The factory-backed Porsche North America team of 911 RSRs led the field away from the green flag in 1-2 position after locking out the pole and the outside pole in a flying qualifying session. From there, it was Porsche’s race to lose, as the pair of black and white RSRs were soon joined by the blue and green Falken car to run away from the rest of the field, setting the pace.
Over the course of the 2 hours and 40 minute race, Porsche was in the lead for the majority of it. On the first caution, most of the field stopped for fuel, excepting one of the BMWs which chose to stay out and inherit the lead. When the race went back to green, that car held the lead until their pitstop, putting them out of sequence with the rest of the field. Porsche regained the lead.
In the middle section of the race, there was some inter-team rivalry coming down as Wolf Henzler made a pass for second position to split the two factory Porsches. Later that lap, one of the Prototype cars tipped the leading 911 into a spin on the exit of turn 1. Recovering from that spin, the leader then had to defend from the Falken of Henzler. Wolf took the lead for a couple of laps with a ballsy move before ceding back to the factory cars.
Unfortunately, the three-car leading pack of Porsches didn’t last, as fuel strategies didn’t fall their way. With perhaps one more lap of caution they might have made it to the end, but as it shook out, both factory cars needed to pit for fuel with only 2 minutes remaining in the race. It was a worthy gamble, but one that didn’t pay off. As they don’t often say in Texas, ‘c’est la vie’.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport
From a results point of view it’s obviously very disappointing. We were running in the lead over the entire race but had to call our 911 RSR into the pits for a splash of fuel. That cost us victory. But we still scored third place. We certainly deserved better today, but now we’re turning our attention to the final round at Atlanta. We’re still leading the championship, so it’ll be exciting.
Patrick Pilet, Driver, Car #911
It is what it is. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. We tried everything to conserve fuel and make it to the flag, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. It’s not the end of the world. We still finished in third. The whole team can be proud of the work we’ve done this week. After three straight victories we can easily live with third place. Now we’ll concentrate on the last race at Atlanta. We have a good package and still have the chance to take home all titles.
Earl Bamber, Driver, Car #912
With our dream start and three Porsche suddenly in the lead, we gave the fans a terrific show. It’s a pity we weren’t rewarded for this in the end. But what can you do. Now the fight continues at Atlanta. All titles will be decided at the final race – it doesn’t get much more exciting than that.
GTLM class Race result
1. Auberlen/Werner (USA/D), BMW Z4 GTE, 72 laps
2. Kaffer/Fisichella (D/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 72
3. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 72
4. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 72
5. Bamber/Bergmeister (NZ/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 72
6. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 72
7. Edwards/Luhr (USA/D), BMW Z4 GTE, 72
8. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 72
GTD class Race result
1. Bleekemolen/Keating (NL/USA), Dodge Viper SRT, 69 laps
2. Palttala/Marsal (SF/USA), BMW Z4, 69
3. Haase/von Moltke (D/USA), Audi R8 LMS, 69
4. Farnbacher/James (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT America, 69
5. Lindsey/Pumpelly (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT America, 69
6. Sweedler/Bell (USA/USA), Ferrari 458 Italia, 69