IMSA: 911 RSR Clinches Podium At Long Beach
At the Grand Prix of Long Beach the new 911 RSR claimed its second podium out of three 2017 IMSA SportsCar Championship races. Starting on the second row of the grid, the RSR of Laurens Vanthoor and Kévin Estre capitalised on a first lap incident between two cars ahead on lap one, moving into the lead of the race. In the hot seat Vanthoor ran a long first stint and subsequently held onto the top spot until the first round of pit stops. With the car handed over to Estre, it emerged from pit lane in fifth position.
The second RSR, No.911, started from the back of the grid following a crash during second practice, during the first phase of the race Patrick Pilet moved through the pack to eighth position come the first stops. Taking over from him, Dirk Werner gained another four places before a drive-through penalty for making contact with another car halted its progress.
In the final laps of a race that saw the safety car deployed five times, Estre advanced to fourth place, making it up to third just before the finish line in a last corner melee that cost the leading car victory, it did however secure Porsche’s second IMSA series podium of 2017. The Pilet/Werner car came home in sixth place. Patrick Pilet said, “That was a dramatic race with a lot of incidents. There were a lot of collisions and drive-through penalties. And then the front-runner loses the race in the final lap because several cars didn’t make it around the bend. That’s pretty crazy.”
Kévin Estre in the No912 RSR, said: “It was a difficult race. We actually did everything right with our strategy. We were leading, but then lost places due to the many safety car phases. In my first lap I was hit quite hard in the rear. After that I had hardly any downforce, but I kept fighting and was rewarded in the bizarre final lap.”
In the GTD class, Jörg Bergmeister racing for Park Place Motorsports finished in fourth place in class as the best of the Porsche customer teams. Wolf Henzler took the flag in fifth for the TRG squad. Round four of the IMSA SportsCar Championship takes place on 6th May at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
|1. Gavin/Milner||Chevrolet Corvette||63 laps|
|2. Westbrook/Briscoe||Ford GT||63 laps|
|3. Estre/Vanthoor||911 RSR||63 laps|
|6. Pilet/Werner||911 RSR||62 laps|
GTLM – Drivers
|1. Müller/Hand||Ford GT||91 points|
|2. Garcia/Magnussen||Chevrolet Corvette||89 points|
|3. Westbrook/Briscoe||Ford GT||82 points|
|4. Pilet/Werner||911 RSR||82 points|
|7. Estre/Vanthoor||911 RSR||78 points|
|1. Ford||99 points|
|2. Chevrolet||98 points|
|3. Porsche||88 points|
|1. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66||91 points|
|2. Corvette Racing #3||89 points|
|3. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #67||82 points|
|4. Porsche GT Team #911||82 points|
|7. Porsche GT Team #912||78 points|