The Porsche GT Team holds a promising position at the Daytona 24-hour race (USA). After the first four hours of racing, the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR has taken over the lead of the notoriously competitive GTLM class. The sister car with the starting number 912 has taken up an impressive chase after being hampered by technical problems early on in the race. The new Porsche 911 GT3 R is also running amongst the front pack at the opening round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Nick Tandy had taken up the long-distance race in Florida from pole position in the ca. 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR. The UK racer defended his top spot at the start and continued at the front for long stretches during his two stints before handing the car off to his teammate Patrick Pilet (France) after 100 minutes. For tactical reasons, the Porsche GT Team put in an additional pit stop. This relegated the No. 911 car to third place briefly before reclaiming the lead. Frédéric Makowiecki is leading the field in the dark.
The driver trio sharing the No. 912 car experienced some bad luck at the beginning of the race. After an intense start phase and two exceptional overtaking manoeuvres, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) had to pull into the pits twice to repair a defect on the front splitter mounting. As a result, the vehicle lost four laps to the leader. With a smart strategy and blistering lap times, the gap was halved within two hours. While running in sixth place after four hours, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) has now handed the car off to Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France).
In the GTD category, the new No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Park Place Motorsports customer team holds a promising position. Factory driver Patrick Long (USA), who shares the ca. 500 hp sports car from Weissach with his compatriots Patrick Lindsey and Nicholas Boulle as well as Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), ranks fourth after four hours. The identical cars run by Pfaff Motorsports and Black Swan Racing are currently fighting their way back up the order after early setbacks. The 911 GT3 R of NGT Motorsport has retired early.
Comment on the race action (4/24 hours)
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “Everything is running as planned with the number 911 car. Refuel, change the tyres and the driver – that’s it. So we’re well positioned in the race. Unfortunately, the sister car suffered a setback shortly after the start. But we’re not giving up and we’re pulling out all stops. We’ve managed to slash the gap considerably. If everything goes smoothly, we should be able to get further ahead. And everything’s possible for the No. 912 car, as well.”