Porsche tackles round seven of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Lime Rock (USA) holding a 24-point lead in the manufacturers’ classification. After scoring five straight wins, the Porsche GT Team now wants to build on this record.
With the two prototype classes absent from the Lime Rock event on 19/20 July, the main focal point will be on the two Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the works team. In the GTD category, the customer squads Park Place Motorsports, Wright Motorsports and Pfaff Motorsports aim to claim a podium spot each with their Porsche 911 GT3 R racing cars.
Lime Rock Park in the US state of Connecticut is the shortest racetrack on the IMSA calendar. The short 2.41-kilometre course was built in 1956 in forested parkland about 200 kilometres north of New York City. The flowing layout featuring seven turns makes sub-minute lap times possible. In the past, the Porsche GT Team has celebrated big successes on this extraordinary course. In 2017, the American factory squad clinched a one-two victory, and in the 2018 season, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) finished on the podium. The two prototype classes will not be contesting the Lime Rock event of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. For this reason, the Porsche GT Team will be chasing overall victory in the North American endurance series.
The Porsche drivers
The winners of the Sebring and Watkins Glen races, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), share the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. The pair currently ranks second in the drivers’ classification. Their works driver colleagues in the No. 912 sister car, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), lead the class after their victories at Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and most recently at Bowmanville, Canada. In the GTD class, three Porsche 911 GT3 R will compete. The customer team Pfaff Motorsports (No. 9) tackles the race with Porsche Young Professional Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Zacharie Robichon from Canada. Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) shares the cockpit of the No. 73 vehicle run by Park Place Motorsports with Germany’s Marco Seefried. The No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R campaigned by Wright Motorsports is shared by Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia) and Anthony Imperato (USA).
The Porsche vehicles
The 911 RSR
For its third racing season in North America, the Porsche 911 RSR has undergone further optimisation primarily in the setup. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the engine, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). The large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing provides aerodynamic efficiency and significant downforce. The 911 GT3 R was newly developed for the 2019 season. Improvements in the areas of aerodynamics and kinematics were systematically implemented from the insights garnered from the many race outings of its predecessor. The six-cylinder engine in the rear of the GT3 customer racer produces over 368 kW (500 hp).
The race over 2:40 hours takes off on Saturday, 20 July, at 3:10pm local time (9:10pm CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on imsa.com
Comments before the race
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “We are determined to continue our sensational winning streak at Lime Rock. At this race on the small circuit in Connecticut, it would be particularly important to finish in first place – because it’s one of the very few chances in the IMSA series to celebrate overall victory. After our five straight wins, we’re certainly not about to lean back. We’re leading the championship, and it should remain like this to the end of the season.”
Steffen Höllwarth (Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship):“There is no time for drivers, strategists and the crew to catch their breath on this extremely short circuit. Another feature of the Lime Rock course is that there is only one left-hander. This has an impact on the cars’ setup and tyre wear. We’ve always performed well there in past years. I expect we’ll have good chances of continuing our great run over these intense weeks in North America.”
This is the IMSA SportsCar Championship
The IMSA SportsCar Championship is a sports car race series that has been contested in the USA and Canada since 2014. The series originated from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), Dpi (Daytona Prototype international) and LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, and the Porsche 911 GT3 R contests the GTD class.