Race, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 9, Alton/USA
With a one-two result, Porsche continues its winning streak in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. At the third to last race of the season, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) crossed the finish line in the Porsche 911 RSR as the overall winners. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) finished second driving the number 912 sister car and, thanks to their victories Long Beach, Mid-Ohio, and Canada’s Bowmanville, continue to hold the lead. The winners of the rounds at Sebring and Watkins Glen, Pilet and Tandy, managed to reduce the gap with their third win to eleven points in the drivers’ classification. In the GTLM class, Porsche also holds a clear lead the manufacturers’ classification with 304 points.
In sunny weather and temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, starting driver Vanthoor stormed into the lead when the red lights were extinguished. Behind him, Tandy outpaced four opponents on the outside of the track and entered the first corner directly behind Vanthoor. Over the 2:40 hours of the race, there was almost always a Porsche 911 RSR in the lead. The two identical cars implemented different strategies, which enabled Tandy and Pilet to move to the front of the field. Perfect pit stops during the first caution phase contributed to the success, as did a successful restart when the field was released after a second caution phase shortly before the end of the race. Ultimately, Tandy and Pilet came out on top, repeating their 2015 success on the storied race track in Virginia.
Two 500+hp Porsche 911 GT3 R took up the race in the GTD-class. The Pfaff Motorsports (No. 9) customer squad with Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon (both Canada) secured fourth place. Driving the number 73 car fielded by Park Place Motorsports, Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (USA) and his compatriot Patrick Lindsay finished fifth.
For the next championship round on 13 to 15 September, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship travels to California’s Laguna Seca.
Comments on the race
Steffen Höllwarth (Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship): “I’m incredibly proud of the whole team. What a great team effort. We opted for a good strategy for this circuit, the racetrack suits the Porsche 911 RSR perfectly, and our pit stops were again excellent. We were rewarded for this. Now we’ll enjoy and celebrate our double victory. On Monday, we’ll begin the meticulous work for the last two races of the year.”
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “What a great race! Nick put in a fabulous start and we kept pushing hard over the whole distance. Our strategy worked. We’re delighted with this outstanding result for Porsche, and we’ll do everything to secure the drivers’ title as well.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “I had a really great start. In the first corner everyone took the inside line. I braked late and managed to make up four positions by taking the outside line. That was the key to success. The car ran beautifully over the entire race weekend and our strategy was super. A great team effort.”
Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Everything ran well for us and for Porsche on the whole. Positions one and two is the perfect outcome. In the manufacturer’s classification we only have to start both races to take home overall honours. I’m very pleased with this great result for the team.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “You can’t do better than a one-two result. It’s a fantastic result for the entire squad. Both Porsche 911 RSR were consistently fast over the whole weekend. Of course, Earl and I would have preferred to stand at the top of the podium, but one can’t really complain about position two.”
1. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 88 laps
2. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 88 laps
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Corvette C7.R, 88 laps
1. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, 86 laps
2. Farnbacher/Hindman (D/USA), Acura NSX GT3, 86 laps
3. Potter/Lally (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 86 laps
4. Hargrove/Robichon (CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 86 laps
5. Long/Lindsey (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 86 laps
Porsche factory press release
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG