IMSA: RSR Scores Podium At Laguna Seca
Porsche secured its fourth consecutive podium in the fourth round of the 2016 IMSA SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca. From the first four races of the season, Porsche has chalked-up one victory and three further podiums, putting the Works team in a strong position ahead of the upcoming IMSA series summer break.
Both 911 RSR entries of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy (#911), and Frédéric Makowiecki and Earl Bamber (#912) suffered a difficult qualifying session, meaning they started the two-hour race in California from the back of the field. But, following an initial safety car period, both cars made quick pit stops gaining them track position. Pilet gained four places emerging from the pits in third, Makowiecki was directly behind him in fourth.
With one hour of racing dispatched, Pilet had moved the No911 car into second place before being hit from behind by one of the Corvettes, dropping the RSR down the order. Meanwhile, Makowiecki made good use of his strategy, making a clean second pit stop, before overtaking a Corvette and a Ferrari in the closing stages of the race to secure third spot in the No912 car. Defending IMSA GT champion, Pilet, and Le Mans winner, Tandy, finished in ninth spot.
Nick Tandy said after the race: “Even though we weren’t able to turn super fast lap times in qualifying, the 911 RSR performed well over the distance on this circuit. Congratulations to our teammates on the podium. That was a truly great performance.” Earl Bamber commented: “When I think about the problems we had in free practice and qualifying, this podium feels like a victory. The team did an awesome job over the whole weekend and the pit stops were simply perfect. This is a fantastic result for us.”
The result sees Porsche sitting second in the manufacturer’s points standings, just three points behind leaders Chevrolet. Bamber and Makowiecki currently sit second in the GTLM class driver’s standings, too, 12 points adrift of the lead, Pilet and Tandy occupy eighth overall. Before round five of the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Watkins Glen on 3rd July, Porsche’s Works team will contest the Nürburgring and Le Mans 24-hour races, for which preparations are already underway.
|1. Briscoe/Westbrook||Ford GT||79 laps|
|2. Pier Guidi/Serra||Ferrari 488 GTE||79 laps|
|3. Bamber/Makowiecki||Porsche 911 RSR||78 laps|
|8. Pilet/Tandy||Porsche 911 RSR||78 laps|
GTLM – Drivers
|1. Millner, Gavin||Corvette||130 points|
|2. Bamber, Makowiecki||Porsche||118 points|
|3. Briscoe/Westbrook||Ford GT||115 points|
|8. Pilet, Tandy||Porsche||106 points|
|1. Chevrolet||130 points|
|2. Porsche||127 points|
|3. Ferrari||120 points|
|1. Corvette Racing #4||130 points|
|2. Porsche North America #912||118 points|
|3. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing #67||115 points|
|8. Porsche North America #911||106 points|