The three Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas, Frédéric Makowiecki (both France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) concluded the six-hour evening race on Saturday tenth overall. Of the 51 GT3 vehicles that lined up on the 5.791-kilometre Circuit Paul Ricard near the Côte d’Azur, 25 were driven by professional drivers. The second 911 GT3 R fielded by Herberth Motorsport in the category for gentleman drivers finished seventh in class.
Dumas, Makowiecki and Werner had taken up the race from P22 on the grid. Werner gained several positions early on in the race, with his two French teammates continuing to work their way up the field at their home race. Running in sixth place with an hour left on the clock, Makowiecki handed the car off to Dumas, who then gained another position in the final stint. However, due to a rule infraction under yellow, the former Le Mans winner received a 30-second time penalty at the finish. After 172 laps and a distance of almost 1,000 kilometres, the #911 car was ultimately classified in tenth place.
The German trio of Jürgen Häring, Edward-Lewis Brauner and Wolfgang Triller again shared driving duties in the cockpit of the ca. 500 hp Porsche customer sport racer fielded by Herberth Motorsport from Jedenhofen, Germany. After clinching a podium result a fortnight ago in Silverstone, this time they scored seventh place in the Am-class. The race took off in the early evening at 17.45 hours in sunshine and 25-degrees Celsius and by the end of the race six hours later, the air temperature had dropped to 17 degrees. The Le Castellet race gave competitors the chance to prepare for the upcoming season highlight, the 24 Hours of Spa on 28 to 29 July.
Dirk Werner (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “The start was a little strange because there was a second formation lap after everyone had actually accelerated. When the race finally went green, everything then turned really hectic. I had to be careful and lost some positions but I was able to advance up the field eventually. It was a very eventful race with lots of accidents. Our consistency was the key to earning points.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “On the whole it was a positive race. The qualifying showed that we still lack some performance on a fast lap. We drove a steady race and we were well prepared. It’s a shame that we finished on tenth instead of fifth.”
Romain Dumas (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “We certainly don’t yet have the speed we’d like. Basically, we made the best of it, despite being handed a penalty at the end. Until this happened we’d fought our way up the field and that speaks for the performance of us drivers as well as the team.”
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup is reserved for race cars that comply with FIA GT3 regulations. Storied racetracks, cost-effective conditions of participation and equality in terms of technology thanks to the Balance of Performance form the framework of this customer-oriented championship. The season highlight, the 24 Hours of Spa, is also part of the global Intercontinental GT Challenge, in which Porsche teams compete with the 911 GT3 R. SRO Motorsports Group organises both series.