The 2016 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is in the history books and after 24-hours of action packed racing Porsche missed out on overall victory by just `12 seconds. The race itself was one of the best in years and highlights why the GT classes showcase the very best racing has to offer right now. There were plenty of lead changes and individual battles. With lots of wheel to wheel racing, it wasn’t until the very last hour of the race before anyone could build what one might consider a “lead”. After all was said and done, it came down to a nerve-wracking three-way battle between the Porsche 911 RSR with Earl Bamber in the cockpit and a pair of Chevrolet Corvettes. By this stage, BMW and Ferrari were no longer in contention.
After the last round of pit stops, and with just 36 minutes remaining in the race, the 911 RSR, driven by Earl Bamber (teammates Frédéric Makowiecki and Michael Christensen), was forced to let both Corvettes overtake him. Corvette finished 1, 2 in their own exciting battle with Porsche taking 3rd for all important championship points. In the other 911 RSR campaigned by Porsche North America, Le Mans winner Nick Tandy had started from pole and taken the lead of the strong GTLM field, which his French teammates Patrick Pilet and Kévin Estre also managed to defend. But with five hours of racing to go, their 911 RSR was hampered by a faulty drive shaft which relegated them down the pack to finally finish on eighth place. While not a win for Porsche, both positions, 3rd and 8th, bring home all important Championship points.
Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “Until shortly before the finish, I tried everything to fend off the Corvettes. We had a great fight, but they were simply faster today. Third place is a great result for the team. The GTLM class is so competitive. The races this year will definitely be super exciting and just as tough as this one.”
The new Porsche 911 GT3 R mounted with the new ultra-modern four-litre flat-six with direct fuel injection celebrated a successful racing premiere at the 54th edition of the long distance classic. Competing in the 500 hp customer racer from Weissach for Black Swan Racing, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA), his compatriots Timothy Pappas and Andy Pilgrim as well as Dutchman Nicky Catsburg secured second place. Porsche has designed the 911 GT3 R for worldwide GT3 series based on the production sports car 911 GT3 RS. In developing the vehicle, the engineers at Weissach paid special attention to lightweight design, improving aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption.
Patrick Long (911 GT3 R #540): “I was certain after the tests that we would do well at this difficult race. But I didn’t anticipate that the new 911 GT3 R would be so fast and so good to drive. The car is simply phenomenal. Black Swan Racing also worked faultlessly under pressure. We achieved our goal and we’re simply happy. Congratulations to the winners from Magnus Racing. In Sebring we’ll do our utmost to turn the tables.”
Porsche’s Pictures From The 2016 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
GTLM Class Results
1. Gavin/Milner/Fässler (GB/USA/CH), Chevrolet Corvette, 722 laps
2. Magnussen/Garcia/Rockenfeller (DK/E/D), Chevrolet Corvette, 722
3. Makowiecki/Bamber/Christensen (F/NZ/DK), Porsche 911 RSR, 722
4. Pier Guidi/Serra/Premat/Rojas (I/BRA/F/MEX), Ferrari 488, 721
5. Werner/Auberlen/Farfus/Spengler (D/USA/BRA/CDN), BMW M6, 721
6. Fisichella/Rigon/Vilander/Beretta (I/I/SF/MC), Ferrari 488, 709
7. Hand/Müller/Bourdais (USA/D/F), Ford GT, 690
8. Tandy/Pilet/Estre (GB/F/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 687
9. Briscoe/Westbrook/Mücke (AUS/GB/D), Ford GT, 560
10. Shaytar/Bertolini/Bruni/Calado (RUS/I/I/GB), Ford GT, 557
GTD class Results
1. Potter/Lally/Seefried/Rast (USA/USA/D/D), Audi R8, 703 laps
2. Pappas/Long/Catsburg/Pilgrim (USA/USA/NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 703
3. Keating/Robinson/Mosing/Foss/Faulkner (USA/USA/USA/USA/IRL), Dodge Viper,
4. Dalla Lana/Lauda/Lamy/Stanaway (CDN/A/P/NZ), Aston Martin, 702
5. Ineichen/Basseng/Konrad/Wilsey/Babini (CH/D/D/USA/I), Lamborgini, 702
6. Marsal/Martin/Palttala/Krohn (USA/B/SF/SF), BMW M6, 701