All posts in “Gianmaria Bruni”

Porsche GT Team Score Seventh and Eighth in Virginia

ALTON, Va. (Aug. 28, 2017) – After scoring the first victory with the new Porsche 911 RSR at Lime Rock and second place in Elkhart Lake, the Porsche GT Team was not able to fight for top positions on the Virginia International Raceway. At round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the team’s and drivers’ intensive preparations and good performances went unrewarded.

After 92 laps on the storied 3.27-mile racetrack in Virginia, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) reached the flag in seventh place with the 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR (#912). Their team colleagues Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished eighth in the second 911 RSR with the starting number 911.

The tenth and penultimate round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 24 September at Laguna Seca in California.

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “After the qualifying it was obvious that the race would be difficult for us. Because we have a significantly lower top speed than our opponents, we had to come up with a special strategy on this track with its long full-throttle passages. However, for our strategy to work, we needed safety car phases, and there weren’t any today. We tried everything, but all in all it was a very difficult weekend for us. I hope that the IMSA authorities will take a very close look at this race and draw the appropriate conclusions. Then I’m confident that we’ll be back up amongst the frontrunners at the next race in Laguna Seca.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “That’s obviously not the result we wanted to fly home with. Our 911 RSR ran well and I had a good feeling in the car. Everyone could see that we didn’t have the pace, especially on the straights. The effect was particularly noticeable on this racetrack.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “Aside from the lack of top speed, the race for us ran without any problems. The team worked well over the entire weekend. What came out in the end, however, is frustrating, but it’s no reason to hang our heads. As a team, we have to pull together again and do better at Laguna Seca.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was a difficult weekend. Especially for me because I made mistake in Corner 5 and I ended up in the grass. But even without this setback, we were still simply not fast enough.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “As expected, the race was difficult. As always, we were well prepared. But our pace was not good enough, especially on this racetrack, where our lack of engine power was particularly noticeable. For the time being we have to accept this, but I hope the situation looks better again for the last two races.”

 

Porsche 911 RSR Second at Road America

 ELKHART LAKE, WISC. (Aug. 7, 2017) – The new Porsche 911 RSR continues on the road to success in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. A fortnight after its maiden victory at Lime Rock, the 510hp racer from Weissach clinched second in the GTLM class in a heart-stopping finale on the legendary Road America racetrack.

After the 2:40-hour race on the 4.048-mile circuit close to Elkhart Lake in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were a mere six-tenths of a second off claiming victory. The pair also scored second at Porsche’s double victory at Lime Rock recently.

Their team colleagues and the winners of the Lime Rock race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany), lost ground after a collision in the final phase and ultimately had to settle for eighth. The Porsche GT Team fields the 911 RSR which was developed from scratch specifically for this season on the basis of the high-performance 911 GT3 RS sports car.

At the wheel of the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Gianmaria Bruni initially managed to advance from fourth to third place. In his slipstream, Patrick Pilet even overtook two competitors in the No. 911 racer. The two held onto these positions until the first round of pit stops.

For Porsche, the race remained rather unspectacular – until the last hour. Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni’s teammate, made the most of a short pit stop to snatch the lead. However, when the race went green after a safety car phase, he veered too wide and had to let the Ford past. In a gripping finale, he pulled out all the stops and tried everything to reclaim the lead, but was ultimately pipped at the flag. For Dirk Werner, who took over from Patrick Pilet, the restart was even more dramatic: after falling victim to an accident involving a Corvette, he ended up in the gravel and was robbed of a good result.

Round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 27 August at the Virginia International Raceway in Danville in the U.S. state of Virginia.

Dr Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development Porsche AG: “The Porsche GT Team missed out on clinching the second-straight win by a fraction of a second on this fantastic racetrack. But once again, everyone put in a strong team effort. The IMSA SportsCar Championship is a blue ribbon sports car series. Fans witness gripping and fiercely contested races, especially in the GT categories. I found it interesting to follow the tremendous teamwork from the pits during the qualifying session.”
Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “We kept improving over the whole race weekend. During practice we saw that we couldn’t match the pace of the fastest over a lap. So we concentrated on preparing for the race. That paid off. In the race we were up with the play until the end and we were in a position to fight for victory. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough. Still, we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the weekend. It’s a shame that our number 911 racer was virtually kicked out of contention in a collision in the first corner after the restart. This cost us a lot of championship points. This car, too, was totally competitive today. We’ll be taking a lot of positive insights with us to the next round in Virginia. Until then, we’ll focus on the things that still need working on.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “What a rollercoaster race. We came into the pits earlier than scheduled prior to a caution phase, because we suspected we had a tire problem, and that cost us the lead. We definitely had some luck on our side because there was nothing wrong with the tires. After the restart, I wanted to overtake a slower GTD vehicle but he blocked me and that led to a mistake. It’s annoying to lose the lead and possibly even victory because of this, but such things happen. Nevertheless, finishing second on this tricky circuit is a good result.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “That was a really tough race. I got away well at the start, but the Ford managed to overtake me in corner three. The team had worked out a great strategy, which Laurens implemented almost perfectly after the pit stop. Right up until shortly before the finish I thought we might win. But second place is a great result and a good motivation for the remaining races of the season.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Our 911 RSR ran brilliantly again today, and the team provided great support. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our race. It’s a pity, because we were actually good enough to win at Road America, too, but we just couldn’t do it. Now we’ll try again in Virginia.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “In the closing phase of the race we still had every chance open to us. After the final round of pit stops I was running in fifth and I wanted to overtake the Corvette in front of me after the safety car phase. But, while braking, he pulled to the left in the last moment and forced me into the gravel trap. He was given a penalty, but that didn’t do us any good. I’m pleased for our team colleagues in the No. 912 car and I hope that we can make more out of our good possibilities in Virginia.”

 

First Win for New Porsche 911 RSR

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 23, 2017) – The race weekend at Lime Rock Park could not have ended better for Porsche: The new Porsche 911 RSR celebrated its historic first victory at the racetrack in Connecticut. On Saturday, Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner won round seven of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, North America’s premier sports car race series.

 

The race car, which Porsche Motorsport designed from new at Weissach, had already posted three pole positions previously. In the fiercely competitive and gripping race from start to finish, Porsche managed to beat its strong rivals from BMW, Chevrolet and Ford. Since Lime Rock was exclusively for GT vehicles, this meant that the Porsche pilots in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR were also the overall winners. In the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team, their teammates Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) clinched second place, making the weekend perfect for Porsche with a double victory.
When the 24-strong field of the GTLM and GTD classes took off on the short 1.474-mile race track in the idyllic rural region of Connecticut, conditions were cloudy and not as hot as Friday’s temperatures. In the two free practices and the qualifying, teams and drivers had had to contend with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Traditionally, Lime Rock is a two-day event. Racing is not permitted on Sundays as a church service is held in a small chapel close to the track. The crew of the Porsche GT Team coped well with the overtime hours in the heat and were rewarded with pole position for the 911 RSR. The squad watched from the pit wall as polesitter Gianmaria Bruni made a catapult start off the line to pull clear of the field.

 

On this short track where overtaking is extremely difficult, Dirk Werner also got away cleanly at the start to make up one position, which had the Porsches running in positions one and two at an early stage. After an unintentional detour off the track, Gianmaria Bruni had to come in for an earlier than scheduled first pit stop to remove grass from the radiator. He managed to hand the 911 RSR over to his teammate Laurens Vanthoor while still in the lead. Dirk Werner pulled into the pits for a service and driver change immediately behind him. Patrick Pilet took the wheel of the #911 vehicle, and promptly rejoined the race in front of his teammate. Hence, shortly before the halfway mark of the two-hour and 40-minute race, he was in the lead, with Laurens Vanthoor behind him in second place. With the Porsche duo fending off all attacks from their pursuers, this order remained to the flag. After 181 laps of Lime Rock Park, the double victory for the new 911 RSR was achieved – the greatest success of the season so far.

 

Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “The maiden victory with a new car is always a particularly emotional moment. And if you can bring home a double victory and even overall victory, then that makes you incredibly proud. I’m proud not only of our team here in the USA, but also of our colleagues in Weissach and our sister team in the WEC. This success belongs to us all. We can now build on this over the rest of the season. In the race, our 911 RSR was faster than the competition when the temperatures were initially high, but found it a little tougher once it cooled down. In terms of our race strategy, we again did very well today. For the most part, our cars had a clear run. On this short racetrack where overtaking is very difficult, that proved to be a key to success.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Incredible. We had to wait so long for this victory but now it’s finally happened. The entire team worked brilliantly this weekend. This circuit suits our 911 RSR well and we immediately found a super setup. It was a tough battle over the whole distance. Our car was consistently fast today, but you always have to stay fully focused. With so many cars out on the track you inevitably swap paint with your rivals. Luckily, everything went well. It was a fantastic weekend. We’re now going to enjoy our success and then attack again at Road America in a fortnight.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “We’ve worked towards this day for a long time. We had to cope with several setbacks this season, but we never threw in the towel. It’s wonderful that the first win for the new 911 RSR has finally come. And the fact that it’s my first win as a Porsche works driver makes this achievement very special. This racetrack certainly has it all. Because it’s so short, it’s a constant fight for positions and nonstop overtaking maneuvers. The fans definitely enjoyed it. We did too. It’s a great day for Porsche.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “I’m pleased for Porsche. The first win for the new 911 RSR as well as our second place is a great result. It was a dream come true for me. We started from pole and held the lead over long stints. But then we had to pit early after a minor excursion onto the grass. Personally, I’m somewhat disappointed, but that’s racing. The important thing is the win for Porsche. I’m thrilled that I could contribute to this double victory.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “I’m delighted for the squad and for Porsche. The maiden victory for the new 911 RSR plus second place – that’s a fantastic result of which we can all be very proud. We’ve worked very hard towards this day. The race from pole position went well for me until shortly before my pit stop when I suddenly lost the rear and ended up on the grass. That put an end to our fight for victory. Congratulations to my team colleagues.”

 

Best-Placed 911 RSR Finishes Sixth at Watkins Glen

It was not a race for the faint-hearted. Right up until shortly before the end of Sunday’s six-hour race in Watkins Glen, the battle for victory in the GTLM class was still raging. The new No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR was well-positioned in third place, just seconds behind the leader. However, the result of race five of this season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship was then turned on its head. Rather than being able to mount a final attack on the leaders, Gianmaria Bruni was forced to return to the pits due to a puncture. The Italian appeared to be punctuating his debut as a Porsche works driver with a podium, but he and teammate Laurens Vanthoor (Belgian) ultimately had to settle for sixth place.

 

In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, the No. 911 car, Partick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished seventh. The fact that seven of the eight cars led the race on at least one occasion bears testimony to just how fiercely contested the GTLM class was once again in Watkins Glen.
 
The No. 911 car was well placed for much of the race at the iconic 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit in upstate New York. After the first hour of racing, Patrick Pilet, who started from fifth, had climbed into third place in temperatures as high as 86F. A few laps later, he was running second.
 
He handed the 911 RSR over to his teammate Dirk Werner in second place. The German was still second at the halfway point of what proved to be an exciting and dramatic sports car classic, in which numerous yellow phases repeatedly caused the field to bunch together. But then it happened: he spun off the track in the chicane and damaged his rear-right tire. Werner did manage to regain control of the 911 RSR in the run-off zone, which was a generous size at this section of the track, and was able to return to the pit lane. He did, however, lose a lap, and with it any hope of a top result.
 
Laurens Vanthoor took responsibility for the start in the second 911 RSR, before making way for Gianmaria Bruni during the first pit stop after 34 laps. The new Porsche works driver completed his first race laps in the 911 RSR and was able to climb into fourth place. Laurens Vanthoor then enjoyed even more success: the Belgian took the lead for the first time after four hours.
 
The scheduled pit stop just a few laps later did initially drop the No. 912 car back into fourth place, but Gianmaria Bruni soon got the car back on course for a podium, moving into third place in his second stint. With just two laps remaining, the leading GLTM trio was separated by a matter of seconds. However, before he was able to try his luck and mount an attack, a damaged tire dashed the Italian’s hopes.

 

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “The 911 RSR was set up very well for the race. We had banked on the temperature being hot, and that worked out superbly. We were very competitive today. However, we then made a mistake as a team and were also unlucky with tire damage. You cannot do much about that, but the combination of factors was simply too much to win such a difficult race against such strong opposition. The pace was there. That was not the issue today. We will build on that and push hard again next week in Canada.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was not our weekend. We were running second when a mistake cost us the race. We were unable to make up the lap we lost. Maybe we might have had a chance of doing so if it had rained harder at the end. Despite this, we will look ahead, as the pace was good. We will drive in Canada in a week’s time. That circuit is very well suited to the 911 RSR. We saw that during testing.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “I spun in the chicane, after which the rear-left tire was damaged. It is a shame that the race had to end like that for us. It was very unfortunate. The 911 RSR was running very well and the team worked hard to support us, as it always does. Everyone deserved a better result than that.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We should really have been challenging for the win at the end. The 911 RSR had the necessary pace. However, everything suddenly went against us. We will now try to do better in Canada.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “I am both disappointed and happy at the same time. Disappointed because we had a lot of bad luck and did not get the result we deserved, despite a good performance. I am happy because we showed today what great potential we have as a team. It is a shame that two punctures and a drive-through penalty cost us what would almost certainly have been a podium. I overtook a GTD car, when I was suddenly shown the yellow flag. However, I was already past. I dropped straight back in behind it, but the stewards took a hard line. That was my first race for Porsche, and my first race after an eight-month break. I cannot tell you how much I have missed this feeling.”