IMSA: RSRs Denied Podium in Canada
Round six of the IMSA SportsCar Championship took place in Bowmanville, Canada – the race was characterised by no fewer than six safety car periods. Nick Tandy qualified the No911 911 RSR, which he shared with Patrick Pilet, on pole position setting a new lap record for GTLM vehicles at the track in the process. The No912 sister car of Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber started from the second row in fourth spot. Both Porsches got off the line well with Vanthoor gaining one position to occupy third early on.
In the first hour of racing alone the safety car had to be deployed three times, when the safety car took to the track for the third time the Porsches found themselves leading the race. At the second round of pit stops Tandy handed over to Pilet, Bamber to Vanthoor, but in a pit lane packed with cars both RSRs lost positions. Technical problems for the No912 car cost yet more time, Pilet and Bamber rejoined the race in fourth and eighth – just a few laps later Bamber suffered a puncture and had to return to the pits.
The remainder of the race played witnessed to three more safety car phases, shortly before the flag Pilet and Bamber had fought their way up back up to second and sixth. In a battle for the lead, Pilet was blocked while attempting to lap a slower car, two opponents grabbed their chance to get past the Frenchman resulting in the No911 entry of Pilet and Tandy finishing fourth, just missing out on a podium result, Vanthoor and Bamber came home in sixth.
Nick Tandy commented: “When you have such a well setup car and you start from pole position, fourth place is naturally extremely disappointing. Ford had a lot of luck with the race strategy. Because we were running on tyres with the highest wear, we were virtually unable to attack anymore after the restart.”
After round six of the season, Porsche ranks third in the GTLM category manufacturers’ classifications. Round seven of the IMSA SportsCar Championship takes place on 21 July at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville.