The best Porsche 911 GT3 R takes up the six-hour race at Watkins Glen on Sunday from the first grid row of the GTD class. In the qualifying on the storied racetrack in the US state of New York, Mario Farnbacher (Germany) posted the second quickest time for his team Seattle/Alex Job Racing. With the former Porsche Junior Alex Riberas (Spain) he notched up the first victory for the new customer sports racer from Weissach in the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Laguna Seca. Ian James from Great Britain joins forces with the pair at Watkins Glen as the third driver.
In the GTLM class, the two 911 RSR run by the Porsche North America factory squad start from positions nine and ten. Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France) tackle the U.S. sports car classic with their team colleagues Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) from the fifth grid row. In 2015, Porsche celebrated a double GTLM victory here in the rain.
Qualifying quotes (GTD)
Mario Farnbacher (911 GT3 R #23): “My fastest lap was perfect – until the last corner. Still, we’re very happy with this qualifying. We’ve continued to improve our 911 GT3 R during free practice. Yesterday was not good at all, but today everything suddenly went in the right direction. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough for pole position, but for tomorrow’s race we’ll really go for it.”
Qualifying quotes (GTLM)
Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “This is not what we imagined. The gap to the front is quite big. We have a bit to do today to get our cars perfectly setup for tomorrow’s race. Six hours are long. We also have to reflect on what we’ve excelled at so far this season: a zero-failure job in the race, fast pit stops and a clever strategy. Tomorrow we can then get the most out of what is available for us on this very special racetrack.
Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “Despite everything, that was a perfect qualifying. We drove the speed that we could on this track. The important thing is that we turned a lot of laps today with very consistent times. That’s a good basis for a six-hour race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR #912): “At first glance the result is not exactly encouraging but we have a car with which we can clock consistently fast lap times. That’s not unimportant for such a long race. Still, it’ll be difficult to get too much further ahead. But as a team we always do our best.”
1. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, 1:41.301 minutes
2. Auberlen/Werner (USA/D), BMW M6, + 0.349 seconds
3. Edwards/Luhr (USA/D), BMW M6, + 0.604
9. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 2.230
10. Bamber/Makowiecki (NZ/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 2.602
1. Liddell/Davis (GB/USA), Audi R8, 1:45.407 minutes
2. Riberas/Farnbacher/James (E/D/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.042 seconds
3. Aschenbach/Bell (USA/USA), Audi R8, + 0.187
6. Bergmeister/Lindsey/MacMurry (D/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.054