IMSA: Maiden Win For New RSR
Since its debut Porsche has been waiting patiently for the new RSR’s first victory, and it finally came at round seven of the IMSA SportsCar Championship – North America’s leading sports car race series.
When a 24-strong field of GTLM and GTD class cars took off on the short Lime Rock race track in the rural region of Connecticut, conditions were cloudy and not as hot as the preceding day’s qualifying session, where Porsche claimed pole position with the No911 Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner car. Both Porsches got away cleanly, the Pilet and Werner entry leading followed by the No912 Laurens Vanthoor and Gianmaria Bruni RSR in second spot.
After an unintentional ‘off’ Bruni pitted for an earlier than scheduled first stop to remove grass from his car’s radiator. Still, he managed to hand the RSR over to teammate Vanthoor while still in the lead. Werner pulled into the pits for a service and driver change immediately behind him. Pilet took the wheel of the No911 car, he promptly rejoined the race in front of the No912 machine. Just before the halfway point Pilet led with Vanthoor behind in second. From there onwards the Porsche duo fended off all attacks from their pursuers, so the order remained that way to the flag. The double victory for the new 911 RSR has been long awaited by Porsche, having already failed to convert three pole positions into race wins.
The icing on the cake was a GTD class victory by Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey in the 911 GT3 R campaigned by the Park Place Motorsports customer team. Patrick Pilet commented: “Incredible. We had to wait so long for this victory but now it’s finally happened. The entire team worked brilliantly this weekend. This circuit suits our 911 RSR well and we immediately found a super setup. It was a tough battle over the whole distance. Our car was consistently fast today, but you always have to stay fully focussed. With so many cars out on the track you inevitably swap paint with your rivals. Luckily everything went well. It was a fantastic weekend. We’re now going to enjoy our success and then attack again at Road America in a fortnight.”