Park Place Motorsports tested at Watkins Glen International Raceway last week in preparation for the upcoming IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. While the team is running both a Porsche 911 GT3 R and a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup this year, only the No. 73 911 GT3 R made the trip up to The Glen. This gave driver of the No. 71 GT3 Cup, David Kolkmann, a chance to not only drive the 911 GT3 R, but to drive with Jörg Bergmeister.
“It was the first time in the Porsche 911 GT3 R for me,” Kolkmann said. “It was absolutely amazing. It was also the first time in a GT car with some downforce for me. I improved in every session and felt more and more comfortable in the car, especially with the coaching from Jörg. After thinking about it on the way back to Germany, I already have a lot of ideas to go even quicker.”
“The track was amazing. I think it was the highest grip level I’ve ever felt on a racetrack. The barriers are very close to the track in the first and last sector so you have to avoid mistakes and be very concentrated. It had a lot of fast corners, uphill’s and downhills, so you need to have confidence in the car. Overall it had a little bit of everything.”
Bergmeister shared Kolkmann’s enthusiasm to get back on track following a nearly three-month hiatus from IMSA competition. While the No. 71 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama entry has had four races since Sebring, the No. 73 Tequila Patròn North America Endurance Championship entry has had none. Bergmeister has only driven the Porsche 911 RSR since Sebring International Raceway in March. His most recent race was with Team Principal Patrick Lindsey at the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francochamps in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“It was nice to get back into the GT3 R, especially at Watkins Glen,” Bergmeister said. “We had a very productive test. I think we made quite a lot of progress. On the team side, it was quite a bit beneficial that the team is also doing GT3 Cup Challenge because even though it was a long break between running the R everyone was ready and got straight back to work.”
Over the course of two days, Park Place Motorsports experienced tire-blistering heat and rain showers. Watkins Glen seemingly always provides erratic weather for race weekends making the added test of elements a welcome effect. The crew and drivers enjoyed the extra time to step back and fine-tune details they otherwise would not have had time for if not for the non-sanctioned test.
“This was the first time I have been able to test on the track before a race weekend,” Kolkmann said. “It will be interesting to see how this affects the race weekend. It obviously will be a different line in the GT3 cup car, but I think I can easily adjust in the first few laps. I can’t wait to race on this track. I have a very good feeling for the race weekend.”
Round 7 and Round 8 of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama takes place over the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen weekend, June 28-30. The tension is high for Kolkmann as he currently sits third in the championship, 19 points behind the points leader. The weekend features two 45-minute sprint races on the historic 3.4-mile track. For a detailed schedule visit porschegt3cupusa.imsa.com.
The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports entry of Patrick Lindsey and Jörg Bergmeister will rejoin the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship June 29 – July 1 for Round 3 of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship; The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Source. Park Place Motorsports