Porsche Motorsport racing round up
Trials, tribulations and trophies for our racing 911s.
Another busy weekend of international motorsport has brought highs and lows for Porsche. The sixth round of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship saw our second-placed GT Team arrive at Road Atlanta in Georgia with their eyes on that elusive first win of the season. And a promising start to the weekend saw Nick Tandy qualify the No. 911 RSR on pole position with teammate Laurens Vanthoor putting the sister car in fourth.
Tandy initially managed to defend his lead in the fiercely competitive GTLM class, but when temperatures dropped in the first part of the race, his tyres were unable to offer sufficient grip over a full stint. When the sun returned to the circuit, the RSR was again the fastest in the field and Tandy and Makowiecki regained the lead and led the race until the final pit stop.
As clouds gathered again in the final phase, however, the track temperature plummeted once more and with it went the car’s performance. In his final stint, Tandy could no longer fend off his rivals and he crossed the finish line a disappointing fourth.
But it was a result the No. 912 car would happily have settled for. Evading a collision on the first lap, Vanthoor lost touch with the GTLM pack and was forced to pit early on rapidly deteriorating tyres. Two drive-through penalties, an unplanned change of brakes and repairs to the rear of their car threw the Belgian and his teammate Earl Bamber three laps down the field and into sixth place at the final flag.
There was better news in the GTD pro-am category, where Wright Motorsports scored its first podium of the season. Thanks to flawless teamwork and an impressive performance from Jan Heylen, works driver Patrick Long and local hero Ryan Hardwick, their 911 GT3 R qualified and finished the race in third.
“As expected, this race was a tough nut to crack,” said Steffen Höllwarth, Head of Operations IMSA Championship. “And as feared, we struggled with the temperatures. From the midway mark of the race we were leading with our number 911 car for quite some time, but ultimately we couldn’t maintain the pace. After two mistakes in the pits and a defect in the No. 912 car, the gap was so large that we simply couldn’t catch up. That’s disappointing. We’re now preparing meticulously for the next round so that we can strike back.”
Porsche now sits third in the manufacturers’ championship while the two crews are tied in fourth in the drivers’ classification. Round seven of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship arrives at Mid-Ohio on 27 September.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the 2020 Mobil 1 Supercup came to a dramatic conclusion at Monza in support of the Italian Grand Prix. Sitting in second place behind points leader Dylan Pereira, Larry ten Voorde qualified on pole and drove cleanly to a decisive victory and the championship title. Pereira finished the season in second, just seven points adrift, with Porsche Juniors Ayhancan Güven and Jaxon Evens behind him in third and fourth.
In Supercup’s virtual sister series, Sebastien Job enjoyed another impressive weekend with a useful fourth in the sprint followed by another win in the main race around a digital Nürburgring. With his closest challengers for the title experiencing various misfortunes, Job now tops the leader board with a commanding 521 points against 437 for Joshua Rogers and 407 for Alejandro Sánchez. The penultimate round the 2020 Esports Supercup will be staged around Le Mans on 26 September.