IMSA: Second Win For 911 RSR
Porsche clinched victory at Round 4 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the first IMSA race in Mid-Ohio. It is the second victory of the season for the 911 RSR following Porsche’s victory at Sebring, Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber celebrated their first win in the USA as teammates at the most gripping race of the season. The result gives Porsche the lead of the GTLM championship.
Vanthoor and Bamber were fastest in all three practice sessions but it was Briton Nick Tandy in the sister RSR who grabbed a front row grid slot (of the GTLM class) and made the best start off the line. Leading on the first lap, Tandy had Bamber in his slipstream, the New Zealander had gained two positions at the start. After the first pit stops Vanthoor in the No.912 machine took the lead, Tandy’s teammate Pilet slipping back from by the leading group.
The final phase of the race was the most exciting. With 20 minutes to go Vanthoor was running 3.8-seconds ahead of the BMW driven by Sims/de Phillippi, it was chasing down the frontrunner on fresh tyres. With five minutes to the finish the Porsche’s lead was down to 1.393-seconds but Belgian, Vanthoor, soaked-up the pressure, keeping his cool to bring his RSR over the finish line first. The No.911 car of Tandy and Pilet ultimately finished in sixth place.
Laurens Vanthoor said: “We’ve waited for a year and a half for this day. We were often so close to winning, but then something foiled it. Today it was finally our turn. Earl drove a great first stint and conserved as much fuel as possible. After the first pit stop we took the lead. I tried to control the race while keeping a close eye on the tyres. That wasn’t easy, but it worked.”
Nick Tandy commented: “Congratulations to our teammates. It’s great how they won this gripping race. For us, everything ran according to plan initially, we were in the lead until the first pit stop. But then we lost pace and dropped back. Today was a great success for the entire team.”
At IMSA’s Detroit race on 2 June, the GTLM class will not be contested. The next round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship where the Porsche GT Team will compete is the six-hour classic in Watkins Glen in the US state of New York on 1 July.
|1. Vanthoor/Bamber||911 RSR||118 laps|
|2. Sims/de Phillippi||BMW M8||118 laps|
|3.Magnussen/Garcia||Chevrolet Corvette||118 laps|
|4.Tandy/Pilet||911 RSR||118 laps|