From start to finish, Weissach’s GT drivers ran like a clock in their first 24-hour race. No technical problems hindered the debut, in which the two new 911 RSRs took turns at the head for most of the distance. In an exciting first-class final phase, after 786 laps, Porsche was just seconds away from claiming another victory in the 24-hour classic in the United States, after 2014.
The two Porsche 911 RSR had already caught the eye, qualifying at the first two points of the grid in the GTLM class. In the race, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) obeyed this optimal performance, to secure second place in vehicle number 912, with the 911th broile driven by the trio of Frédéric drivers Makowiecki (France), Nick Tandy (Britain) and Matt Campbell (Australia) finishing third. With impeccable periods, a perfect strategy and quick pit stops,both crews set the pace in the lead.
In the last few hours, things got dramatic at the International Daytona Speedway. In the bright sunlight, spectators enjoyed a spectacular finish with overtaking maneuvers and changes to the front. The six Porsche Works drivers and their team were rewarded with a double podium after a successful weekend, which made perfect the excellent debut of the new Porsche 911 RSR.
Porsche customer teams also performed well in the 24 hours of Daytona. Wright Motorsports with American drivers Patrick Long, Ryan Hardwick, Anthony Imperato, and Austrian Klaus Bachler regained many positions in the second half of the race, and managed to finish fourth in the GTD class despite suffering minor damage at the bottom of their Number 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Behind them, Black Swan Racing also carried out an energetic chase across the ground to take fifth place with drivers Sven Muller (Germany), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Timothy Pappas (USA) and Trenton Estep (USA) behind the wheel of number 54.
The polesitters of the Pfaff Motorsports team were unlucky. After leading over a long stretch, a defect in the driveshaft relegated the number 9 car shared by Patrick Pilet (France), Dennis Olsen (Norway), Zach Robichon (Canada) and Lars Kern (Germany) well below the track, with the quartet finally concluding The 24-hour Daytona race at 13th position.
Pascal Zurlinden (Director of GT Works Motorsport): “It was a perfect debut for the new Porsche 911 RSR. In the first race in the United States and a 24-hours one, we didn’t have a single technical problem and ended up on the podium with both cars.
From team effort to strategy plus pitlane work, everything worked smoothly and flawlessly. In the next race at Sebring, we want to defend our victory last year.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR 911): “It’s not very common to win a 24-hour race without making mistakes. It was something extraordinary and a great start to the season for the new 911 RSR. Even though today was not enough, we are more determined to do everything we can and climb to the top of the podium again in the future.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 RSR 911): “It was a clean race we can be proud of. The car worked well from start to finish. Our pit team did an amazing job. There’s nothing to improve. Our pace was good too, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to win.”
Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 RSR 911): “We worked very hard from the start, stayed among the favorites for 24 hours and led for a long time.
Starting the season on the podium with the two new RSRs is a fantastic start to the 2002 competitions.”
Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 RSR 912): “We fought to the end and tried everything. Our car ran excellently. However, one of our rivals went a little faster. I’m still very proud because the team worked brilliantly together and after 24 hours we’re on the podium with the two new Porsche 911 RSRs.”
Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 RSR 912): “After this race, I have mixed feelings about whether or not I should be happy with second place.
We drove a perfect race and kept the pace steady with the support of a highly motivated team. But the competition was a little better and you have to recognize it.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR 912): “We had our eye on winning, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I can’t explain what we did wrong. The new RSR worked perfectly, the team and the drivers did a great job. I just have to come back next year to finally try to win at Daytona after my hits at Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps and the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring.”
1.Krohn/Edwards/Mostert/Farfus (FIN/USA/AUS/BR), BMW M8 GTE, 786 laps
2.Vanthoor/Bamber/Jaminet (B/NZ/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 786 laps
3.Tandy/Makowiecki/Campbell (GB/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 786 laps
4.Garcia/Taylor/Catsburg (E/USA/NL), Corvette C8. R, 785 laps
5.From Phillippi/Eng/Spengler/Herta (USA/A/CDN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 772 laps Race result
1.Snow/Sellers/Lewis/Caldarelli (USA/USA/USA/GB), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 765 laps
2.Potter/Lally/Pumpelly/Mapelli (USA/USA/USA/I), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 765 laps
3.Bortolotti/Ineichen/Morad/Vanthoor (I/CH/CDN/B), Audi R8 LMS GT3, 764 laps
4.Hardwick/Long/Imperato/Bachler (USA/USA/USA/A) Porsche 911 GT3 R, 764 laps
5.Pappas/Bleekemolen/Estep/Maller (USA/NL/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 763 laps
6.Olsen/Robichon/Kern/Pilet (N/CDN/D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 716 laps
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