IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 4 at Laguna Seca/USA – GTD
The new Porsche 911 GT3 R has scored its first race win on Sunday in the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca, California. On the dune circuit close to Monterey, the former Porsche Junior Alex Riberas (Spain) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) clinched GTD-class victory for the Porsche customer squad, Seattle/Alex Job Racing. After posting the top time in qualifying, the pair took up the race from pole position and maintained their lead over the entire two-hour race.
The 911 GT3 R celebrated its race debut at Daytona in January mounted with the new ultra-modern four-litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection. Porsche built the racer for GT3 series worldwide, based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car.
In the earlier GTLM-class race, overall Le Mans winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) finished third with the Porsche 911 RSR campaigned by the Porsche North America factory squad.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The first victory for the new 911 GT3 R here in the IMSA SportsCar Championship was achieved thanks to the sensational performance of the drivers in an extremely close race. We congratulate the winning crew of Seattle/Alex Job Racing and the two pilots.”
Alex Riberas (911 GT3 R #23): “What a perfect weekend. We were already the fastest in all free practices and the qualifying, we won the race, and we turned the quickest lap – it doesn’t get better than that. The new 911 GT3 R is a fantastic car and Laguna Seca is a fantastic racetrack. I would never have even dared to dream of finishing my first race here as the winner, and to top it off with the new 911.”
Mario Farnbacher (911 GT3 R #23): “Alex had built up a big gap, and when he handed the car to me I promptly encountered a safety car phase. I then tried to look after the tyres as best I could, but that’s not easy on this circuit. It was tight at the flag, but I wasn’t going to let our maiden victory with the 911 GT3 R be taken away from us. Our team has worked hard for this success.”
Race result GTD class
1. Riberas/Farnbacher (E/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 79 laps
2. Nielsen/Balzan (DK/I), Ferrari 488 GT3, 79
3. Davis/Davison (USA/AUS), Aston Martin GT3, 79
8. MacNeil/Keen (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 79
11. Lindsey/Bergmeister (USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 79