Defending champions Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) take up round four of the IMSA Sportscar Championship from pole position with the latest Porsche 911 RSR. With a time of 2:00.590 minutes, qualifying driver Vanthoor also set a new lap record for the GTLM class (GT Le Mans) on the storied Road America racetrack. The sister car shared by Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) tackles the fourth race of the season from the sixth grid spot. In the GTD category (GT Daytona) for vehicles complying with the global GT3 regulations, the 500+hp 911 GT3 R driven by Ryan Hardwick for the Wright Motorsport customer team posted the ninth quickest time in the final 15-minute session. The American shares the cockpit with his compatriot and Porsche works driver Patrick Long.
The Road America circuit, located a good two hours’ drive north of Chicago in the US state of Wisconsin, is based on a former road circuit and is considered the cradle of American sports car racing. At 6,515 kilometres, it is also the longest track on the IMSA calendar. Porsche last scored pole position in the GTLM class at Road America in 2015, that time by Vanthoor’s current teammate, Earl Bamber.
Round four of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes off on Sunday, 2 August, at 11.05 a.m. local time (18:05 p.m. CEST). The race over 2:40 hours can be viewed outside the USA and Canada on http://www.imsa.com. So far this season, Porsche is the only manufacturer to have climbed the podium at every IMSA WeatherTech round. At Road America, the factory squad wants to secure its first win in this series with the latest generation of the ca. 515-hp 911 RSR. The aim is to defend the manufacturer, team and driver titles from 2019.
Steffen Höllwarth (Head of Operations IMSA Championship): “We have mixed feelings after this qualifying. We’re thrilled about pole position, especially since we didn’t expect to top the timesheets – during practice we put more emphasis on endurance rather than a quick lap. But we did our homework. I think we can also get our number 911 car further up the field. The speed was there, but unfortunately, it didn’t all come together for a fast time. It’ll be a tough fight tomorrow. We’re ready!”
Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “The qualifying didn’t go as I’d expected. We had the speed for pole position, but I made a mistake in Turn 12 and slid off in Turn 13. Now we’ll prepare the car for Sunday’s race. I think we’ll be good for a podium result.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “In the first sessions we still had problems with the balance. But we sat down with the engineers and found a solution. The car then felt really good in qualifying. Everything worked. Pole position: great!”
1. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR #912, 2:00.590 minutes
2. Taylor/Garcia (USA/E), Chevrolet Corvette C8.R #3, + 0.264 seconds
3. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette C8.R #4, + 0.314 seconds
4. Spengler/De Phillippi (CDN/USA), BMW M8 GTE #25, + 0.565 seconds
5. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE #24, + 0.612 seconds
6. Makowiecki/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR #911, + 0.715 seconds
1. Telitz/Hawksworth (USA/GBR), Lexus RC F GT3 #14, 2:06.251 minutes
2. Montecalvo/Bell (USA/USA), Lexus RC F GT3 #12, + 0.787 seconds
3. Fergus/Holton (USA/USA), McLaren 720S GT3 #76, + 1.014 seconds
9. Hardwick/Long (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #16, + 2.018 seconds