9/10/2020

Tough weather conditions in Georgia.

The Porsche drivers experienced just what role the weather can play during the IMSA race on the Road Atlanta.

There are many factors that play a deciding role in motorsports. Tires for example. Or the weather. Or: the relationship between weather and tires. Exactly this was what turned the race into a challenge for Nick Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki in the Porsche 911 RSR with the number 911 as well as Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the twin vehicle with the number 912.

After a great qualifying, Nick Tandy started from the pole position into the 6-hour race on the Road Atlanta. Immediately, he managed to set himself apart in the hard-fought field and could defend his position. Not an easy feat – his pursuers put him under constant pressure, but the experienced driver countered impressively. The well-practiced team of drivers and box crew noticed early that the tires would not offer the desired grip throughout the entire stint due to falling asphalt temperatures. A good pit stop strategy was needed – something they had. Right to the last pit stop, the Porsche 911 RSR was at the top of the field, before temperatures fell further. Grip was becoming decidedly more difficult to get on the cooling track. During the last stint, they couldn’t defend against the continuous attacks of the competition. Nick Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki saw the checkered flag on fourth spot.

A twin car with equally tough conditions.

The race was similarly turbulent for the second factory Porsche. In the chaos of the first round, Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor were caught on bad footing. Already early on, several vehicles collided in front of the starting Vanthoor. Though he managed to narrowly escape the collision, his maneuver cost him his connection to the top of the ranking. The team with the starting number 912 fought to battle its way forward, though it was also burdened by issues with the tires. Fluctuation temperatures and the asphalt cooling down more than 10 degrees created difficulties for everyone involved. After an early pit stop, the race day continued as it started: chaotically. The team was assigned two drive-through penalties, had to battle damage to their diffuser that required repairs and had to exchange their breaks. Against all odds, the duo Bamber and Vanthoor ended up on sixth place. Though that was not what the team had hoped for in the beginning.

Fortunately, the Porsche customer team Wright Motorsports managed to score a great third place in the GTD class and could celebrate the first spot on the podium during the running season. The team around Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, his team colleague Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen performed well in the race on the Road Atlanta with the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

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