No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR makes its final full-service pit stop en route to a fifth place finish at The Glen.
Watkins Glen, New York. Despite being the shortest of the endurance races on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule, the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen is traditionally one of the most difficult. That was proven today here at Watkins Glen International as the two-car Porsche 911 RSR factory effort, Porsche North America, finished fifth and eighth in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The Team Falken Tire customer-owned Porsche 911 RSR finished ninth. The GT Daytona class battle was equally intense, as Magnus Racing took third in their Porsche 911 GT America followed closely by the Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America in fourth.
Porsche 911 RSR
Starting tenth, the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR ran consistently near the front of the GTLM pack throughout the six-hour race. With works drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria) splitting driving duties on the historic track in the Finger Lakes region of New York, the No. 911 was seventh as a caution flew with 10-minutes remaining. A dedicated effort by safety and corner workers cleared the caution-causing incident with time for a last lap battle to the checkered flag. Entering the last corner of the 3.4-mile, 11-turn facility, several cars made contact ahead of the No. 911. Tandy, who became a father for the first time on Friday, kept a clear head through the chaos to move to fifth at the checkered flag.
The No. 912 Porsche North America entry shared by Michael Christensen (Denmark), Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, California) and Patrick Pilet (France) had a less dramatic day after qualifying fourth. However, various issues would relegate the trio of factory drivers to eighth at the checkered flag.
The only customer Porsche 911 RSR racing in the Tudor Championship, the No. 17 Team Falken Tire entry, has Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia) behind the wheel. Both the German and his longtime American teammate ran in the top-three early in the day but eventually finished just behind the No. 912 in ninth position.
Porsche 911 GT America
On a day when several of the Porsche 911 GT America entries were involved in on-track incidents which pushed them out of the top finishing positions, several teams had solid performances which helped earn them important points in the class championship.
The No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America of John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah), Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.) and Sebastian Asch (Germany) overcame an injury suffered by Lally in yesterday's Continental Tire Challenge race to help the team score its third podium finish in five races. The third-place finish moved the team into second place in the GTD driver point standings. Lally and Potter are now only eight points behind the leaders in class.
Lally, the "closer" for Magnus as he typically drives the last stint, had a large heat blister form on his foot yesterday. The injury was treated last night, and Lally took over the Porsche in fourth place for the final hour. Lally went out to move the Porsche onto the podium. There was a little less pressure on Lally as the team added Sebastian Asch, a young German driver now driving ADAC GT series, and Asch's mistake-free stints shortened the time Lally had to drive.
The No. 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America driven by Patrick Dempsey (Malibu, California), Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia) and Joe Foster (Suwanee, Georgia) finished right behind Magnus in fourth place. It was their best finish of the season. Davis started the car, and then Dempsey did his first stint, followed by a Foster double stint. The car, which qualified 11th in GTD, moved up steadily with all three drivers gaining positions before the Davis brought the car home.
The other Porsche which made up many positions during the course of the race was the Kuba Giermaziak (Poland), Christina Nielsen (Denmark)-driven No. 30 NGT Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, which started 15th and finished sixth in GTD.
The Tudor Championship now travels outside of the United States for the only time in 2014. The sixth round of the first year series will take place on July 13 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America: "We obviously had a few problems but in any long distance race you just have to keep fighting. That last lap was well worth running for us as it gave us two extra spots. In that position, you are just wondering how many points you can bring home. We never give up at Porsche."
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "I thought we might be going green at the end because they had cleaned up turn six but there was a recovery vehicle still on the track when we went by there. I made sure to get the tires clean just in case and, fortunately, it worked out. There was an incident in the last corner, in front of us. I am not exactly sure what happened. But, in the end, we got fortunate for once in this race and gained two positions."
Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "I am happy that the car worked better in the race than in qualifying. So, our efforts improved the car from yesterday. It was crazy in traffic today. There is never going to be any clear lap here unfortunately. It was really fun to drive. It was hard fighting."
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "The start was action packed. We had some contact and lost a couple of spots. We were able to make that up and get our positions back. However, we had two unscheduled pit stops later in the race and our fate was sealed. We have our work cut out for us going to Canada. But, that is competition. We are all very focused and when you have a group like Porsche focused, great things can happen."
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "I was quite surprised we went green at the end. But, all you can do is react and race. We finished the race and that is a bright spot. Unfortunately, nothing went our way today. We did not have the pace and we did not have the luck. We will come together and work hard for the race."
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "I enjoyed being with the team but it was not easy in the car. We had a problem with the balance. All the guys did a great job and now we need to think about the next races."
Wolf Henzler, Driver, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "The race was not what we expected. We struggled a little this week. On Saturday the balance of the car changed completely and we are not sure why. We are very good at the start of the stint but we lose throughout. So, we need to look at this. We had good pit stops. Like always the Falken Tire team did a good job. I am looking forward to Mosport. I hope it will be a little bit better."
Bryan Sellers, Driver, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "Execution-wise, Team Falken Tire, as always, was great. We had a couple of really good pit stops that put us out in front of cars. Unfortunately, the race just wasn't anywhere near what we were hoping for or expecting. We thought after testing here that we had a combination we could race but, unfortunately, we were not able to today. It seems like we are moving the right direction but we struggled with the changing track conditions. We needed it to stay hot and greasy and it cooled down at the end. Just a difficult weekend. We'll regroup and go to Canada with higher expectations."
Patrick Dempsey, No. 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "We have turned the corner in the last month with a strong showing at Detroit, a good test at Indy, now a fourth at the Glen. The team really pulled together for this one, and the drivers all drove smart stints. We didn't make any mistakes, and our pit stops were good. Joe and Andrew were fast, and I had my best race season as well."
Andrew Davis, No. 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "I am very proud of the Beautyrest Black Dempsey Racing Porsche team today. Team leaders Greg Cates and John Wright called a great race, and the drivers stayed out of trouble. Most importantly, it restored confidence in the team that we can be major contenders in this strong GT Daytona field."
Joe Foster, No. 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "We didn't have the pace - we knew that from the start - but we didn't make any mistakes, either drivers or crew, and that resulted in a good finish. We maximized the performance that we could get from this car today, and we ran in the top three for almost half the race."
Andy Lally, No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "This is just such an awesome team; we had to fight the whole way for today's podium. We knew after practice and qualifying that we had a fantastic Porsche for today. Once we got going in the race we knew we had something strong. Sebastian and John drove incredible stints, and did a great job of not only giving me a clean car, but one in a good position. Unfortunately, no one had anything for one of the other marques, especially with a race that went green for as long as it did. We're looking good in the points and I'm excited about heading to Mosport."
John Potter, No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "Any time we can go home with a trophy, it is a good day, and we managed just that. Three podiums in five races is a great result in this highly competitive championship. If you can't finish first, you at least want to finish as the first Porsche, which we've also done. We have a great team and a great car, and that shows with our championship standing. Andy and Sebastian did a remarkable job, and I couldn't be happier for everyone on the team."
GT Le Mans Results
1. No. 3 Jan Magnussen (Denmark)/Antonio Garcia (Spain), Corvette C-7R - 185 laps
2. No. 91 Dominik Farnbacher (Germany)/Marc Goossens (Belgium), Dodge SRT Viper - 185 laps
3. No. 93 Jonathan Bomarito (Monterey, Calif.)/Kuno Wittmer (Canada), Dodge SRT Viper - 185 laps
4. No. 4 Oliver Gavin (UK)/Tommy Milner (Lake Mary, Fla.), Corvette C-7R - 185 laps
5. No. 911 Nick Tandy (UK)/Richard Lietz (Austria), Porsche 911 RSR - 185 laps
8. No. 912 Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.)/Michael Christensen (Denmark), Patrick Pilet (France) Porsche 911 RSR - 184 laps
9. No. 17 Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga, Porsche 911 RSR - 184 laps
GT Daytona Results
1. No. 94 Dane Cameron (Atlanta, Ga.)/Markus Palttala (Finland), BMW Z4 - 178 laps
2. No. 555 Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)/Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.), Ferrari 458 Italia - laps
3. No. 44 John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah)/Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.), Sebastian Asch (Germany) Porsche 911 GT America - 177 laps
4. No. 27 Patrick Dempsey (Malibu, Calif.)/Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.), Joe Foster (Suwanee, Geo.) Porsche 911 GT America - 177 laps
5. No. 63 Allesandro Balzan (Italy)/Jeff Westphal (San Francisco, Calif.)/Brandon Davis (Napa, Calif.) Ferrari F458 Italia - 177 laps
6. No. 30 Kuba Giermaziak (Poland)/Christina Nielsen (Denmark), Porsche 911 GT America - 175 laps
9. No. 81 Damien Faulkner (Ireland)/Ben Barker (England)/Mike Avenatti (Sacramento, Calif.), Porsche 911 GT America - 171 laps
12. No. 22 Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.)/Leh Keen (Atlanta)/Philipp Frommanwiler (Switzerland), Porsche 911 GT America - 156 laps
13. No. 58 Jan Heylen (Tampa, Fla.)/Madison Snow (Lehi, Utah), Porsche 911 GT America -149 laps
15. No. 18 Peter Ludwig (New Paltz, N.Y.)/David Calvert-Jones (Los Angeles, Calif.)/Patrick-Otto Madsen (Boca Raton, Fla.), Porsche 911 GT America - 137 laps
18. No. 73 Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.)/Jim Norman (Tampa, Fla.)/Jaap van Lagen (Miami), Porsche 911 GT America - 57 laps
Complete results available at www.IMSA.com.