Porsche GT Team Scores Second After Tactic Thriller
MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 10, 2018) – 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 its second win of the year. Their colleagues Nick Tandy (GB) and Patrick Pilet (F) had to park their 911 RSR early after becoming entangled in another competitor’s accident.
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 tires – 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.
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.
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.
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 tires 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.”