Penalty strips Porsche pilots of podium finish

The Porsche North America 911 RSR of Richard Lietz (Austria) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) took the checkered flag in third position at the 2-hour race in Laguna Seca/California. However, following a post-race review, IMSA officials applied a penalty for “on-track contact”. The penalty for the Daytona winners, the equivalent of a pit stop plus 60 seconds, dropped the car to ninth in the GTLM standings.

The Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR brought home a fourth-place result on the race track in the dunes near Monterey. The car was drivend by Porsche factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his American teammate Bryan Sellers. Danish factory driver Michael Christensen had a first-lap contact in the second Porsche North America 911 RSR, spinning the car in the turn-three and losing many positions. His teammate Patrick Long (USA) fought a damaged front end before the checkered flag fell leaving the Sebring 12h winners on 8th place.

Richard Lietz (#911): “We had a good start and had the pace of the leaders. At the end of the stint because I took care of my tires I think we were even faster. Unfortunately it is difficult to overtake here because of the sand so there is only one lane here where you can race. I did my best. Nick did a very good job as well.”

Nick Tandy (#911): “The stint went well at the start. We were a bit conservative. At the middle of the race I started to push and I probably overstretched the tires a little bit. We had a good battle with the Ferrari and we got in front. I knew the BMW was on fresher tires so it was going to be quicker at the end. I was doing my best to hold him off and it was a good race.”

Michael Christensen (#912): “Coming into turn three a few cars went into the gravel and one came back on the track. I don’t know if he didn’t see me but he closed the door. So I spun. Everyone went past me and we lost a lot of time. The car was very good. We were fast.”

Patrick Long (#912): “At the end, it was a situation where we were trying to salvage the day. We’ll focus forward on the next round.”

Wolf Henzler (#17): “We had a really good weekend. In the race, in the beginning, I was stuck behind another car and could not pass it. Once I did, I immediately did better lap times and could close the gap to the leading group. We finished fourth which is a good effort for the team. It is another step in the right direction.”

In the GTD class, the Porsche 911 GT America of Americans Andy Lally and John Potter, moving up from the 19th qualifying position, claimed the third position to take over the point lead.

Race results
GTLM class

1. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 84 laps
2. Priaulx/Auberlen (GB/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 84
3. Fisichella/Kaffer (I/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 84
4. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 84
5. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 84
6. Farnbacher/Goossens (D/B), SRT Viper, 84
8. Christensen/Long (DK/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 83
9. Lietz/Tandy (A/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 83

GTD class

1. Cameron/Palttala (USA/SF), BMW Z4, 78 laps
2. Haase/Milner (D/USA), Audi R8 LMS, 78
3. Lally/Potter (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT America, 78
4. Keen/MacNeil (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT America, 78
5. Neiman/von Moltke (USA/USA), Audi R8 LMS, 78
6. Pumpelly/Canache (USA/VZ), Audi R8 LMS, 77

The next GTD race will be on May 31 in Detroit/Michigan. The GTLM category will now break until June 29th when the entire series travels to the Six Hours of Watkins Glen.