Championship leader Porsche is eager to continue its impressive streak in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the penultimate round of the season. At the upcoming race on the Laguna Seca Raceway (USA), the factory squad face a special challenge with its two ca. 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR. The tradition-steeped circuit in California is the only racetrack on the calendar where victory has so far evaded Porsche since the factory returned to the North American sports car series in 2014. In the GTD class, Pfaff Motorsports and Park Place Motorsports will each field a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The Laguna Seca Raceway in the dunes inland from the Monterey coast is 3.601 kilometres long and features eleven corners. The most famous passage is the Corkscrew. This tight, spectacular and almost blind combination of curves after a crest has often been the scene of thrilling overtaking manoeuvres. Per lap, drivers have to cope with a 55-metre elevation change. Tyre wear and strategies were the key factors in the races on this track, which was built in 1957. In 2018, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) finished second at Laguna Seca.
The Porsche drivers
Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) share the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. So far this season, the pair has won the races in Sebring, Watkins Glen and most recently at the Virginia International Raceway. Pilet und Tandy currently rank second in the drivers’ classification.
Their works driver colleagues in the No. 912 sister car, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), lead the class with an eleven-point advantage after victories at Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Bowmanville, Canada.
“I’m really looking forward to racing on this fantastic circuit in California,” commented Bamber. “We were strong there last year and scored second. It would be wonderful if we could secure another podium place this year. It would help Porsche to take another important step towards the championship. Plus, it would put Laurens and me in an even better position in the fight for the drivers’ title.”
In the GTD class, a championship decision will be made at Laguna Seca. The upcoming race marks the final round of the Sprint Cup category. Heading to the decider round in California, Porsche ranks first in the manufacturers’ classification, with the Canadian Zacharie Robichon leading the drivers’ category. Driving for Pfaff Motorsports, Robichon shares the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R with his compatriot Scott Hargrove. The cockpit of the identical 500+hp GT3 racer from Weissach campaigned by Park Place Motorsports (No. 73) is shared by works driver Patrick Long (USA) with the American Patrick
The race over 2:40 hours takes off on Sunday, 15 September, at 12:05 pm local time (9:05 pm CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on www.imsa.com.