Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 2: 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic
Stuttgart. The Sebring 12 Hours is the oldest and toughest sports car race in the USA. Three Porsche 911 RSR will tackle the GTLM class at the 63rd running of the prestigious classic contested on the Sebring International Raceway on 21 March.
For the Porsche North America works team and the Falken Tire customer squad, eight works drivers will do their utmost to repeat Porsche’s win from last year on the airfield circuit in the heart of Florida, which is notorious for its bumpy surface. With 18 overall victories and 67 class wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Sebring 12 hour race.
Last year’s winners Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) as well as Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) share driving duties in the number 912 vehicle.
Tackling the race for the Falken Tire customer outfit are the Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), reinforced by Bryan Sellers (USA). Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA) contests the GTD class at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT America fielded by Muehlner Motorsports.
The Porsche vehicles
The Porsche 911 GT America, built specifically for the GTD class of the 2014-inaugurated Tudor United SportsCar Championship, features a four-litre, six-cylinder engine and also produces 470 hp. The vehicle is an improved version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the most successful and widely-produced race car in the world.
Comments before the race
Patrick Pilet (#911): “Sebring is a very special race on a very special circuit. It’s always a hard fight for victory and the avid fans give the whole event a fantastic ambience.”
Nick Tandy (#911): “It’s always a highlight to compete in Sebring, regardless in which series you compete for the rest of the year. On this storied track you truly breathe sports car history and that fascinates me.”
Richard Lietz (#911): “Sebring is a race that throws extremes at you. You can’t afford to make the slightest error – if you do you have no chance.”
Earl Bamber (#912): “It didn’t go so well for us at Daytona, so now I’m hoping we can make up lost ground in the championship at Sebring.”
Jörg Bergmeister (#912): “Sebring is a real classic. To drive at the limit on this bumpy track takes everything from a driver. But it’s always huge fun.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#912): “At Daytona we weren’t able to really underline the potential of the 911 RSR over the whole distance. Now I’m hoping we can do this in Sebring and fight for victory.”
Wolf Henzler (#17): “Last year Sebring was the first race with the 911 RSR for my Falken Tire team. Since then we’ve won Petit Le Mans and now I reckon our chances for victory in Sebring look good as well.”
Patrick Long (#17): “Even though I’m concentrating on my WEC campaign with Patrick Dempsey, I’m looking forward to the chance of supporting Wolf and Bryan in Sebring.”
This is the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
The series was formed 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), P (Prototype) and PC (Prototype Challenge). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT America contesting the GTD class.
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Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Porsche holds manufacturer point lead with strong team effort, Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 3: Long Beach, USA
Porsche holds manufacturer point lead with strong team effort
Stuttgart. Factory trio of Porsche 911 RSR entered in Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach fought both the city streets of Southern California and the competition, and left retaining the lead in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Manufacturer Championship point standings.
The No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria) took the checkered flag in fourth-place with the team car, the No. 912 of Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark), fifth in class.
The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA) finished eighth.
The race hinged on a single pit stop with approximately one hour remaining in the 100-minute race, by far the shortest race of the season. First, the No. 911 stopped and Richard Lietz relinquished the car to Nick Tandy with fresh Michelin tires and a full fuel load from their fifth place qualifying position.
One lap later, the No. 912 stopped with Patrick Long taking over from Michael Christensen who was running sixth at the time. After the rotation, the No. 911 gained one spot moving to fourth while the No. 912 did the same, moving to fifth. From the sole pit stop to the conclusion of the third round of the championship, Nick Tandy ran a mostly unchallenged race to cross under the checkered flag 27 seconds behind the winners.
The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR with factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga.) also gained one spot on their starting position finishing eight with efficient pit work.
The eighth-place follows a fifth earned during the debut of the privately entered 911 RSR at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
Nick Tandy: “The result is better than our pace this weekend as we improved on our qualifying position. We scored two high points places for the team and gained points back on the championship leader. It’s not a podium but it’s two cars in the top-five, so it’s good.”
Richard Lietz: “I think we did the maximum we could do. We didn’t have the speed today to stay with the guys in front of us but we did our best. I think it was positive but we need to work to find the additional speed.”
Patrick Long: “I am happy we persevered with a lot of challenges today. Fourth and fifth are not first and second but it’s a long season so we need to put points on the board. I didn’t have a radio for the whole stint so I didn’t know if the BMW was on the lead lap. I just pushed as hard as I could at the end. It was a good hard, clean fight with Bill Auberlen. Michael did a really solid job and we just made the best of what we had this weekend.“
Michael Christensen: “That was fun. Obviously, it was a little bit of a train most of the stint. That’s how it is, it’s tough to get by on a street circuit but I did my best to move forward.”
Wolf Henzler: “We have to sit down now after this race and look at what we did and what we can do better. We still need to understand the car better and how it reacts to setup changes on the Falken tire. I think we will have something better for Laguna Seca.”
1. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 75 laps
2. Müller/Edwards (D/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 75
3. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 75
4. Lietz/Tandy (A/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 75
5. Christensen/Long (DK/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 75
6. Priaulx/Auberlen (GB/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 75
8. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 74
Round 4 of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship will take place on May 4 in Laguna Seca, California.
Please note: The Twitter channel @PorscheRaces provides live updates with the latest information and photos from race tracks around the world.