The Porsche GT Team tackles round six of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Bowmanville (Canada) from the fourth grid position. Patrick Pilet secured a spot on the second grid row in qualifying at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Frenchman and his works driver teammate Nick Tandy (Great Britain) currently rank first in the drivers’ classification with the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) posted the fifth quickest qualifying time in the ca. 510 hp sister car (No. 912), which he shares with Earl Bamber (New Zealand).
In warm, sunny conditions, the two Porsche 911 RSR waited for several minutes at the start of the session for the track conditions to improve and to get the benefit of more grip. Midway through the qualifying, Pilet and Vanthoor swapped places at the front of the class, but were ultimately nudged from the top of the timesheets by several rivals. A final attempt proved unsuccessful, as the tyres no longer offered optimal grip after many laps.
In the GTD class, the Canadian Porsche customer team Pfaff Motorsports takes up its home race from the third grid row. Zacharie Robichon (Canada), who shares the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R with his compatriot Scott Hargrove, landed on fifth place. In the identical 500+hp GT3 vehicle from Weissach, Patrick Lindsey turned the seventh fastest lap. The American is joined in the No. 73 car fielded by Park Place Motorsports by Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA).
The race over 2:40 hours in Bowmanville starts on Sunday, 7 July, at 1:05pm local time (7:05pm CEST) and is broadcast live outside the USA and Canada on http://www.imsa.com.
Steffen Höllwarth (Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship): “The qualifying result is satisfactory. We were aware that we wouldn’t have the best car over a single lap. Our pace over the distance makes us confident for the race. Our long-runs in practice were strong. With optimal teamwork in the pits, perfect strategies and strong driving performances we want to get ahead in the race. This is what yielded us victory last week at Watkins Glen. We’d like to do it again at Mosport.”
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “We have to wait and see how the situation plays out in the race. I think we’ve opted for the better tyres for the start, while some of our competitors focussed completely on the qualifying. Our car was not ideally setup for the qualifying, but the Porsche 911 RSR is very strong on the long runs. We’ll have good chances in the race.”
Lauren Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “I’m not totally satisfied because more was possible. Unfortunately I was hampered by a yellow flag during my flying lap. That cost us a spot further up the grid. We’ll do better in the race. Our Porsche 911 RSR is strong over the distance. What’s more, we’ll again make the most our expertise in strong teamwork, strategy and driving skill.”
Zacharie Robichon (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “Fifth is a good starting position for us. I think I got the most out of our Porsche 911 RSR in the qualifying. The car will do better in the race than in qualifying. With a flawless drive and clever tactics, anything is possible for us at our home race.”
1. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 1:13.086 minutes
2. Blomqvist/De Philippi (GB/USA), BMW 8 GTE, + 0.462 seconds
3. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, + 0.718 seconds
4. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.743 seconds
5. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.964 seconds
1. Auberlen/Foley (USA/USA), BMW M6 GT3, 1:16.172 minutes
2. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, + 0.081 seconds
3. Farnbacher/Hindman (D/USA), Acura NSX GT3, + 0.181 seconds
5. Robichon/Hargrove (CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.787 seconds
7. Long/Lindsey (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.901 seconds