The Porsche GT Team has claimed its fourth straight win from five races contested so far in this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) triumphed at the hotly-contested six-hour race at Watkins Glen (USA).
Their works driver colleagues Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) achieved sixth place in the identical, ca. 510 hp race car with the starting number 912.
“We simply hit a bit of bad luck with the yellow flag today,” commented Bamber. “Okay, the car wasn’t the fastest in our class, but we made up for that with consistency and good teamwork. All in all, it was a successful day for Porsche. I’m looking forward to the upcoming races. It’s one great racetrack after the other for us drivers now.”
With this result, Porsche has extended its lead even more in the manufacturers’ classification and the factory squad has also taken over the top spot in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Challenge in the USA. In the drivers’ classification, Pilet/Tandy now rank first ahead of Bamber/Vanthoor.
The success at the storied racetrack in the US state of New York was thanks to perfect teamwork, well-executed strategies and flawless performances from the works drivers. After starting from the fourth grid row of the high-class GTLM field, the two Porsche 911 RSR systematically worked their way up the ranks during the first half of the race.
A pit stop at half time was a prime example of how the mechanics contributed to the victory. Compared to the Corvette, which had led up until that time, the pit crew completed their work 2.6-seconds faster and thus snatched the lead. In the last 30 minutes of the race, Earl Bamber initially held the top spot ahead of his works driver colleague Nick Tandy, but due to a different pit stop rhythm, the New Zealander had to make a splash-and-dash pit stop just before the flag, which relegated him back to sixth place.
In the overall classification, Porsche has further extended its lead in the manufacturers’ classification by 18 points thanks to the win in Watkins Glen. In the team and drivers’ classification, the crews of the number 911 and 912 cars occupy the first two places. In the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, which consists of the long distance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta, the Porsche GT Team is now the sole leader.
In the GTD class, the customer team Pfaff Motorsports scored sixth place. Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Germany) as well as the two Canadians Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon launched an impressive charge through the field in the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
At the beginning of the race, a puncture and a drive-through penalty threw the team back to last place at times. The team made full use of the strengths of the 500+ hp GT3 vehicle from Weissach. Works driver Dirk Werner (Germany) and his teammates Marc Miller (USA) and Marco Seefried (Germany) brought home tenth place in the identical model fielded by Black Swan Racing. The Porsche 911 GT3 R campaigned by Park Place Motorsports, in which works driver Patrick Long (USA) shared driving duties with his compatriots Patrick Lindsey and Nicholas Boulle, retired early.
Round six of this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is contested this coming weekend (7 July) at the Canadian Tyre Motorsport Park in Bowmanville (Canada).
- Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 195 laps
- Garcia/Magnussen (E/DK), Corvette C7.R, 195 laps
- Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, 194 laps
- Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 194 laps
- Farnbacher/Hindman/Marks (D/USA/USA), Acura NSX GT3, 188 laps
- Auberlen/Foley/Machavern (USA/USA/USA), BMW M6 GT3, 188 laps
- MacNeil/Vilander/Westphal (USA/FIN/USA), Ferrari 488 GT3, 188 laps
- Kern/Robichon/Hargrove (D/CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 188 laps
- Miller/Seefried/Werner (USA/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 186 laps
- Long/Lindsey/Boulle (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 86 laps