New 911 RSR Finishes Second At Daytona
Porsche’s new 911 RSR finished second in the GTLM class at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Speedway, the first round of the 2017 IMSA SportsCar Championship. The new car made its race debut at what proved to be a very tricky event, hampered by wet weather and a multitude of (21) full course yellow flag phases – the longest of which lasted for over two hours.
The mid-engined 510hp RSRs qualified fifth and eighth in the GTLM class yet made a difficult start to the great race, losing time and positions due to six unscheduled tyre changes. The tyre reliability issue was traced to the right front on both cars, and after a solution was found and implemented the 911s began to make progress. Works drivers Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner, and Frédéric Makowiecki were at the wheel of the No911 Porsche, Kévin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Richard Lietz competed in the No912 car.
Eventually both factory Porsches fought their way to the top of their class, and come first light on Sunday morning the prospects for each were looking brighter. That is until an unscheduled pit stop for repairs on the right front suspension put the No912 car out of contention for the podium finish it looked set to record. It would finish the race sixth in class. Further ahead though the No911 car managed to close the gap to the leading Ford, putting on a real fight in the closing stages of the race. It eventually finished behind the Ford GT car, trailing it by just 2.988 seconds – pretty impressive after over 600 laps of hard racing.
Further back Porsche customer team, Alegra Motorsports, won the GTD class with its 911 GT3 R. The car was running the new four-litre, flat-six DFI engine, the team was supported by Porsche factory driver, Michael Christensen. Its win marked Porsche’s 77th class victory at the Florida classic, and the second in 2017 for the latest GT3 R following an overall victory for the model at the 14 Hours of Dubai in January.
In championship terms the Daytona result for Pilet, Werner, and Makowiecki at the season-opening round of the 2017 IMSA SportsCar Championship bodes well for the Porsche GT Team. Its haul of points also counts towards the North American Endurance Cup, a separate championship within the larger framework of the IMSA series for the long distance classics; Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.
Round two of the IMSA SportsCar Championship is the 12 Hours of Sebring, it takes place on 18th March 2017 in Florida.
Race Result – GTLM:
|1.||Bourdais / Hand / Müller||Ford GT||652 laps|
|2.||Pilet / Werner / Makowiecki||911 RSR||652 laps|
|3.||Fisichella / Calado / Vilander||Ferrari 488 GTE||652 laps|
|5.||Estre / Vanthoor / Lietz||911 RSR||652 laps|