Thanks to this result, the defending champions Bamber and Vanthoor take the lead of the drivers’ classification. Their factory driver teammates Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) crossed the finish line in third place at the wheel of the No. 911 car. At the 24-hour season-opening round in January at the same venue, both cars achieved exactly the same results.
The start of the sprint race in Florida was delayed for around 30 minutes due to a heavy thunderstorm. On the initially wet track, the crew of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR opted for a daring strategy. Unlike all other competitors in the GTLM class, Tandy tackled the race from position six on wet tyres. The advantage of this choice quickly became apparent. After just one lap, the Briton not only took the lead of the class, but even managed to overtake two of the more powerful vehicles from the prototype class. His tour de force, however, was short-lived on the fast-drying track. Due to deterioration of the rubber, Tandy had to pit early after five laps to change tyres, which threw the No. 911 car far down the field. Nevertheless, with a clever strategy, swift pit stops and steady lap times, Tandy and Makowiecki made up lost ground to finish on third place.
The crew of the sister car chose a more cautious tactic and started on slicks. Early on in the race, Vanthoor managed to initially maintain second place, but during his stint fell back to fifth place at times. Bamber’s blistering and impressively consistent drive over 32 laps midway through the race was pivotal to claiming second place. Toward the end, the New Zealander even moved to the front of the pack, but ultimately had to admit defeat to the eventual winner, Corvette. At the finish line, the ca. 515-hp Porsche 911 RSR, which is based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS* sports car, was just 1.977 seconds behind the winner.
In the GTD class, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) and his compatriot Ryan Hardwick scored seventh place at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Wright Motorsports. The customer squad from the U.S. state of Ohio put in a flawless performance and now ranks fourth in the GTD championship. After round two of the season, Porsche sits in third place in the manufacturers’ classification with 64 points, just one point shy of the leader. The reigning GTLM champions Bamber and Vanthoor have moved to the top of the leaderboard as they head to round three of the season in Sebring, Florida (USA) on 18 July.
Comments on the race
Steffen Höllwarth (Head of Operations IMSA Championship): “Congratulations to our colleagues at Corvette on their 100th victory in the IMSA series. Unfortunately, we weren’t quite there today. It became apparent after qualifying that we would not have the fastest car in the race. That’s why we took the risk at the start with the number 911 car, but it didn’t pay off. With the sister car, we wanted to stay out of trouble. That worked out very well. The consistent pace was top rate, the drive was flawless and the pit stops were extremely fast. We pulled out all stops today. We’re satisfied with positions two and three.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “We very deliberately opted for a strategy that was different from all other competitors. In retrospect, it was the wrong choice. The track needed to stay wet for two or three more laps. Then it would’ve worked because we could have built up a decent lead. Still, we made the best out of it. Once again, both Porsche 911 RSR finished on the podium. You can’t really complain about that.”
Further comments to the race you can find in the press release.
Result GTLM class
1. Garcia/Taylor (E/USA), Chevrolet Corvette C8.R #3, 90 laps
2. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR #912, 90 laps
3. Tandy/Makowiecki (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR #911, 90 laps
Result GTD class
1. Hawksworth/Telitz (GBR/USA), Lexus RC F GT3 #14, 87 laps
2. Bell/Montecalvo (USA/USA), Lexus RC F GT3 #12, 86 laps
3. Farnbacher/McMurry (D/USA), Acura NSX GT3 #86, 86 laps
7. Long/Hardwick (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #16, 85 laps
Full results and championship standings at: imsa.alkamelsystems.com.
At the season-opening round at the Florida venue, Porsche fielded a pair of new 911 RSR at its North America debut and secured two podium spots. While the first race of the season traditionally runs over 24 hours, the second race takes just two hours and 40 minutes. In addition to the two factory cars in the GTLM class, the Wright Motorsports customer squad will field a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GTD category.
For round two of the 2020 season, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) management has put together comprehensive measures to protect the health of all involved. The number of personnel per car is limited to 15, strict paddock rules apply, wearing a face mask outside the cockpit is mandatory at all times and regular temperature checks are required over the race weekend.
The event, dubbed “240 at Daytona”, is shorter than previous rounds, and is over just two days. Free practice is held on Friday (3 July), with staggered practices, the qualifying and race held on Saturday. The Porsche GT Team faces a major challenge in finding an optimal setup for the two 911 RSR within a short timeframe and with reduced personnel. Opened in 1959, the Daytona International Raceway in Florida differs from other circuits, most notably by its banked turns: The angle of the banking in the oval passage of the 5.73-kilometre racetrack is 31 degrees. This requires a special vehicle setup.
The Porsche GT Team drivers
Works drivers Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) share driving duties in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR. At the opening round of the season at Daytona, the reigning GTLM-class champions secured second place with Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet. Briton Nick Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki from France share the cockpit of the No. 911 sister car. Supported by Matt Campbell (Australia) at the 24-hour race in late January, they finished on third place. Porsche currently ranks second overall. In order to step closer to defending the title, the successful factory squad has now set its sights on claiming the first victory of the season.
The seasoned customer team Wright Motorsports fields a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GTD class. At the wheel of the No. 16 vehicle, the American works driver Patrick Long joins forces with his compatriot Ryan Hardwick. At the season-opening round, the squad from the U.S. state of Ohio yielded fourth place in the GTD category.
Comments prior to the race
Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “First of all, I’d like to thank the IMSA management for making it possible to resume racing at the beginning of July. Huge collaboration with local authorities as well as manufacturers and teams was needed to get the green light for these upcoming events. We fully support the protocols to protect the health of everyone involved. We’re tackling the next races with the clear goal to defend our GTLM titles this season. With this in mind, we’re hoping that, when we return to Florida after our successful start at Daytona in January, we’ll bring home our first victory in the USA with the new 911 RSR.”
Steffen Höllwarth (Head of Operations IMSA Championship): “The excitement of returning to Daytona is huge. At the first outing with the two new Porsche 911 RSR we achieved two podium results. Now we aim to build on this. Although we’re returning to the same venue, the conditions will be completely different compared to January. The race is a sprint. We have to be prepared for very high temperatures in Florida in July, but short and heavy downpours can also happen at this time of the year. The reduced number of personnel and the shortened race weekend to two days play a major role. We have to prepare ourselves as best we can by the start of the first practice session. That means, we have to do our homework meticulously in the days leading up to the event.”
Further comments prior to the race you can find in the press release.
Live streaming of the race
Round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Daytona takes off on Saturday, 4 July, at 6:10 p.m. local time (5 July, 12:10 a.m. CEST). The race over 2:40 hours can be viewed outside the USA and Canada on www.imsa.com.
The schedule (local time, CEST: -6 hours)
Friday, 3 July
6:15 - 7:15 p.m. – Free practice
Saturday, 4 July
10:15 - 11:15 a.m. – Free practice
1:55 - 2:10 p.m. – Qualifying GTD
2:20 - 2:35 p.m. – Qualifying GTLM
2:45 - 3:00 p.m. – Qualifying DPi
6:10 - 8:50 p.m. – Race
The Porsche 911 RSR
The new Porsche 911 RSR (2019 model year) celebrated its debut in the IMSA SportsCar Championship at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The vehicle from Weissach is based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS road-going sports car. Compared to its extremely successful predecessor model, the car received improvements, most notably to areas such as driveability, efficiency, ergonomics and serviceability. About 95 percent of all components are new. The 911 RSR is powered by a 4.2-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine.
This is the IMSA SportsCar Championship
The IMSA SportsCar Championship was founded in the USA and Canada in 2013 after the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. A year later the new sports car race series, which is organised by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), was contested for the first time. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), Dpi (Daytona Prototype international) and LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2). The new Porsche 911 RSR is fielded in the GTLM class, and the Porsche 911 GT3 R contests the GTD class. The Porsche GT Team tackles the 2020 season in North America as the title defenders in the manufacturers’, drivers’ and team classifications.