AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 17, 2016) – At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) won the penultimate GTLM race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship with the Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche North America works team. With five manufacturers, this category is the most hotly contested. Their teammates Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) clinched second with the 470hp winning racer from Weissach, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. After Long Beach, this is the second win this season for the 911 RSR in the USA.
In temperatures reaching 95 degrees, Pilet got the best start on the 3.4-mile circuit in the hills near the Texas capital. At the wheel of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, the defending IMSA GT champion snatched one position in the first lap and slotted into second place behind the leading Ferrari. Making the most of his slipstream, Frédéric Makowiecki (No. 912) also swept past the rival. These three then proceeded to pull clear of their pursuers, putting both 911 race cars on course for podium results shortly after the start.
At the first pit stop, Tandy took over driving duties from Pilet, with whom he had won the Long Beach race earlier this season. On the 27th lap, he moved into the lead of the GTLM field. In the second 911 RSR, Bamber maintained third place. In lap 35, the Ferrari again took the lead, but the 911 RSR kept the frontrunner under heavy pressure. With 25 minutes left in the two-hour and 40-minute race, the Ferrari had to make an unscheduled pit stop, thus handing the lead at the hottest race of the year to Porsche. In the final phase, Bamber overtook his leading teammate and secured the first win of the season for he and Makowiecki in the most important sports car championship on the North American continent.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “That was an incredibly exciting race: a heated battle in which the tires played a major role. We profited somewhat from Ferrari’s bad luck, but we then drove a clean race to the flag. All in all it was a great performance from the drivers and teams under difficult conditions. I’m very pleased.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR No. 911): “A fantastic success for Porsche. I got away well off the line and passed the Ford. After that the race ran problem-free. Our car has proven hugely consistent over the entire season. We were able to successfully utilize the strength of the 911 RSR under these extreme conditions.”
Nick Tandy (911 RSR No. 911): “This race was perfect for Porsche. With the exception of the Ferrari we could control the whole field. I’m also delighted for our teammates in the 912. They really deserve this win. For us it was great to be back on the podium.”
Earl Bamber (911 RSR No. 912): “This victory belongs to the entire team. We saw today that the 911 RSR was the most consistent car over the distance under such extreme conditions. First and second place – a great success for Porsche.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR No. 912): “We didn’t necessarily have the fastest car today, but we could maintain a decent pace over the entire race distance. We’ve been working towards this win over the whole season. Finally everything came together. This is precisely the motivation we need heading to the season finale at Road Atlanta.”
The eleventh and final round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on October 1st on the storied Road Atlanta