The new Porsche 911 GT3 R takes up round four of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca on Sunday from pole position in the GTD class. Former Porsche Junior Alex Riberas (Spain) set the fastest time in qualifying on the challenging circuit in the hills near the Californian coastal city of Monterey. For the race, Riberas shares driving duties with Mario Farnbacher (Germany) in the customer sports racer fielded by the Seattle/Alex Job Racing squad. Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (USA) planted the 911 GT3 R of Park Place Motorsports on the third grid spot.
In the GTLM class, outright Le Mans winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) take up the race in the Porsche 911 RSR from the fourth grid row after scoring eighth in qualifying. With the sister 911 RSR campaigned by Porsche North America, defending IMSA GT champion Patrick Pilet (France) and overall Le Mans winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain) set the ninth quickest time. A fortnight ago on the city circuit of Long Beach, the pair scored their first win of the season.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “After our problems during free practice, it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to achieve a better qualifying position with the 911 RSR. We’ll now concentrate fully on our race preparation, but this will definitely be a very difficult one. In contrast, however, the GTD class result is extremely pleasing. The teams there worked very well and they can tackle the race with great confidence.”
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Leader GT Works Motorsport: “The major tasks that we faced in free practice are still not entirely mastered. But with a view to the race, we’ve made several small steps in qualifying.”
Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “It certainly won’t be easy to take up the race from eighth. But we have a reliable car and an excellent team backing us. Tomorrow we want to earn as many points as possible towards the championship.”
Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “After our win at Long Beach, ninth in qualifying is not at all what we had expected this weekend. But Patrick and I will do everything we can during the two-hour race tomorrow.”
Alex Riberas (911 GT3 R #23): “That was my first ever qualifying in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, and then to start from pole is simply fantastic. The team put a perfectly-prepared 911 GT3 R on the track for me and I turned a super lap. Of course, we’re now hoping we can perform as strongly in the race tomorrow.”
In Laguna Seca, four classes of the IMSA SportsCar Championship contest two races: The GTLM and P classes start on Sunday at 11.15 hrs local time (20.15 hrs CEST). The GTD and PC classes take off at 15.45 hrs local time. All races run over two hours and will be broadcast live outside the USA on http://www.imsa.com.
1. Pier Guidi/Serra (I/BRA), Ferrari 488 GTE, 1:22.867 minutes
2. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, + 0.079 seconds
3. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, + 0.248
4. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA) Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.518
5. Fisichella/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 0.532
6. Garcia/Magnussen (E/DK) Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.583
7. Auberlen/Werner (USA/D), BMW M6, + 0.704
8. Bamber/Makowiecki (NZ/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.096
9. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.182
10. Edwards/Luhr (USA/D), BMW M6, + 1.515
1. Riberas/Farnbacher (E/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 1:25.775 minutes
2. Nielsen/Balzan (DK/I), Ferrari 488 GT3, + 0.722 seconds
3. Lindsey/Bergmeister (USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.168
4. DeGeorge/Sbirazzuoli (USA/MC), Lamborghini GT3, + 1.409
5. Davis/Davison (USA/AUS), Aston Martin GT3, + 1.498
6. Liddell/Davis (GB/USA), Audi R8, + 1.502
Triple victory for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
The IMSA SportsCar Challenge, which was contested at Laguna Seca on Saturday prior to the qualifying of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, concluded with a triple victory for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Cameron Cassels/Trent Hindman (CAN/USA) clinched victory ahead of Americans Daniel Burkett/Marc Miller and Tyler McQuarrie/Till Bechtolsheimer.