03/31/2019

Porsche 911 GT3 R finishes eight-hour race in third

The new Porsche 911 GT3 R scored a place on the podium at its first outing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

Race

Works drivers Romain Dumas (France) and Sven Müller (Germany) as well as Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) finished the eight-hour race at Laguna Seca (USA) in third place. Over long stretches, the trio driving the No. 911 vehicle of the American customer team Park Place Motorsports even looked on course for a win. The identical car fielded by the customer team Wright Motorsports had also led the race only to retire early with a technical defect.

Facing the GT3 vehicles from seven other manufacturers, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R proved to have the most consistent pace over the distance, however the drivers were unable to fully use this advantage due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. The No. 911 car had moved into the lead for the first time after around three hours of racing, but after the pit stops was often held up over long stretches by slower cars. As a result, this prevented the final driver Sven Müller from fighting for overall victory at Laguna Seca. Over the entire eight hours of the race, there were no incidents, no caution phases and not one safety car phase.

The 911 GT3 R No. 911 of Park Place Motorsports


Bad luck struck the winners of the season-opening round in Bathurst. At around the midway point in the race, Dirk Werner (Germany) pulled into the pits with a defect gearshift component. Until then, the German, who shared the more than 500 hp vehicle with Porsche Young Professionals Matt Campbell (Australia) and Dennis Olsen (Norway), had led the field over many laps. Due to this fault, the No. 912 was forced to retire early.

The race in the GT4 class

In the GT4 class, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport fielded by the TRG customer team scored third place with American drivers Chris Bellomo, Jason Alexandridis and Spencer Pumpelly.

Comments on the race

Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “We witnessed a strong debut of the new 911 GT3 R in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. We regard a podium result at its first outing as a success. The team effort of our two American customer squads was impressive. A much larger contingent of Porsche 911 GT3 R will race at the next round; the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps. We very much look forward to this classic in the Ardennes.”

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R): “Here again we were in a position to be able to fight for overall victory. Unfortunately, one car retired, and the other had no problems at all. The speed was there, and the teams’ pit stops were excellent. Park Place Motorsports worked perfectly on minimal pit stop times. Both cars displayed an impressive pace over the distance. This makes us very confident for the remaining races.”

Patrick Lindsey (team owner Park Place Motorsports): “From unloading the vehicles at the track to the chequered flag, our team did a super clean job. The drivers drove an immaculate and impressive race. We absolutely deserve this podium result. The collaboration with Wright Motorsports worked brilliantly. This synergy resulted in two very strong cars in the race. For this reason, I’m very sorry that the number 912 car had to retire early.”

More quotes in the press release.

Race result

1. Foster/Slade/Molina, Ferrari 488 GT3 #27, 327 laps
2. Marciello/Buhk/Götz, Mercedes AMG GT3 #999, 327 laps
3. Dumas/Müller/Jaminet, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911, 327 laps
DNF. Werner/Olsen/Campbell, Porsche 911 GT3 R #912, 168 laps

Full results: https://www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com/results

Qualifying

The two American Porsche customer teams Wright Motorsports and Park Place Motorsports have achieved respectable starting positions for the eight-hour race at Laguna Seca.  Matt Campbell (Australia) posted the fifth quickest time at the pole shootout in the Porsche 911 GT3 R with the starting number 912. In the identical No. 911 car, Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) achieved eight place.

At the end of the 15-minute fight, Campbell was a mere two-tenths of a second shy of securing a spot on the front grid row for round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season. The young Australian shares the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R fielded by Wright Motorsports with works driver Dirk Werner (Germany) and Porsche Young Professional Dennis Olsen (Norway). In early February, the trio won the twelve-hour race at Bathurst (Australia). 

When the pole shootout began, Jaminet waited in the pits for a chance to get the best free run possible on the 3.601-kilometre circuit. At the qualifying in the morning, the Frenchman had posted the fastest lap time of the entire field, but was unable to make the most of the good conditions during his fast laps in the shootout. Jaminet shares driving duties in the Porsche 911 GT3 R run by Park Place Motorsport with works drivers Romain Dumas (France) and Sven Müller (Germany).

Qualifying quotes

Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “I’m impressed with the professionalism of our two local teams. The standards are enormously high, the procedures flow and the collaboration between the two crews is great. The squads are heading into the race on Saturday with the best prerequisites.”

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R): “Our performance was strong in this morning’s qualifying but we couldn’t quite match this in the shootout. However, we’re still looking good with positions five and eight. Our entire preparation during practice was geared towards and a fast and consistent speed over long distances. We’re strong in this discipline, and the car is reliable. We want to make full use of these strengths in the race.”

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “It was difficult. The car didn’t quite run as well as it did in this morning’s qualifying. I simply didn’t get the tyres to within the ideal temperature window. On my two flying laps I tried everything but I couldn’t do more. It’s a long-distance race, so the starting position isn’t so important. I know we’ll be really good over the distance.”

Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “I’m satisfied because our performance in the final qualifying was really decent. Perhaps more would have been possible, but fifth on the grid is okay. Our car will be strong in the race. We saw this in the practice during our long runs. We want to finish at the front, just like we did in Bathurst.”

Qualifying result

1. Farnbacher/van der Zande/Baguette, Honda NSX GT3 #30, 1:23.156 minutes
2. Chiyo/Buncombe/Burdon, Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 #35, 1:23.342 minutes
3. Vanthoor/Vervisch/Haase, Audi R8 LMS GT3 #10, 1:23.420 minutes
5. Werner/Olsen/Campbell, Porsche 911 GT3 R #912, 1:23.528 minutes
8. Dumas/Müller/Jaminet, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911, 1:23.627 minutes

Preview

After a perfect opening round to the Intercontinental GT Challenge season, Porsche aims to extend its championship lead at round two of the year in Laguna Seca (USA). At the twelve-hour race in Bathurst (Australia) on the spectacular Mount Panorama racetrack, works driver Dirk Werner (Germany) as well as Porsche Young Professionals Matt Campbell (Australia) and Dennis Olsen (Norway) clinched victory. Notching up the first win for Porsche at Bathurst, the trio not only gave a perfect maiden performance on the world stage with the customer team of works driver Earl Bamber (EBM), but also a fitting farewell to the 2018-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R. After celebrating its race debut at Daytona (USA) in January, the new version of the GT3 vehicle will be fielded at the eight-hour race in Laguna Seca. The U.S. Porsche customer squads Park Place Motorsports and Wright Motorsports each run a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the race on 30 March. 

The race

The Laguna Seca Raceway is famous for its legendary Corkscrew corner. In the tight passage on top of the hill, spectacular and memorable manoeuvres have been witnessed here in the past. The 3.601-kilometre racetrack features eleven corners. Per lap, competitors face an elevation change of 55 metres. Round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season runs over eight hours. Several highlights are included on the event schedule: In contrast to the season-opening round at Bathurst, all pilots allocated to each car must post a fast lap time in qualifying. Competitors have only one official free practice prior to the qualifying session. 

The Porsche teams and drivers

Park Place Motorsports fields a new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 911 car are works drivers Romain Dumas (France) and Sven Müller (Germany) with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France). Joining forces in the No. 912 vehicle run by Wright Motorsports are the Bathurst winners Dirk Werner, Matt Campbell and Dennis Olsen.

The Porsche 911 GT3 R

The Porsche 911 GT3 R was newly developed for the 2019 season. Improvements in the areas of aerodynamics, kinematics, efficiency and driveability were systematically implemented from the insights garnered from the many race outings of its predecessor. The six-cylinder engine in the rear of the GT3 customer racer produces over 368 kW (500 hp). The successful predecessor has notched up victories in numerous international racing series, for example in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the World Challenge, the ADAC GT Masters, at the Nürburgring 24-hour race and the Bathurst 12 Hour.

Comments before the race

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We’re delighted to contest the second round of the season with our experienced American customer teams. Park Place Motorsports and Wright Motorsports are very familiar with the quirks of the Laguna Seca racetrack. Entering the famous Corkscrew, our drivers will be able to brake very late with the two Porsche 911 GT3 R vehicles. If you’ve ever looked at onboard footage of this passage, you’ll know just how spectacular it’ll be. With our new GT3 race car, we want to continue where we left off in Bathurst.”

Romain Dumas (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “This will be a very special event for me, because I’ve never actually contested a race with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. The new model definitely has a lot of potential. Hence, I’m very excited to turn my first laps. Last year we came fourth at Laguna Seca. We should be able to do better with the new car. We’re aiming for a podium spot.”

Sven Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “Racing in North America is always a great pleasure for us European drivers. The circuits are wonderfully original and often very challenging. Laguna Seca is no exception. Our performance there last year wasn’t perfect. This year, however, we’re driving the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. The team has a lot of experience and our car has a top driver line-up. We should be able to do something good.”

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “I’m super excited about this event. Unlike my two teammates, I’m not familiar with this circuit. It’s high time that I turned my first laps at Laguna Seca and experienced the Corkscrew myself. Park Place Motorsports is very experienced. I’m positive that all requirements are in place for a successful race premiere of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the IGTC.”

Dirk Werner (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “After our win at the season-opener in Bathurst, we’d now like to do it again at round two in Laguna Seca. We have all the necessary ingredients: The team has a wealth of experience and our new Porsche 911 GT3 R is perfectly prepared. I really like this course with its unique passages. It presents us drivers with a fantastic challenge.”

Dennis Olsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “I’ve never driven at Laguna Seca, so I’m very much looking forward to it. The course is awesome – with barely any run-off zones, significant elevation differences and legendary turns like the Corkscrew. As a racing driver you’ve simply gotta love it. I know the Wright Motorsports squad and I’m certain that our car will be really fast.”

Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “I can’t wait to go racing in California. I already know the Wright Motorsports team and I really like the circuit. I’m ready and raring to race. I’m excited to see how the new Porsche 911 GT3 R does at its first IGTC outing. After our Bathurst success and the perfect farewell to the predecessor model, it would be absolutely ideal if we could continue this performance seamlessly with the new car.” 

This is the Intercontinental GT Challenge

The 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge calendar is made up of five endurance races on five continents. While the teams were only permitted to field 2018-spec GT3 cars at the season-opening round in Bathurst (Australia), the latest spec is sanctioned for the Laguna Seca (USA), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Suzuka (Japan) races and the season finale in Kyalami (South Africa). Porsche will not compete with a factory squad, but instead supports various customer teams in their campaign. 

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