Following a Porsche 1-2 victory in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, the Porsche Motorsport North America team 911 RSR earned a stellar flag-to-flag victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (I'll always call it Mosport) this weekend. The lone event north of the border, CTMP played host to the TUSCC race on Sunday, and the entire grid of GTLM racers were hounding Porsche for that international victory. Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet paired to win in convincing style, soundly trouncing the competition, leading from pole to the very end of the 2 hour 45 minute endurance race. Porsche now has a total of six (6) GT class victories at Mosport, and this win has moved Porsche into second place in the manufacturer's points standings.
Luckily, the weather in Canada was lovely and summer-like with no rain in sight, and only slight overcast. Nick Tandy had captured a convincing pole position ahead of the pair of BMWs and successfully fended them off at the start. From the very first lap, it was clear that the 911 car's setup was optimal, stretching his lead out to a comfortable margin. Unfortunately, that margin was quickly erased with the first caution period about half an hour into the race. After the Porsche's first journey to the pits, Tandy's teammate Patrick Pilet took over and continued the run at the front. Everything went swimmingly for Pilet, and his entire stint was relatively drama free, despite pressure from BMW, Corvette, and Risi Competizione's Ferrari. Pilet handed the car back to Tandy with about 35 minutes remaining who gradually proceeded to extend the team's lead, taking the race to its logical conclusion. Tandy was first to the checkered flag and in doing so won the second race for Porsche this season. There is still plenty of racing left to do this year, and Porsche could still take that championship victory. Stick around and find out!
The #912 car of Bergmeister and Bamber was, unfortunately, not quite as successful; crossing the finish line down in seventh position. The Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers 911 RSR campaigned by Falken Tire was forced to retire after two and a half hours (only 15 minutes remaining) because of a transmission failure due to an earlier accident. So, while it was a banner day for the #911 Porsche GTLM car, the other two Porsches didn't fare as well.
Marco Ujhasi, GT Works Overall Project Manager -
“That was an incredible race. Our strategy worked perfectly. We went testing here earlier this week and managed to implement what we’d achieved in the qualifying and the race. The race underlined how important it is to clinch pole position here, because it’s extremely difficult to overtake. But the pole was only half the battle. We also needed a flawless performance from our drivers and the entire team. That’s how you win races.”
Patrick Pilet, Driver Porsche 911 RSR #911 -
“Nick managed to build a gap from pole position and that was really important. Afterwards it was somewhat more difficult for me. My pursuers put me under a lot of pressure and I often encountered heavy traffic. Moreover, we struggled with the high temperatures halfway through the race. Still, I managed to maintain the lead and didn’t make any mistakes. Nick did the rest brilliantly.”
Nick Tandy, Driver Porsche 911 RSR #911 -
“That was a perfect weekend for us. We started from pole position and led over the entire race – you can’t do better than that. I’m very relieved that we’re finally winning again, because this is our first victory in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship since our first win at Daytona in 2014. I hope everything continues to go well in the next races and we gain ground in the championship.”
Earl Bamber, Driver Porsche 911 RSR #912 -
“It was great driving at Mosport for the first time. It’s a fantastic track. Unfortunately it wasn’t our race today. Now we’ll take a good look at why this happened and work towards fighting for victory again at the next race in Elkhart Lake.”
Jörg Bergmeister, Driver Porsche 911 RSR #912 -
“Congratulates to our teammates on their victory. That was a strong performance. Unfortunately it wasn’t such a great weekend for us. Now I’m looking forward to the next race in Elkart Lake. It’s my all-time favourite circuit. I’m confident that things will go better for us there.”
1. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 122 laps
2. Edwards/Luhr (USA/D), BMW Z4 GTE, 122
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 122
4. Auberlen/Werner (USA/D), BMW Z4 GTE, 122
5. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 122
6. Kaffer/Fisichella (D/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 122
7. Bamber/Bergmeister (NZ/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 121
8. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 103