- Return to the Podium. Porsche Pair Back to Racing, Back on Daytona Podium.
- Super Start. Porsche Junior Evans Opens Supercup Season with Lights-to-Flag Win.
- Ready, Set, SRO. COTA Winners Lead Porsche in SRO Return to Racing at VIR.
Porsche Profile. Event Story Lines.
Return to the Podium. Porsche Pair Back to Racing, Back on Daytona Podium.
Porsche again finished on the podium with both 911 RSR race cars at round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The two hour and 40 minute WeatherTech 240, held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Florida, saw Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) finish in second-place in the all-factory entries GTLM class sharing the No. 912 “works” car. The pairing finished in the identical position in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. Thanks to the back-to-back podium results, the defending champions, Bamber and Vanthoor, take the lead of the drivers’ classification of the 2020 Championship. 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 – the same position they held after 24-hours of racing in January. The No. 16 Wright Motorsports customer-entered Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by factory ace Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) finished in seventh-place of the GTD class.
The start of the sprint race in Florida was delayed for more than 30-minutes due to lightning in the area. The thunderstorm initially left the track wet forcing the decision of each team to start on wet-weather Michelin tires or the brand’s racing slick. 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 grid position six on wet tires. 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 in dry conditions, Tandy had to pit early after five laps to change tires. As a result, the No. 911 fell deep into the running order. Nevertheless, with a clever strategy, swift pit stops and steady lap times, Tandy and Makowiecki made up lost ground to finish in third-place.
"We very deliberately opted for a strategy that was different from all other competitors."
The crew of the sister car chose a more cautious tactic and started on slicks. Early in the race, Vanthoor managed to 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 relinquish the lead 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, North America’s only Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Hardwick finished in seventh-place. The privateer entry from Ohio put in a flawless performance and now sits in fourth-place of the GTD championship.
After round two of the season, Porsche holds 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 on July 18.
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, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“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.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“The heavy downpour before the start created an opportunity for us to take a gamble with the strategy. The track dried up too quickly and there was no caution phase, which would certainly have helped. Our pace in the race was very good. We want to build on that for the upcoming race. In the past years, we’ve always been fast and successful at Sebring. We are determined to bring home our first win of the season.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Our Porsche 911 RSR was again very good, but it certainly wasn’t the fastest car in the tough competition of the GTLM class today. We made the most of our chances and earned plenty of points. Second-place has even put us at the top of the drivers’ championship – perfect! Many thanks to Porsche, IMSA and everyone else involved for finally making real racing possible again. We’ll be back to fight again in two weeks. I’m looking forward to it.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“We were so close to clinching our first victory in the USA with the new Porsche 911 RSR. Second-place is okay. The fact that we’ve now moved to the top of the points standings is even more okay. I swing back and forth between feeling satisfied and slightly disappointed. We’ll try to do a little better at the next race in Sebring. But for now, it was terrific to contest a real race again.”
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It was a tough day, especially my double stint during the race. Thanks to a solid team performance we finished on seventh-place. The pit stops were perfect, the strategy was basically good. However, given the intense competition, we were unable to conserve as much fuel as we’d originally planned. We had to pit again shortly before the finish. Under the circumstances, seventh was the most we could achieve. It was a good points day.”
Ryan Hardwick, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It was a solid race for our team. Our goal was a top-five. We fell short of that a little bit. I was a little cautious at the beginning. My caution cost us a little too much time up to the lead back. Once the track dried our car was amazing. I got well up into the top-five in lap times for the silver [class] drivers. Pat Long did an amazing job. He pushed hard. We were real tight on fuel and had to come in for a splash but Pat brought us home seventh which was a respectable finish for us.”
Super Start. Porsche Junior Evans Opens Supercup Season with Lights-to-Flag Win.
It was a commanding performance from Porsche Junior Jaxon Evans (BWT Lechner Racing) at round one of the 2020 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The New Zealander started the race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria from the one-make series’ pole position and led the field over the entire 17-lap distance. Evans finished less than one-second ahead of his teammate Dylan Pereira. With Leon Köhler taking the flag in third-place, the squad of the legendary Austrian team principal Walter Lechner celebrated a triple success at its home race on the 2.68-mile (4.318-kilometer) Red Bull Ring. The 20-year-old from Bavaria was also the fastest of the nine rookies.
Behind the leading Lechner trio, heated battles for positions developed. While pursuing the frontrunners, Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) in the Martinet by Alméras Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car allegedly over ran the established track limits on several occasions according to the steward of the meeting. He was handed a five-second penalty. After crossing the finish line in fourth-place, he was subsequently relegated to eighth. As a result, Larry ten Voorde (Netherlands) racing for Team GP Elite, moved up the ranks, just five-tenths of a second ahead of Florian Latorre (France) and rookie Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (France). Finishing in seventh-place, Marvin Klein (France) also underlined the talent of the young guns. Rounding off the top ten behind Güven were Marius Nakken (Norway) and Laurin Heinrich (Germany). Mateo Llarena (Guatemala), who at the age of 16-years, four-months and ten days is the youngest competitor to contest a Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race, secured position 19.
Round two of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is scheduled for next weekend, as support to the Styrian Grand Prix again to be held at the Red Bull Ring (July 10 – 12). The race will get underway on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. ET/ 3:30 a.m. PT.
Jaxon Evans, Driver, BWT Lechner Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“A perfect start to the season. The first outing for my new team and the first victory – it can go on like this.”
Leon Köhler, Driver, BWT Lechner Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I really didn’t expect this. I was easily able to match the pace of my two teammates. Let’s see if I can do even better in the next race.”
Ready, Set, SRO. COTA Winners Lead Porsche in SRO Return to Racing at VIR.
When the SRO GT World Challenge America takes to the VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) asphalt on July 9 – 12, the return of North American sports car racing will be complete. Just as it did in IMSA, Porsche and its privateer customer teams will play a major role in the nine races – ranging from 50 to 90-minutes in length – scheduled for the Alton, Virginia-area track. Four major series with Porsche eligible entries are scheduled to run on the 3.26-mile, 18-turn natural terrain road course: the GT World Challenge America (Porsche 911 GT3 R), GT Sports Club (Porsche 911 Gt2 RS Clubsport and Porsche 935-19), GT4 America Sprint and GT4 America SprintX (in which both the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport can participate). Leading the contingent of Porsche-built race cars will be the teams and driver combinations that won their respective class races at the season-opening round at the Circuit of the Americas.
Three Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars made an impact at the only SRO GT World Challenge America weekend held prior to the lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19. Each of the GT3-specification machines earned at least one podium finish at COTA. But it was the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of rookie GT3-spec drivers (San Antonio, Texas) and Max Root (San Diego, California) that celebrated twin victories in the AM class. California-based GMG Racing had the best overall result of the GT weekend when James Sofronas (Villa Park, California) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) took top-honors in the Pro/Am class with the No. 14 Porsche 911 GT3 R in the season opening race from pole position.
The COTA season-opener was a perfect weekend for the No. 47 NOLASPORT Pro/Am class entry of Texan’s Matt Travis and Jason Hart as well as their Amateur (AM) class teammates, Zac Anderson and Sean Gibbons in the No.7 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The New Orleans, Louisiana-based race team swept every class in every GT4 race held in March. They return with the target to continue that performance in the three GT4 Sprint races (50-minutes) and three GT4 SprintX (60-minutes) races.
Testing for the weekend will start on Wednesday, July 8 for the GT4 classes. Testing for the higher-performance GT2-spec GT Sport Club (GTSC) and GT3-spec “GT” classes opens on Thursday, July 9. Thursday will see official practice for the GT4 classes as well. Qualifying and Race 1 for the GT4 American Sprint X and shorter Sprint championship will be held on Friday, July 10 with the GT World Challenge America and GTSC official practice getting underway Friday morning. Qualifying and Race 1 for the GT World Challenge America and GTSC will take place on Saturday, July 11. The final events of the weekend – including make-up events for the canceled Long Beach Grand Prix – will be raced on Sunday for the GT4 Sprint and SprintX series. Race 2 for the GT and GTSC will also take place on Sunday, July 12.