IMSA: Podium for RSR at Watkins Glen
Two 911 RSRs were part of a 42-strong grid for round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen. The Porsches were driven by Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy in the No911 car, Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber in the No912 – the two 911s started the race from the third row. However, a combination of effective pit stop strategy and slick overtaking moves saw the pair occupying first and second spots in the GTLM category by the midpoint of the race.
A safety car was deployed shortly after half distance, both Porsche entries were about to enter the pits to refuel and change tyres when the pit lane was closed. Several rivals behind managed to complete their stops, jumping the RSRs in the process, this sent the 911s to P4 and P5. In the last hour of racing, Vanthoor was again hampered by a safety car phase and had to relinquish the fight for a podium finish. The No911 sister car crossed the line in third position, one place ahead of the Vanthoor/Bamber car in fourth.
Nick Tandy said: “I’m pleased that we finished on the podium. Our car was fast and reliable. The caution phases didn’t go so well for us, but that’s typical for sports car races. When we were leading I could really go flat out. Overtaking, however, was extremely difficult.”
The Porsche GT Team has notched up two wins so far this season at Sebring and in Mid-Ohio, after five championship rounds the team ranks second in the manufacturer’s classification. In addition, Porsche gained important points towards the North American Endurance Cup, after three of four races it sits in second place in that battle too. Only the long-distance classics count towards the North American Endurance Cup; the 24 Hours at Daytona, 12 Hours at Sebring, 6 Hours at Watkins Glen as well as Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Round six of the IMSA SportsCar Championship takes place on 8 July at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Canada.