Porsche GT Team face a pursuit – Porsche Young Professional on pole at COTA

The qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown in Austin turned into one of the most fiercely-contested of this season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship. On the Circuit of the Americas, the 5.513-kilometre Grand Prix racetrack near the capital of Texas, only 25-hundredths-of-a-second separated Frenchman Patrick Pilet’s 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR from pole position. Facing extremely tough competition in the GTLM class, his fastest lap time, however, was only enough to secure the seventh grid spot. He shares his #911 Porsche 911 RSR for Saturday’s race with Dirk Werner (Germany). Wolf Henzler (Germany), who steps in as a teammate to Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) to replace Kévin Estre (France) while he contests the WEC round in Spa, clocked the ninth quickest time in the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team. All competitors in the GTLM category ended up within one second.

Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) celebrated a sensational start in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Contesting the GTD class in the 911 GT3 R of Alegra Motorsports, he clinched pole position. The Porsche customer team had kicked off the season with the 500+hp racing car from Weissach with a class victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Qualifying quotes
Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “We’re not satisfied with positions seven and nine. We didn’t expect to be on pole, but we’d secretly set our hopes on the second grid row. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to pull together the whole package into one lap. Nevertheless, we won’t be sticking our heads in the sand. In tomorrow’s race we have two hours and forty minutes to make up positions. The key to success will definitely be tyre management, and we’ve already worked very well in this direction during practice.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “The result is not exactly what we’d hope for. The team worked well and tried everything, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for a better grid position. Still, I’m feeling confident that we’ll perform better in the race and be able to work our way up the field.”
Wolf Henzler (911 RSR #912): “It was a difficult qualifying for us. We’d expected we would land further up the grid. I was driving a much better lap, the tyres were great – but then I botched a corner and lost several tenths. Anyway, all of our preparations were with an eye on the race, so I’m sure that things will go better for us over the distance.”
Mathieu Jaminet (911 GT3 R #28): “I know the Circuit of the Americas from the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, however the fact that I secured pole position here with the 911 GT3 R still came as a surprise. I hope we can perform as strongly in the race.”

The event starts on Saturday, 6 May, at 13.35 hrs local time (20.35 hrs CEST) and runs over 2:40 hours. Outside the USA, the race can be seen live on http://www.imsa.com

Qualifying result
GTLM class
1. Edwards/Tomczyk (USA/D), BMW M6, 2:02.833 minutes
2. Fisichella/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari 488, + 0.032 seconds
3. Auberlen/Sims (USA/GB), BMW M6, + 0.157
4. Westbrook/Briscoe (GB/USA), Ford GT, + 0.181
5. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, + 0.190
6. Garcia/Magnussen (E/DK), Corvette, + 0.197
7. Pilet/Werner (F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.252
8. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Corvette, + 0.761
9. Henzler/Vanthoor (D/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.926

GTD class
1. Morad/Jaminet (USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 2:06.531 minutes
2. Alon/Haksworth (USA/GB), Lexus GT3, + 0.092 seconds
3. Sellers/Snow (USA/USA), Lamborghini GT3, + 1.193
5. Bergmeister/Lindsey (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.247
15. Chase/Gottsacker (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 2.764
17. Bennett/Braun (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 3.690

Source. Porsche

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