Bad luck for factory RSRS at Long Beach
Leading works 911 retires early in shortest race of the season
After a dominant start to its IMSA Sportscar Championship campaign in the GTLM class, Porsche Motorsport North America had to contend with an early retirement after the #912 car of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor suffered a broken suspension. Bamber was leading the GTLM field when he parked the works RSR in the pits with just 22 minutes of the 100-minute street race remaining. The sister #911 car of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet took the chequered flag in sixth.
Starting from the front row of the grid for the first time this season, Laurens Vanthoor promptly took the lead from lap one at Long Beach, defending the lead before handing over to Bamber during a safety-car period after 38 minutes. Taking to the field in second place behind the leading BMW, Bamber reeled the Munich car in and soon retook the lead for Porsche, promptly making headway between his mid-engined RSR and the rest of the field.
However, it was not to be Bamber’s day, a broken suspension putting paid to what would have been an emphatic result. The New Zealander said after the race: “Our 911 RSR ran very well on this track. The guys did one quick pit stop and we were holding a comfortable lead, but then something went wrong with the suspension and that was the end of our race. It’s a shame for the team, but such things happen. Now we’ll be back to attack in Mid-ohio.”