IMSA: RSR Finishes Sixth At Watkins Glen
Right up until shortly before the end of the six-hour race in Watkins Glen, the battle for victory in the GTLM class was still raging. The No912 911 RSR was well-positioned in third place, just seconds behind the leader. However, the result of race five of this season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship was then turned on its head. Rather than being able to mount a final attack on the leaders, Gianmaria Bruni was forced to return to the pits due to a puncture. The Italian had looked like crowning his debut as a Porsche works driver with a podium, but he and team-mate Laurens Vanthoor ultimately had to settle for sixth place.
In the second RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, the No911 car, Partick Pilet and Dirk Werner finished seventh. The fact that seven of the eight cars led the race on at least one occasion bears testimony to just how fiercely contested the GTLM class was once again in Watkins Glen.
The #911 car was well placed for much of the race. After the first hour of racing, Patrick Pilet, who started from fifth, had climbed into third place. A few laps later, he was running second. He handed the RSR over to his team-mate Werner in second place. The German was still second at the halfway point of what proved to be an exciting and dramatic sports car classic, in which numerous yellow phases repeatedly caused the field to bunch together. But then he spun off the track and damaged his rear-right tyre. Werner did manage to regain control of the RSR in the run-off zone and was able to return to the pit lane. He did, however, lose a lap, and with it any hope of a top result.
Vanthoor took responsibility for the start in the second RSR, before making way for Bruni during the first pit stop after 34 laps. The new Porsche works driver completed his first race laps in the RSR and was able to climb into fourth place. Vanthoor then enjoyed even more success: the Belgian took the lead for the first time after four hours. The scheduled pit stop just a few laps later did initially drop the No912 car back into fourth place, but Bruni soon got the car back on course for a podium, moving into third place in his second stint. With just two laps remaining, the leading trio was separated by a matter of seconds. However, before he was able to try his luck and mount an attack, the Italian’s hopes were dashed by a damaged tyre.
Round six of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 9 July in Canada.
|1.Auberlen/Sims||BMW M6||192 laps|
|2. Westbrook/Briscoe||Ford GT||192 laps|
|3.Garcia/Magnussen||Chevrolet Corvette||192 laps|
|6.Vanthoor/Bruni||911 RSR||192 laps|
|8.Pilet/Werner||911 RSR||191 laps|
GTLM – Drivers
|1. Garcia/Magnussen||Chevrolet Corvette||154 points|
|2. Müller/Hand||Ford GT||145 points|
|3.Auberlen, Sims||BMW M6||110 points|
|5. Pilet, Werner||911 RSR||134 points|
|7. Vanthoor||911 RSR||126 points|
|1. Chevrolet||163 points|
|2. Ford||159 points|
|3. BMW||149 points|
|4. Porsche||146 points|
|1. Corvette Racing #3||154 points|
|2. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #66||146 points|
|3. BMW Team RLL #25||144 points|
|5. Porsche GT Team #911||134 points|
|7. Porsche GT Team #912||126 points|