Porsche On GTD Pole For Saturday IMSA Race At Circuit of The Americas, GTLM Class Battle Tight

The Daytona-winning Alegra Motorsports car will start Saturday's race from first place in Austin

2017 IMSA - Circuit of The Americas
Porsche / Bob Chapman

Porsche in GT Daytona - 

Porsche's 911 GT3R racer has again proven that it is a force to be reckoned with, and can compete with the best FIA GT3-spec cars in the world. This morning at Austin, Texas' gem of a race track, Circuit of the Americas, Porsche Young Professional driver Mathieu Jaminet set the fastest lap of qualifying for Alegra Motorsports with a 2:06.531 lap. His lap in this intensely competitive class was just nine one-hundredths of a second ahead of Jack Hawksworth's Lexus. Jaminet will share the car with Daniel Morad. Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey will start for Park Place in 5th, the Parker Chase/Harry Gottsacker TRG car will start 15th, and Jon Bennett qualified the car he shares with Colin Braun in 17th in class. 

Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, 911 GT3 R #28: 

“I know the Circuit of the Americas from the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, however the fact that I secured pole position here with the 911 GT3 R still came as a surprise. I hope we can perform as strongly in the race.”

Porsche in GT Le Mans - 

Porsche

Patrick Pilet laid down a seriously quick lap time in qualifying on Friday around lunch time at Circuit of the Americas. Sadly, because this class is intensely competitive, his time was only good enough to put the car on 7th in class, just a quarter of a second off of the pole position. The 510 horsepower mid-engine 911 racer has been very close on pace in each round this season, always near the front. As the Fords, Ferraris, Corvettes, and BMWs in their class are all extremely well prepared cars, this is a very competitive class, making qualifying all that much more intense.  

Ultimately, Porsche could do no better than 7th and 9th in class qualifying. The team has a very good handle on the 5.513-kilometre Grand Prix racetrack, and should race well here tomorrow in the heat of the afternoon Texas sun. Pilet will share his #911 Porsche 911 RSR with Dirk Werner. The #912 car, starting in 9th, is shared between Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor and long-time factory ace Wolf Henzler, stepping aboard to replace Kevin Estre for the weekend. Estre will be racing his 911 RSR in GTE Pro at the 6 hours of Spa in Belgium this weekend. The entire field of GTLM category competitors ended qualifying within one second from first to last.

Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: 

“We’re not satisfied with positions seven and nine. We didn’t expect to be on pole, but we’d secretly set our hopes on the second grid row. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to pull together the whole package into one lap. Nevertheless, we won’t be sticking our heads in the sand. In tomorrow’s race we have two hours and forty minutes to make up positions. The key to success will definitely be tyre management, and we’ve already worked very well in this direction during practice.”

Patrick Pilet, Driver, 911 RSR #911: 

“The result is not exactly what we’d hope for. The team worked well and tried everything, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for a better grid position. Still, I’m feeling confident that we’ll perform better in the race and be able to work our way up the field.”

Wolf Henzler, Driver, 911 RSR #912: 

“It was a difficult qualifying for us. We’d expected we would land further up the grid. I was driving a much better lap, the tyres were great – but then I botched a corner and lost several tenths. Anyway, all of our preparations were with an eye on the race, so I’m sure that things will go better for us over the distance.”