Best RSR 6th at Day­tona

Porsche bat­tles back af­ter two heavy col­li­sions in open­ing 2018 IMSA race

Total 911 - - Motorsport -

Porsche missed out on the chance to crown its an­niver­sary race at Day­tona with a GTLM class win af­ter two heavy shunts left the best-placed 911 RSR down in 6th place.

Af­ter both the #911 and #912 cars locked out the sec­ond grid row in qual­i­fy­ing, the #911 car of Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki lead the race af­ter six hours, Weis­sach ben­e­fit­ting from a brave tac­ti­cal de­ci­sion to not swap slicks for wet tyres dur­ing a brief down­pour in Flor­ida. With Pilet at the wheel, Porsche only re­lin­quished the lead when pit­ting in for a driver swap, with Tandy tak­ing over driv­ing du­ties from the French­man. How­ever, the Bri­ton suf­fered an un­for­tu­nate, high-speed shunt go­ing into Bus

Stop in the eighth hour, slid­ing at high speed over the wet grass be­fore slam­ming into the tyre bar­rier. The car was dragged to the pits and put out of ac­tion for 20 min­utes while the Porsche North Amer­ica team fixed its RSR, which re-en­tered the field some 13 laps down on its ri­vals.

Fate would deal Tandy a cruel dou­ble blow in the race, his #911 car slid­ing off again in the same lo­ca­tion dur­ing the night­time seg­ment of the 24-hour epic. The sec­ond slide proved largely in­con­se­quen­tial in the race, how­ever, as so much time had al­ready been lost from the ear­lier shunt that any real hopes of tak­ing a class win had long since di­min­ished.

The #911 car ended up in 8th, two places be­low the #912 sis­ter car of Earl Bam­ber, Lau­rens Vanthoor and Gian­maria Bruni, which had a much qui­eter race by com­par­i­son. “We gained a lot of pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences in pre­par­ing for the race and at the start, also in terms of the per­for­mance of our 911 RSR. Un­for­tu­nately we weren’t able to im­ple­ment this over the en­tire race dis­tance. The re­sult is dis­ap­point­ing. We had bad luck with the two im­pacts which cost us a lot of time. As a re­sult, the faster car fell far be­hind. That was not our race,” said Frank-st­ef­fen Wal­liser af­ter the spec­ta­cle, which marked 50 years since the man­u­fac­turer’s maiden win at the long-dis­tance clas­sic in Flor­ida. The Porsche GT team now heads to Se­bring for a 12-hour race in the sec­ond round of the IMSA sea­son on 17 March.

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