IMSA GTLM at CTMP is a bit of alphabet soup, but in the case of Porsche it means success for the program, and hopefully a turn around on their horrific luck this season in US sports car competition. The mid-engine car has proven its mettle by running up at the front of each and every race so far this season, but with the inopportune punctures, spins, contact, and the like keeping them out of contention for the actual victory. Thus far, they've been starting the race from a few positions back on the grid, but this weekend at Mosport, the team will be starting first and third in class, and hopefully will be able to get out ahead of the drama and stay there for the entirety off the race.
After setting some pretty impressive laps in the two practice sessions on Friday, Porsche's qualifying effort was mighty. Dirk Werner, in the #911 car, set the fastest time in qualifying with a 1:14.085, trailed closely by BMW's turbocharged M6. Just over a tenth of a second behind them was Laurens Vanthoor, fresh off an impressively fast test session in Belgium, in the #912 car, qualified third on the grid about four one-hundredths of a second ahead of the second BMW. This will be an impressively close race, as usual, with the entire 8-car GTLM class field separated by less than one second.
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport:
“The first pole position for our new 911 RSR feels fantastic. It’s the well-deserved reward for the team, who never stopped putting in hard and focused work, despite several setbacks. Dirk drove a fantastic lap. We were often fast this season, but here we finally managed to pull everything together to end up on pole. It was only the qualifying, but we’re still delighted. A huge thank you to Weissach and everyone who played a part in this great project.”
Dirk Werner, Driver, 911 RSR #911:
“We’ve waited a long time for this pole position. There were many weekends where our 911 RSR was fast, but this time everything came together really well. We made the right decisions in practice. Thank you to the team for putting such a great car on the track for us. We were the only ones who tested here before the race and we were able to sort out a lot of things and find a good baseline setup. We then refined it and that paid off today.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, 911 RSR #912:
“First and third – that’s a great result for Porsche. We implemented a different strategy compared to our teammates because we find it more promising for the race. I hope that it pays off on Sunday. This circuit is crazy. There are not many like it in the world. One tiny mistake and you end up in the guardrail. To turn a fast qualifying lap here is a great challenge.”