By finishing 3rd and at the same time achieving the third podium in a row, the Porsche works team in the Porsche 911 RSR #912 emphasises its ambitions in the IMSA racing series. This fiercely contested GTLM class saw the sister car #911 finish the race in 6th place. Thanks to these results, Porsche has now moved up to 2nd place in the manufacturers' standings.
A final sprint to the podium. Porsche at the 3rd race of the IMSA in Sebring.
Lap 1. Furious sprint to P1.
Laurens Vanthoor only knew one pace from the start: full throttle. The Belgian already overtook two cars at the start, starting from 4th place. He then went on to lead the GTLM grid a few corners later with a millimetreprecise overtaking maneuver. It already smelled like victory at the sprint race in Sebring, even though the 2:40 hours had only just begun. The sister car #911, driven by Frédéric Makowiecki, also showed a splendid performance in the first laps of the race, so the team's hopes for another double podium grew.
Chaos in the pit lane. #912 suffers harshly.
After 35 minutes, the GTLM field entered the pits for the first stop. Each stop was clean and fast. However, the exit in the narrow pit lane of Sebring was a debacle: the two 911 RSR models made heavy contact, with Laurens Vanthoor losing the entire front apron of his car. As a result, the chances for a podium position let alone victory were gone.
Top class racing.
However, with team spirit and passion, the #912 battled its way back to the front. Both Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor caught up with the fastest stints in the entire GTLM field. Thanks to some spectacular overtaking maneuvers, the two drivers even fought their way up to 3rd place in the end, securing Porsche the 3rd podium in a row. The #911 suffered a puncture in the subsequent race and unfortunately didn't make it past 6th place in the end.
Also a quite unlucky end for the customer racing team.
In the GTD class, the commitment of the Wright Motorsport customer team also ended abruptly due to an incident: after a spectacular chase at the beginning of the race, Ryan Hardwick crashed into the concrete barriers. He still managed to steer the damaged 500PS customer sports car into the pits. However, Porsche works driver Patrick Long was unable to make much of a difference after extensive repair work, crossing the finish line in 9th place in the GTD classification.
A brief respite before the next highlight.
Of course, you could philosophise for a long time about what would have been possible at Sebring under perfect circumstances. But in the end, the team can do nothing else but look ahead. The next sprint race on the Road Atlanta is already scheduled in two weeks time, from 31 July to 2 August. Until then, it's all about gathering strength and putting all our focus on preparing for the next race.