Watch The Mid-Engine Porsche 911 RSR Win Its First Race Ever
Last weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park is up on YouTube
This weekend in Connecticut Porsche took on all comers in the GTLM and GTD categories in the 8th round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Lime Rock Park. This race runs a smaller field than most races, being that LRP is a diminutive circuit, meaning that the prototypes were absent from the race. It was all GT all the time. Give Porsche an open track and no faster traffic to contend with, and they'll dominate, apparently. Not only did Porsche finish with a 1-2 victory in the GTLM category, but Porsche GT3R entrants also finished 1-3 in the GTD category, giving Porsche a double-double-podium.
Porsche in the GTLM Class:
After a trio of pole positions in recent weeks, the 911 RSR was ready to take a race victory, proving itself more than quick enough over one lap. Since Lime Rock was a GT-only race, this meant that the Porsche pilots in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR with Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner were also the overall winners. The second 911 RSR, car #912 was driven by their teammates Laurens Vanthoor and Gianmaria Bruni (in only his second race with Porsche) clinched second place, making for a perfect Porsche weekend.
Lime Rock is not known as a particularly easy place to make passes, but Dirk Werner made hay while the sun shone as the green flag fell, moving up one position to give Porsche a 1-2 running order from the very beginning. Gianmaria Bruni had to make an unscheduled pit stop to remove grass from his radiator grille after an off track excursion, but managed to pass off his 911 RSR to teammate Laurens Vanthoor while still in good position. Werner just a lap later traded off to Pilet, and after a better orchestrated pit sequence, rejoined the race ahead of Vanthoor. From there, everything remained trouble free and they maintained that order until the checkered flag. Job done. 181 laps of Porsche leading from flag to flag.
Porsche in the GTD Class:
The icing on the cake for Porsche this weekend was seeing the Park Place Motorsports 911 GT3 R of Patrick Lindsey and factory driver Joerg Bergmeister drive into victory lane in the GTD category as well. While the GTD teams didn't manage to secure a 1-2 finish, the Alegra Motorsports car of Daniel Morad and Patrick Long did manage to salvage a third position finish from a difficult and trying race outing.
Comments on the race:
Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship:
“The maiden victory with a new car is always a particularly emotional moment. And if you can bring home a double victory and even overall victory, then that makes you incredibly proud. I’m proud not only of our team here in the USA, but also of our colleagues in Weissach and our sister team in the WEC. This success belongs to us all. We can now build on this over the rest of the season. In the race, our 911 RSR was faster than the competition when the temperatures were initially high, but found it a little tougher once it cooled down. In terms of our race strategy, we again did very well today. For the most part, our cars had a clear run. On this short racetrack where overtaking is very difficult, that proved to be a key to success.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911):
“Incredible. We had to wait so long for this victory but now it’s finally happened. The entire team worked brilliantly this weekend. This circuit suits our 911 RSR well and we immediately found a super setup. It was a tough battle over the whole distance. Our car was consistently fast today, but you always have to stay fully focussed. With so many cars out on the track you inevitably swap paint with your rivals. Luckily everything went well. It was a fantastic weekend. We’re now going to enjoy our success and then attack again at Road America in a fortnight.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911):
“We’ve worked towards this day for a long time. We had to cope with several setbacks this season, but we never threw in the towel. It’s wonderful that the first win for the new 911 RSR has finally come. And the fact that it’s my first win as a Porsche works driver makes this achievement very special. This racetrack certainly has it all. Because it’s so short, it’s a constant fight for positions and nonstop overtaking manoeuvres. The fans definitely enjoyed it. We did too. It’s a great day for Porsche.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912):
“I’m pleased for Porsche. The first win for the new 911 RSR as well as our second place is a great result. It was a dream come true for me. We started from pole and held the lead over long stints. But then we had to pit early after a minor excursion onto the grass. Personally, I’m somewhat disappointed, but that’s racing. The important thing is the win for Porsche. I’m thrilled that I could contribute to this double victory.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912):
“I’m delighted for the squad and for Porsche. The maiden victory for the new 911 RSR plus second place – that’s a fantastic result of which we can all be very proud. We’ve worked very hard towards this day. The race from pole position went well for me until shortly before my pit stop when I suddenly lost the rear and ended up on the grass. That put an end to our fight for victory. Congratulations to my team colleagues.”
Jörg Bergmeister (911 GT3 R #73):
“An unbelievable weekend. This was my seventh win at Lime Rock, and Porsche’s first win with the new 911 RSR. Our 911 GT3 R ran perfectly without the slightest problem. It was a tough fight from the very start, but it was tremendous fun.”
Patrick Long (911 GT3 R #28):
“That was a great day for Porsche. Congratulations on the first win for the new 911 RSR. We finished third after a difficult race. It’s a wonderful result for this young and very enthusiastic team.”
1. Pilet/Werner (F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 181 laps
2. Vanthoor/Bruni (B/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 181
3. Edwards/Tomczyk (USA/D), BMW M6, 181
4. Garcia/Magnussen (E/DK), Corvette, 181
5. Westbrook/Briscoe (GB/USA), Ford GT, 181
6. Auberlen/Sims (USA/GB), BMW M6, 180
7. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, 177
8. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Corvette, 151
1. Bergmeister/Lindsey (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 175 laps
2. Snow/Sellers (USA/USA), Lamborghini GT3, 175
3. Long/Morad (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 175
4. Davis/Aschenbach (USA/USA), Audi R8, 174
5. Lally/Legge (USA/GB), Acura NSX, 174
6. Balzan/Nielsen (I/DK), Ferrari 488, 174
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