IMSA: Porsche Gets Podium at Laguna Seca
Porsche’s GT Team visited the twisting Laguna Seca circuit in California for the penultimate race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship season. The two 911 RSRs qualified sixth and seventh for the race, the No911 entry of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet starting ahead of the No912 sister car of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor. Round ten took place over two hours and 40 minutes, but the race was characterised by various caution periods.
The very start of the race saw a safety car period, Bamber in the No912 car was called into the pits for an early and strategic stop which ultimately served to place him into the overall lead shortly before halftime. Tandy in the sister car was not so lucky, he was mixed-up in the chaos of the start, unable to avoid a damaged prototype – a head-on collision put the 911 RSR out of the race. Vanthoor later took over the No912 car for a challenging stint of one hour and 17 minutes on one tank of fuel and a single set of tyres. The Belgian driver put in a focussed and measured drive to bring the car home in second place overall just 2.4-seconds off the race’s eventual winner.
After the race Nick Tandy commented: “It’s bitter to retire before the race even got underway. A prototype had spun in front of me and that triggered a chain reaction. I had no chance to avoid it. I hope our luck returns at the season finale at Road Atlanta.”
Laurens Vanthoor said: “Based on the fact that we expected a difficult race, this result is really good. Of course, it’s a shame that it wasn’t quite enough for first place. It was incredibly tough. We came into the pits early and therefore had to be extremely conservative with our fuel the whole time. Under such circumstances, it’s difficult to keep the tyres at the optimal temperature. Such things don’t make the job easier. I did everything I could and finished in second place. We couldn’t do any better than that today.”
Porsche works drivers and racing legends return to Laguna Seca for Porsche Rennsport Reunion between 27 to 30 September – the world’s largest event for Porsche enthusiasts. The 2018 IMSA SportsCar Championship season concludes at Road Atlanta for “Petit Le Mans” on 13th October. Porsche sits third in the GTLM category manufacturer standings with 274 points, Chevrolet is second on 283 points, Ford leads with 295 points. In the driver’s standings Bamber and Vanthoor sit fifth, Tamdy and Pilet seventh.