Porsche North America Post-Mazda Raceway Report

Friday, May 6, 2016

In a unique format, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship split its two GT classes and its two prototype classes into separate, two-hour races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, May 1. Starting the day was the all-pro classes – GT Le Mans (GTLM) where Porsche’s 911 RSR competes and the Prototype (P) class. In the afternoon race, the 911 GT3 R challenged for victory in GT Daytona (GTD) class sharing the track with the pro-am Prototype Challenge (PC) group. Porsches took podium results in both races with the No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing entry earning the inaugural endurance-style victory for the Porsche 911 GT3 R with a flag-to-flag win. The No. 912 Porsche North America 911 RSR continued Porsche’s podium presence in each of the first four races of the season taking third-place.

 

Porsche Podium on Peninsula. Fourth Podium Result in First Four Races for Porsche North America

Four races, one victory, three further podium results – with this opening tally to the season, the Porsche 911 RSR heads into the GTLM class summer break of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. At the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race in Monterey, California, outright Le Mans winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) scored a third-place finish on Sunday after a spirited dash through the field with the rear-engine sports car. At the wheel of Porsche North America’s second 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911, the defending IMSA GTLM champion Patrick Pilet (France) and overall Le Mans winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain) took the flag in eighth-place. The No. 911 team won two weeks ago on the streets of Long Beach, California. In the manufacturer’s classification, Porsche is now second, just three points behind the leader.

After a difficult qualifying, the two Porsche 911 RSR took off into the two-hour race on the demanding 2.238-mile circuit from the back of the field. The first impressive performance came from the pit crew of Porsche North America, who dispatched both 911 racers in record time after the first pit stop following a safety car phase. Pilet gained four positions as a result and returned to the track in third-place with Makowiecki directly behind him. After a good hour, Pilet had moved as high as second-place only to get pushed off the track and he fell through the rankings. The No. 912 steadily picked up the pace towards the end of the race, benefiting from the race strategy and another well-executed pit stop. This allowed him to overtake a Corvette and a Ferrari in the final laps to score third-place for Porsche.

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

“What an absolute thriller! Pit stops, tire strategy, playing poker with the fuel – we did everything right today. Even the high temperatures helped us. This has earned us some critical points towards the championship. That was a tremendous effort from the whole team. The drivers were sensational in implementing the strategies. Considering the conditions that we faced here initially, this is a perfect result.”

Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Leader GT Works Motorsport.

“We made the most out of this race. Four podiums from four races – we can be proud of such a start to the season. Our preparations from free practice to the qualifying and then the race were not easy. But we developed a great strategy and it worked perfectly for at least one of the 911 RSR.”

Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

“Our third place is the result of great team work. I’m really proud of the boys from Porsche North America. After the qualifying we didn’t think we would achieve a podium spot. That makes our joy so much greater.”

Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

“When I think about the problems we had in free practice and qualifying, this podium feels like a victory. The team did an awesome job over the whole weekend and the pit stops were simply perfect. This is a fantastic result for us.”

 

Porsche 911 GT3 R Takes First IMSA Win. Alex Job Racing Leads Flag-to-Flag in Monterey.

After a one-race hiatus when only the GTLM and prototypes cars ran at Long Beach, the GT Daytona (GTD) class was back on track with this weekend’s Continental Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda. The new Porsche 911 GT3 R scored its first endurance racing-style victory on Sunday in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca, California. Former Porsche Junior driver Alex Riberas (Spain) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) clinched the GTD-class victory for Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing in a flag-to-flag win that never once saw the No. 23 fall from the lead position. After posting the top time in qualifying, the pair took up the race from pole position and maintained their lead over the entire two-hour race. The 911 GT3 R celebrated its race debut at Daytona in January mounted with the new ultra-modern four-liter flat-six engine with direct fuel injection. Porsche built the racer for GT3 series worldwide, based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car.

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

“The first victory for the new 911 GT3 R here in the IMSA SportsCar Championship was achieved thanks to the sensational performance of the drivers in an extremely close race. We congratulate the winning crew of Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing and the two pilots.”

Alex Job, Owner, Alex Job Racing, Nos. 22 and 23 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“What a day. Alex and Mario did a great job to manage the car at a track that is usually tough on the rear tires of a Porsche racecar. The team put a car under them that was fast all weekend and we were able to get the endurance first win for this new Porsche in America. A great effort by everyone this weekend.”

Alex Riberas, Driver, No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“Absolutely fantastic race. The first endurance win for the Porsche GT3 R in America is very special to me. In first practice we were P1. In the second practice P1. In the third practice P1. In qualifying P1 and in the race P1. At the start, I was able to get a good jump at the green and keep the lead. I opened up an eight second lead until the yellow. Mario got in and did a good job to manage the car to the win over the Ferrari who was close behind. It was a great team weekend. The Alex Job Racing crew did a great job with the Heart of Racing Porsche.”

Mario Farnbacher, Driver, No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I jumped in under the full course caution when Alex brought the car in P1. I tried my best to manage the tires. It was quite hard to manage my tires with the Ferrari right behind after the restart. It was a great weekend all around. We were fastest every practice and Alex got the pole position. It is very special to win at this track especially to lead every lap from the pole!”

 

A Bodymotion Stays in Motion in Monterey. Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Earns One-Two-Three in Continental Challenge

Bodymotion Racing, owned by Mike Bavaro, continued to set the mark in IMSA’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC). The No. 12 driven by Cameron Cassels (Canada) and Trent Hindman (Wayside, New Jersey) earned a second-consecutive victory in the two-hour, 30-minute support series event on Saturday, April 30. The pairing took the car’s first worldwide victory at Sebring in March. The win set the stage for more Porsche history as the car finished 1-2-3 in the GS class of the series. It was the first podium sweep for the mid-engine machine based on the road-going Porsche Cayman GT4 which debuted at Daytona in January.

Trent Hindman, Driver, No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

“To be honest, I was watching my mirrors a bit which is something I shouldn’t admit. The CJ Wilson guys are really fast and were tough to hold off. Cameron put in a great stint and didn’t make any mistakes, and our Porsche GT4 Clubsport was amazing today.”

 

Lazare Back Continues at Front. IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA.

Jesse Lazare completed a sweep of both Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, powering away from the field to win Round 4 on Saturday.

Lazare, from Montreal, beat Lucas Catania to the finish of the 45-minute race by 7.412 seconds. The victory was his third in four starts this season in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He also won Round 3 Friday and Round 1 in mid-March at Sebring International Raceway.

Lazare pulled to within 11 points of leader Catania with the two victories, trailing 74-63. Rounds 5 and 6 are on his home asphalt, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - only a few miles from his home - on June 10-12 during the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One event in Montreal.

Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, completed an event sweep of the Platinum Masters class in the No. 01 TOPP Racing Porsche. Michael de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, earned his third Gold Cup victory of the season to pad his championship lead in the No. 31 Alegra Motorsports Porsche after Sebastian Landy earned the win in Round 3 earlier in the weekend.

Rounds 5 and 6 will take place June 10-12 in Montreal as part of the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One event.

It will be the first-ever joint event between the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, which will race simultaneously on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

 

Jens Walther, President/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.

“We are leaving Monterey with a very strong result for our customer teams. Congratulations are in order for Alex Job Racing for the first IMSA victory with the Porsche 911 GT3 R against very good competition. For AJR to win the first endurance-style race for the 911 GT3 R worldwide is very fitting. Alex and Holly have been so instrumental in Porsche GT racing success for so long. Also, congratulations to Bodymotion for winning their second consecutive race with the [number] twelve car. For the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport to capture a podium sweep in only its third race speaks well of the car and the teams racing them in the Continental SportsCar Challenge.” 

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