The Porsche GT Team takes up the six-hour race at Watkins Glen (USA) from the fourth grid row. In qualifying for round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Nick Tandy (Great Britain) planted the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR on seventh place. His works driver colleague Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) achieved eighth with the ca. 510 hp No. 912 sister car. Since the start of the season, the Porsche GT Team has claimed three pole positions from four events.
The hunt for top times at Watkins Glen took place under completely different conditions: two practices in sweltering heat on Friday and one session in heavy rain on Saturday morning. Prior to the qualifying, the sky had cleared over the storied racetrack in New York State, with temperatures soaring to around 26-degrees Celsius. In the 15-minute session, the track offered very little grip. Tandy managed to gradually improve during the qualifying, but could not match the top lap times. Bad luck struck Vanthoor, when a puncture signalled an early end to his qualifying attempt in the Porsche 911 RSR.
In the GTD class, Zacharie Robichon (Canada) put the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the customer team Pfaff Motorsports on the sixth grid spot. In the identical 500+hp vehicle campaigned by Black Swan Racing (No. 540), Marco Seefried (Germany) achieved ninth. The American Nicholas Boulle concluded the qualifying in the No. 73 GT3 nine-eleven run by Park Place Motorsports on 14th.
The six-hour race at Watkins Glen takes off on Sunday, 30 June, at 9:45am local time (3:45pm CEST). The race can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on http://www.imsa.com.
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “This is not the result we’d hoped for. The number 912 car was hampered by a puncture. The sister car hardly got any track time due to a technical defect on Friday. For this reason it simply didn’t get any experience on a dry track. I hope that with fast pit stops, good strategies and a zero-error job we’ll be able to work our way up the field in the race.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “We didn’t have the pace of the other manufacturers over one single lap. We barely drove on Friday and hence we couldn’t work on finding a special setup for the qualifying. We should do a little better in the race. Maybe even a podium is possible.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Unfortunately I had to stop my qualifying due to a slow puncture. You’re not allowed to change the tyres during the qualifying. Although we’re starting from the last grid spot – we don’t intend to finish in that position.”
1. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Corvette C7.R, 1:40.799 minutes
2. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, + 0.317 seconds
3. Milner/Gavin (USA/GB), Corvette C7.R, + 0.492 seconds
7. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.755 seconds
8. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.407 seconds
1. Farnbacher/Hindman/Marks (D/USA/USA), Acura NSX GT3, 1:44.975 minutes
2. Legge/Nielsen/Figueiredo (GB/DK/BR), Acura NX GT3, + 0.317 seconds
3. Auberlen/Foley/Machavern (USA/USA/USA), BMW M6 GT3, + 0.528 seconds
6. Kern/Robichon/Hargrove (D/CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.864 seconds
9. Miller/Seefried/Werner (USA/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.122 seconds
14. Long/Lindsey/Boulle (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 3.945 seconds