Porsche GT Team scores second after tactic thriller

The Porsche GT Team has secured another podium result at the penultimate race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship season. After a gripping race at Laguna Seca, Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor crossed the finish line in second.


The pair Earl Bamber (NZL) and Laurens Vanthoor (B) in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR was just 2.488-seconds off claiming the second win of the year. Their team colleagues Nick Tandy (GB) and Patrick Pilet (F) had to park their 911 RSR early after becoming entangled in another competitor’s accident. In the GTD class, works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (USA) clinched second.

The race over two hours and 40 minutes was marked by different strategies and many caution phases. At an early safety car phase, the Porsche GT Team called Bamber into the pits. As a result, the New Zealander moved into the lead shortly before halftime. After handing the 911 RSR off to his teammate Vanthoor, the race turned into a real thriller. The Belgian had to stay out on the track for an hour and 17 minutes on a tank of fuel and one set of tyres – a big ask faced with the tough competition in the GTLM category. Putting in a focussed and flawless drive as well as a clever use of fuel, the Belgian brought the vehicle home in second place.

Tandy was unable to avoid a damaged prototype

For the sister car, the race was over before it had really started. In the chaos of the start, Tandy was unable to avoid a damaged prototype. In a front-on collision, the 911 RSR with the number 911 was damaged so badly that it could not continue.

The Porsche customer team Park Place Motorsports celebrated a podium finish in the dunes of California. Works driver Bergmeister successfully fended of repeated attacks from his rivals in the final phase. The German used his vast experience to bring the 500 hp Porsche 911 RSR with the number 73 safely across the finish line in second place. Factory driver Patrick Long (USA) and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (DK) concluded the race on eleventh.

Works drivers will return to the Porsche Rennsport Reunion in California

Many Porsche works drivers and racing legends will return to the Laguna Seca Raceway in three weeks to celebrate the Porsche Rennsport Reunion in California from 27 to 30 September, 2018. The world’s largest event for Porsche enthusiasts and connoisseurs of historic race cars will be held for the sixth time. The 2018 season of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will conclude with the round at Road Atlanta (10 to 13 October) in the US state of Georgia. The race, which is dubbed “Petit Le Mans”, is contested over ten hours.

Comments on the race

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Based on the fact that we expected a difficult race, this result is really good. Of course it’s a shame that it wasn’t quite enough for first place. It was incredibly tough. We came into the pits early and therefore had to be extremely conservative with our fuel the whole time. Under such circumstances it’s difficult to keep the tyres at the optimal temperature. Such things don’t make the job easier. I did everything I could and finished in second place. We couldn’t do any better than that today.”

Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “That was a tough job. After my early pit stop the main focus was to save fuel. But we also couldn’t afford to slow the pace – it worked well. Laurens’s long stint was sensational. Second place is the well-deserved reward for great teamwork, great decisions and clean drives. I’m really sorry about our sister car. The important thing is that nothing happened to Nick in the accident.”

Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “It’s bitter to retire before the race even got underway. A prototype had spun in front of me and that triggered a chain reaction. I had no chance to avoid it. I hope our luck returns at the season finale at Road Atlanta.”

Race result

1. Sims/De Phillippi (GB/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 100 laps
2. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, 100 laps
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 100 laps
4. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 100 laps
5. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 100 laps
6. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, 71 laps
7. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, 2 laps
8. Tandy/Pilet (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 0 laps

GTD class
1. Legge/Parente (GB/P), Acura NSX GT3, 97 laps
2. Bergmeister/Lindsey (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 97 laps
3. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, 96 laps
11. Long/Nielsen (USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 96 laps
Full results are available on: http://results.imsa.com


Porsche has secured a spot on the third grid row in a hotly-contested qualifying at the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Laguna Seca. The number 911 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Nick Tandy (GB) and Patrick Pilet (F) will take up the race on Sunday from position six on the grid. Their team colleagues Earl Bamber (NZL) and Laurens Vanthoor (B) tackle round ten of the season from seventh on the grid in the No. 912 vehicle.

The hunt for top times on the legendary Laguna Seca Raceway in California turned gripping and close. Tandy held off at the beginning of the qualifying in the hope of benefitting from improving track conditions. Sand and dirt on 3.601-kilometre racetrack, however, provided little grip. The British driver concluded the qualifying in 1:22.990 minutes, which put his Porsche 911 RSR on P6. Bamber turned a lap just 0.150 seconds slower than his teammate.

Good starting positions in the GTD class

In the GTD class, the Porsche customer teams secured good starting positions for the race. Works driver Patrick Long planted the Porsche 911 GT3 R with the starting number 58 on the fourth grid position. The American shares driving duties in the cockpit of the vehicle fielded by Wright Motorsports with Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (DK). Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (USA) take up the penultimate race of the season from fifth place in the identical model campaigned by Park Place Motorsports.

Qualifying result

GTLM class
1. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 1:22.700 minutes
2. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, 1:22.787 minutes
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 1:22.806 minutes
4. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, 1:22.850 minutes
5. Sims/De Phillippi (GB/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 1:22.972 minutes
6. Tandy/Pilet (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 1:22.990 minutes
7. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, 1:23.140 minutes
8. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 1:23.527 minutes

GTD class
1. Legge/Farnbacher (GB/D), Acura NSX GT3, 1:24.456 minutes
2. Sellers/Snow (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 1:24.595 minutes
3. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, 1:24.644 minutes
4. Long/Nielsen (USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 1:24.871 minutes
5. Bergmeister/Lindsey (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 1:24.904 minutes

Full results are available at: http://results.imsa.com


At the Laguna Seca Raceway, the two race cars from Weissach will go up against manufacturers BMW, Chevrolet and Ford. Porsche pursues its third win of the season in the GTLM class. The Porsche customer team Wright Motorsports aims to continue its podium streak in the GTD class with the Porsche 911 GT3 R after claiming its first IMSA victory this season at Road America in Elkhart Lake on August 5. The team Park Place Motorsports fields another 911 GT3 R in this class. Unlike at the recent round in Danville, the competitors in the prototype category will be back on the grid for the Monterey race.

The 3.601-kilometre Laguna Seca Raceway in the dunes of California is one of the most demanding racetracks in North America. The infamous Corkscrew corner is not the only challenge thrown at drivers and engineers: in addition to the generally hot and dusty asphalt of the circuit, they also need to cope with the 55-metre elevation change, which is spread over eleven sometimes tight, sometimes fast turns. Moreover, in recent years the race over just two hours and 40 minutes has often proven to be a game-plan thriller.

The Porsche drivers

The cockpit of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR is shared by Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), the winners of the 12 Hours of Sebring. The winners of the Mid-Ohio race, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand), share driving duties in the No. 912 sister car. In the GTD class, the Porsche customer team Wright Motorsports competes with two 911 GT3 R. In the cockpit of the #58 car is the works driver Patrick Long (USA), who grew up in Thousand Oaks, and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark). So far this season, the pair has notched up one victory in the GTD class thanks to their recent win at Elkhart Lake. Park Place Motorsports tackles the race with factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (USA) sharing the 911 GT3 R.

The Porsche vehicles

For the second race season, the 911 RSR was optimised primarily in the setup. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the motor, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). The particularly large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing provides strong downforce and aerodynamic efficiency. The ca. 368kW (500 hp) 911 GT3 R was designed for worldwide GT3 series. The vehicle is campaigned by customer teams, for whom Porsche has provided an evo-kit in 2018.

This is the IMSA SportsCar Championship

The IMSA SportsCar Championship, a sports car race series contested in the USA and Canada, was run in 2014 for the first time. The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in three different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona) and P (Prototype). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT3 R contesting the GTD class.

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