The new Porsche 911 RSR celebrated a successful North American debut with a double podium at the 24 Hours of Daytona. After a strong team effort, the two 911s fielded by the Porsche GT Team finished on second and third place. Porsche, which won the manufacturers’ championship in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship last year, is now second in the points after Daytona.
From start to finish, the GT racers from Weissach ran like clockwork at their first 24-hour race. Not a single technical problem hampered the premiere, at which the two new 911 RSR took turns at the lead over most of the distance. In a top-class and gripping end phase, after 786 laps, Porsche was just several seconds shy of claiming another victory at the 24-hour classic in the USA after 2014.
The two Porsche 911 RSR had already turned heads, qualifying on the first two grid spots in the GTLM class. In the race, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) followed up on this top performance, claiming second place in the No. 912 vehicle, with the No. 911 sister car with the driver trio Frédéric Makowiecki (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Matt Campbell (Australia) finishing third. With flawless stints, a perfect strategy and swift pit stops, both crews set the pace at the front.
In the final few hours, things turned dramatic on the International Daytona Speedway. In bright sunshine, spectators were treated to a spectacular finale with overtaking manoeuvres and changes at the front. The six Porsche works drivers were rewarded with a double podium and their team for a successful weekend, making the outstanding debut of the new Porsche 911 RSR perfect.
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Works Motorsport said: “That was a perfect debut for the new Porsche 911 RSR. At the first race in the USA – and one over 24 hours – we didn’t experience a single technical problem and ended up on the podium with both cars. From the team effort to the strategy right through to the work in the pitlane, everything ran smoothly and flawlessly. At the next race in Sebring, we want to defend our victory from last year.”
Earl Bamber commented: “We fought to the finish and tried everything. Our car ran excellently. However, one of our rivals was slightly faster. I’m still very proud, because the team worked brilliantly together and after 24 hours we’re on the podium with the two new Porsche 911 RSR.”
Nick Tandy added: “It’s not often that you make it through a 24-hour race without making any mistakes. It’s remarkable and a great start to the season for the new 911 RSR. Even though it wasn’t quite enough today, we’re all the more determined to go all-out and climb to the top step of the podium again in the future.”
1. Krohn/Edwards/Mostert/Farfus (FIN/USA/AUS/BR), BMW M8 GTE, 786 laps
2. Vanthoor/Bamber/Jaminet (B/NZ/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 786 laps
3. Tandy/Makowiecki/Campbell (GB/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 786 laps
4 Garcia/Taylor/Catsburg (E/USA/NL), Corvette C8.R, 785 laps
5. De Phillippi/Eng/Spengler/Herta (USA/A/CDN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 772 laps