the identical (No. 73) vehicle model run by Park Place Motorsports.
The race takes off on Saturday, 16 March, at 10.40 hrs local time (16:40 hrs CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on www.imsa.com.