IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 8 at Elkhart Lake/USA
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 510 hp 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 6.515-kilometre circuit close to Elkhart Lake in the US 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 #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 #911 racer. The two held on to 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 the 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 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.
In the GTD class, in which Porsche customer teams field the 500 hp 911 GT3 R, Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) occupied second place. Two weeks ago at Lime Rock (USA), he celebrated his first win of the season with Patrick Lindsey (USA) driving for Park Place Motorsports.
Round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 27 August at the Virginia International Raceway in Danville in the US State of Virginia.