After a strong performance during the night, the new Porsche 911 RSR is now well placed for the final phase of the world famous long distance classic in Florida. Both the 510 hp race cars fielded by the Porsche GT Team, which Porsche Motorsport developed from scratch at Weissach, fought for the lead in steady rain and at times even led the strongly represented GTLM field. The race was repeatedly interrupted by safety car phases after many pilots lost control of their vehicles on the rain-soaked Daytona International Speedway. The longest caution phase behind the pace car lasted over two hours. In the early hours of the morning, the race director made this decision due to the large volume of water on the track.
With three and a half hours left to the finish at 14.30 hours (20.30 hrs CET), the #912 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Patrick Pilet (France), Dirk Werner (Germany) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) was running in fifth place. Their teammates Kévin Estre (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria) headed into the final phase of the season-opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship in eighth position after pitting for repairs on Sunday morning. The six top-placed cars in the GTLM class come from four different manufacturers and are all running in the same lap.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The night was marked by changing rain. Because of the tricky conditions there were always safety car phases. Although we were doing well, we couldn’t make any real progress because of the many interruptions. For this reason the field is still as close as before the night. This morning we had to repair the right front wheel suspension on our #912 car. Because of this we lost three laps, but should gain ground through the caution phases. Everything points to an exciting and tough finale. In the GTD class, the 911 GT3 R of the Allegra Motorsports customer team managed to get ahead during the stint of our works driver Michael Christensen, but then fell behind again. Still, in the remaining hours it has the potential to fight for the top spots again.”