Porsche 911 RSR starts from the first grid row

At the premiere of the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Mid-Ohio, the best Porsche 911 RSR takes up Sunday’s race from the first grid row. In a hotly contested qualifying on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the time-honoured 3.634-kilometre racetrack in America’s Midwest, Nick Tandy posted the second fastest time in the GTLM class with the #911 Porsche 911 RSR.

The Briton was only six-hundredths of a second off pole position. His teammate at round four of North America’s premier sports car race series is Patrick Pilet (France), with whom he won the Sebring twelve-hour classic in March. Earl Bamber (New Zealand) planted the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team on fourth. He shares the cockpit of the #912 car with Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). A look at the times clocked during qualifying shows just how competitive the strongly represented GTLM class is with four automobiles manufacturers: All eight cars were within just six-tenths of a second.

Qualifying quotes

Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “As expected, the qualifying was extremely close. Of course, it’s a bit disappointing to set the fastest times in all sessions and then not in qualifying. However, we’re heading into the race feeling positive, after all there’s not much between us and the frontrunner. It’ll certainly be a difficult race, because the track has its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to changing grip conditions. But our car is good over the distance. We’re feeling confident and we’ll attack all-out.”

Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “I’m very pleased with this qualifying. The first grid row is a great place to start from. We saw in Sebring that we’re fast with the 911 RSR, particularly over the distance. I’m not worried about the weather, which is often very changeable here. If it rains we switch to wet tyres, if it’s dry we race on slicks. It’s as simple as that.”

Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “The team has prepared our 911 RSR very well for the circuit. We definitely have a fast car for the race.”

Qualifying result

GTLM class
1. Krohn/Edwards (SF/USA), BMW M8, 1:17.853 minutes
2. Tandy/Pilet (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.066 seconds
3. Sims/de Phillippi (GB/USA), BMW M8, + 0.079
4. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.168
5. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.261
6. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, + 0.354
7. Westbrook/Briscoe (GB/USA), Ford GT, + 0.480
8. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.599

GTD class
1. Hawksworth/Heinemeier Hansson (GB/DK), Lexus RC, 1:19.317 minutes
2. Marcelli/Baumann (CAN/A), Lexus RC, + 0.053 seconds
3. Sellers/Snow (USA/USA), Lamborghini, + 0.565
7. Long/Nielsen (USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.431
9. Henzler/Schein (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.726

The race

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with its 13 corners is one of the most beautiful and time-honoured racetracks in the United States. Opened in 1962, the demanding circuit lies north of Cincinnati, not far from Lexington in the US state of Ohio. The last time Porsche won on this track was back in 2011 with the 911 GT3 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers in the American Le Mans Series.

The Porsche drivers

The winners of the Sebring 12-hour race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), contest the GTLM class sharing the cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) share driving duties in the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team. The GTD class, which was not contested at Long Beach, will be back on the grid at Mid-Ohio. Wright Motorsports tackles the race with two 911 GT3 R for the first time: The regular drivers Patrick Long (USA) and Christina Nielsen (Denmark), Porsche’s 2018 Selected Driver, share the #58 car, with Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Michael Schein (USA) contesting the remaining sprint races of the season in the #16 vehicle.

The 911 RSR

The 911 RSR

For the second race season, primarily the setup of the 911 RSR was optimised. 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. For 2018, Porsche provides its customer teams with an evo-kit for the 911 GT3 R. The ca. 368kW (500 hp) customer sport racer was designed for worldwide GT3 series.

The schedule

The six-hour race takes off on Sunday, 6 May, at 13.05 hrs local time (19.05 hrs CEST) and runs over 2:40 hours. The race can be viewed live outside the USA on www.imsa.com.

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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