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IMSA Podium for Porsche 911 GT3 R at the Virginia International Raceway

Wright Motorsports celebrated their second podium result of this year‘s IMSA SportsCar Championship on Sunday with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark). After winning the Road America race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R, they followed up with another top result, scoring second in the GTD class at the Virginia International Raceway. At round nine of the GTLM class, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) secured fifth place in the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 912. A technical defect after about an hour put an early end to the race for the sister car shared by Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France). 

Although Pilet took up the race from second on the grid for the Porsche GT Team, the first grid row did not bring any luck for the number 911 vehicle. After handing the car off to Tandy, the 33-year-old had to park the car trackside with damage to the drive train while running in the lead. The 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR driven by Bamber and Vanthoor received a drive-through penalty after an incident in the first lap. In the race over two hours and 40 minutes, the pair doggedly worked their way forward from the back of the field. At times, Vanthoor looked good for a podium result on the 5.263-kilometre circuit, and ultimately saw the flag in fifth place after 88 laps. This puts Porsche on third place in the manufacturers’ classification.

The tenth and penultimate round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested from 7 to 9 September at Laguna Seca in the US state of California.

Comments on the race

Steffen Höllwarth (Porsche Program Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship): “That was a day with more lows than highs. Our number 912 car made contact with another vehicle in the first lap, which resulted in damage to a rim and we had to pull out prematurely. On top of that, there was a drive-through penalty. In the end we finished fifth. We implemented an aggressive strategy to put the 911 amongst the frontrunners. After about an hour there was a technical defect in drive train. But it wasn’t all negative: Our strategies were great, and the team put in perfect pit stops. We’ll be back in full force at Laguna Seca.”

Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “I gained a position right at the start, but then someone hit the rear of my car. We were handed a drive-through penalty and that threw us to the back of the field. Laurens then had to deal with the after-effects of the collision and couldn’t do better than fifth place.”

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Everything was okay at the start of my stint. Earl, however, was nudged in the first lap and I’m sure that’s what caused the damage. After driving for a while, the diffuser played up more and more. That was disastrous, of course, because the downforce at the rear axle got increasingly less. In the end the car was virtually undriveable and I’m pleased that we actually made it to the finish.”

Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “The engineers put a well set-up car on the track for us today. Everything came together perfectly. I drove economically to conserve fuel so that we could stay out longer. Our strategy worked perfectly, as well, because we were running at the front when we had to retire unfortunately.”

Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “Obviously we’re very disappointed that we couldn’t score any points. We could have actually won, because the team implemented a terrific strategy that propelled us to the front. While I was in the lead I suddenly noticed that something was wrong and I lost power. And that was the end.”

Patrick Long (Porsche 911 GT3 R #58): “At my last pit stop I was lying eighth. I asked my team who else needed to come into the pits before us. They said: nobody. I pulled my seatbelt even tighter than usual and went for it. I’m delighted with second place. We’ve had a somewhat bumpy start to the season, but now we’re on a roll.”

Christina Nielsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #58): “I think this circuit is the most demanding on the calendar, so second place is a very good result. Had I been a bit better at the pit stop we might have been able to fight for victory. Still, I’m very satisfied with this result.”

Race result
GTLM class
1. Sims/De Phillippi (GB/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 88 laps
2. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 88 laps
3. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 88 laps
4. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, 88 laps
5. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, 88 laps
6. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 88 laps
DNF Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, 42 laps
DNF Tandy/Pilet (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 40 laps

GTD class
1. Marcelli/Baumann (CAN/A), Lexus RC F GT3, 86 laps
2. Long/Nielsen (USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 86 laps
3. Legge/Farnbacher (GB/D), Acura NSX GT3, 86 laps
4. MacNeil/Jeannette (USA/USA), Ferrari 488 GT3, 86 laps
5. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, 86 laps
6. Sellers/Snow (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 86 laps
7. Potter/Lally (USA/USA), Audi R8 LMS GT3, 86 laps
8. Hawksworth/Heinemeier Hansson (GB/DK), Lexus RC F GT3, 86 laps
9. Marks/Aschenbach (USA/USA), Acura NSX GT3, 86 laps
10. Foley/Auberlen (USA/USA), BMW M6 GT3, 85 laps

Source. Porsche

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