The 2019 IMSA sports car season has just two races remaining this season, and Porsche is on track to secure a number of important championships. From the nine rounds this year so far, Porsche has won six of them, with three victories going to each the #911 car of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, and the #912 car of Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber. Because this most recent round of the championship was run at Virginia International Raceway without the faster Prototype class, Porsche can also count itself as the only GTLM team this year to net an overall victory.
And with the win, Porsche have secured the Manufacturer's title in the series. A few other important championships are still up for grabs, but look pretty solidly Porsche.
Laurens Vanthoor started the sunny and hot race from pole position and held on to his early lead through the first corner. Nick Tandy, who started the race from fifth on the grid made an incredible outside pass move on four cars to move up into second behind the sister Porsche. From that point until the end of the race a Porsche was nearly always in control of the lead. Despite being on different fuel strategies, both the 911 and 912 maintained a 1-2 lead over the rest of the field.
Well done, Michelin Man!
— #IMSA / #MontereyGP (@IMSA) August 25, 2019
When the first caution of the race came, Porsche was on top of the situation and executed perfect pit stops. When the race returned to green, the Porsche drivers executed perfect restarts. It was textbook stuff out there, as the red, black, and white mid-engine 911 RSRs showed taillights to the rest of the field. Through pit strategy, the Tandy/Pilet car moved into the lead and stayed there, while polesitters Vanthoor/Bamber were forced to settle for second. It was a tough fight between the two Porsche cars for the full length of the race, but in the end only one can win.
Comments on the race
Steffen Höllwarth (Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship): “I’m incredibly proud of the whole team. What a great team effort. We opted for a good strategy for this circuit, the racetrack suits the Porsche 911 RSR perfectly, and our pit stops were again excellent. We were rewarded for this. Now we’ll enjoy and celebrate our double victory. On Monday, we’ll begin the meticulous work for the last two races of the year.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “I had a really great start. In the first corner everyone took the inside line. I braked late and managed to make up four positions by taking the outside line. That was the key to success. The car ran beautifully over the entire race weekend and our strategy was super. A great team effort.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “You can’t do better than a one-two result. It’s a fantastic result for the entire squad. Both Porsche 911 RSR were consistently fast over the whole weekend. Of course, Earl and I would have preferred to stand at the top of the podium, but one can’t really complain about position two.”
1. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 88 laps
2. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 88 laps
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Corvette C7.R, 88 laps
1. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, 86 laps
2. Farnbacher/Hindman (D/USA), Acura NSX GT3, 86 laps
3. Potter/Lally (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 86 laps
4. Hargrove/Robichon (CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 86 laps
5. Long/Lindsey (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 86 laps