Giving Alex Job Racing its 10th class win at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the drivers of the AJR Team Seattle Porsche 911 GT America (l-r) Ian James, Alex Riberas, and Mario Farnbacher celebrate on the GTD podium.
Sebring, Florida, March 21, 2015. After 12 grueling hours of intense heat and event more intense competition at Sebring International Raceway, Porsche captured its 70th career class victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. The No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America took the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's GT Daytona (GTD) class victory, adding to the German marque's status as the most-winning manufacturer in the legendary North American endurance race. Adding to the success, the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR earned a podium finish in the manufacturer-laden GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.
Porsche 911 RSR
Consistency and speed were the hallmarks of the Porsche 911 RSR on the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring circuit. Each of the three entered 911 RSRs - the most advanced variant of the seventh-generation of the iconic sports car - led during the first 11 hours of the 12-hour race. Despite near record-high ambient and track temperatures, the balance of the rear-engine racers proved steady over the course of each fuel stint and throughout the race. Ultimately, it was the No. 17 Team Falken Tire entry driven by Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) as well as Falken Tire factory driver Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia) which would take the podium with a third-place finish.
Factory drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Patrick Pilet (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) ran a flawless race in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR backed by a mistake-free strategy and crew work in pit lane. The official works entry held a strong lead into the final hour when a shifting problem slowed the car. Tandy would bring the car home in fifth in class.
The No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR sat on the pole position and would challenge its sister car and the Falken customer entry throughout the race. Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) were threatening for a podium finish when the left-rear wheel nut failed, locking the wheel to the hub. The team attempted to make repairs in pit lane but would move to the paddock to finish repairs. The car returned to track with 30-minutes remaining to finish seventh in GTLM.
Porsche 911 GT America
Like the faster GTLM class, the GT Daytona class has become a model of close competition. However, nowhere in the Pro-Am class' history has proven to be more competitive than closing laps of Saturdays's second round of the 2015 season. The battle throughout the day saw the bespoke Porsche 911 GT America challenge the Dodge Viper SRT for class superiority in the heat of the central Florida sun. The battle came down to the closing minutes of the 12-hour event. The No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America - shared by Ian James (Phoenix, Arizona), Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and Alex Riberas (Spain) - led with ten-minutes remaining. Under heavy pressure from the Viper, Farnbacher went deep into Turn 10 and off the track. He returned undamaged but in second-place and began the charge to recapture the lead. With four minutes left on the clock, the Viper rolled into pit lane without power. Farnbacher brought the No. 23 home with the win. In 63 years of the 12 Hours of Sebring, Porsche has stood on the top step of the podium with class and overall victories 70 times. 10 of those class victories have Alex Job Racing pedigrees.
Alex Job Racing has Sebring victories in 2015, 2013, 2012 (one-two in GTC class), 2010 (one-two-three in GTC), 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999 and 1995.
Richard Lietz, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "It was a good job with the 912 and 911. Everybody put so much heart into this race. I was excited to finish on the podium but this time luck was not on our side. But, we will go home and work and come back stronger."
Patrick Pilet, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "The car was strong. The entire team was strong. I think we can be proud because honestly it was the best race I have ever had. From aspect of pace, no contact, the car was really quick, the mechanics did a great job, the strategy was perfect. Unfortunately, we had a problem shifting, but that's motorsport, this can happen. It is really frustrating because we had the perfect chance to win both races, Daytona and Sebring, and we didn't get it but we will continue to fight. I'm pretty optimistic because the team is really strong and that's a good thing to have."
Earl Bamber, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "The car was really good all day. The 912 was pretty strong, starting from pole and leading the first stint. We dropped back a little, but fought our way right back to the front to second-place and there was a one-two there, looked very nice. Then unfortunately it fell apart. But it shows we've got strong pace, that the team is doing a good job and we still have good spirits and will come out fighting at Long Beach."
Jörg Bergmeister, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "At the beginning of the race, we had the quickest car. For the whole race we were able to fight for the lead or lead the race. But in the end, it is unfortunate, very unfortunate, that we had that problem with the wheel nut. But the positive thing is that we were very competitive and I look forward to Long Beach now."
Frédéric Makowiecki, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "Honestly, the team did an amazing job. We came here one month ago to do a private test and we found a really good solution. The car was really quick and I think in terms of pure performance, the 911 and 912 were the most consistent cars on the track. But unfortunately, the result is not the result we expected. And from our side we missed a good result."
Patrick Long, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "A long day. Sebring is always difficult but today was extra difficult with the heat. We had a great start to the race to get up with the lead pack. I'm happy with the podium after a pretty trying day. I think the guys had great pit stops all day and it was awesome to lead early on. It's a great honor to be a part of this group with Bryan and Wolf, Walker Racing and the Falken organization. I look forward to Petit Le Mans and I wish these guys the best the rest of the season."
Wolf Henzler, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "It was a great team effort today. The Falken Tires were running great. The changes we made for the race were the way to go. We could go the pace of the other cars. The car was running perfectly. For a while we were even leading the race. We are really happy with third place. We are looking forward to the rest of the season."
Bryan Sellers, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "It was a good day for everyone at Falken Tire. We fought hard. The Porsche was fast and showed good speed all day long. It was definitely an improvement from where we were in qualifying. It shows good focus for the future for the Team Falken Tire Porsche."
Mario Farnbacher, No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "I was battling with the Aston Martin and the Viper. I really beat up the front tires. With the new set of tires and the cooler temperatures I was good at the end until I started to lose the brakes. I struggled to keep the Viper behind me and then he went past. I thought it was over. The team radioed and said he pitted and got out of the car and that I had 10 seconds lead on the Aston. I just kept my focus and brought the car home for the win. It is a great feeling to get Team Seattle their first win, especially at Sebring!"
Alex Job, owner, Alex Job Racing: "Wow, ten wins at Sebring. Super Mario [Farnbacher] brought it home for us. We went through the full range of emotions at the end. Mario did a great job to bring the car home for the win. Ian and Alex did had fantastic runs all day and had the car up in the top five all race. We had good strategy and great pit stops. The only hiccup we had was a flat tire in the late afternoon, but we were able to overcome that and take the win. What a day!"
GT Le Mans Standings
1. No. 3 Jan Magnusson (Denmark)/Antonio Garcia (Spain)/Ryan Briscoe (USA), Chevrolet Corvette C7-R - 330 laps
2. No. 62 Pierre Kaffer (Germany)/Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy)/Andrea Bertolini (Italy), Ferrari F458 Italia - 330 laps
3. No. 17 Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Bryan Sellers (USA)/Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 RSR - 329 laps
4. No. 24 John Edwards (USA)/Lucas Luhr (Germany)/Jens Klingmann (Germany), BMW Z4 GTE - 329 laps
5. No. 911 Nick Tandy (UK)/Patrick Pilet (France)/Marc Lieb (Germany), Porsche 911 RSR - 328 laps
7. No. 912 Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/Frédéric Makowiecki (France)/Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Porsche 911 RSR - 317 laps
GT Daytona Standings
1. No. 23 Ian James (USA)/Mario Farnbacher (Germany)/Alex Riberas (Spain), Porsche 911 GT America - 318 laps
2. No. 007 Christina Nielsen (Denmark)/James Davison (Australia)/Brandon Davis (USA), Aston Martin V12 Vantage - 318 laps
3. No. 63 Bill Sweedler (USA)/Townsend Bell (USA)/Anthony Lazzaro (USA), Ferrari 458 Italia - 318 laps
4. No. 93 Al Carter (USA)/Marc Goossens (Belgium)/Ben Keating (USA)/Cameron Lawrence (USA), Dodge Viper SRT - 317 laps
5. No. 48 Christopher Haase (Germany)/Miller (USA)/von Moltke (USA), Audi R8 LMS - 317 laps
6. No. 58 Madison Snow (USA)/Jan Heylen (USA)/Emilio Valverde (Costa Rica), Porsche 911 GT America - 316 laps
7. No. 22 Cooper MacNeil (USA)/Leh Keen (USA)/Andrew Davis (USA), Porsche 911 GT America - 316 laps
11 No. 44 John Potter (USA)/Andy Lally (USA)/Marco Seefried (Germany) Porsche 911 GT America - 179 laps
12 No. 73 Patrick Lindsey (USA)/Spencer Pumpelly (USA)/Jim Norman (USA), Porsche 911 GT America - 155 laps
13. No. 81 Damien Faulkner (Ireland)/Mike Skeen (USA)/Michael Avenatti (USA)/Kuba Giermaziak (Poland), Porsche 911 GT America - 104 laps
About Porsche Motorsport North America
Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), located in Santa Ana, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and the sole sales and service provider for the German sports car maker's North American customer sports programs. Porsche is the largest manufacturer of race cars with a wide range of products from the 911 GT3 Cup car to the ultimate 911 RSR. PMNA sells these models to customer teams in North America and provides them with parts, service and expertise in between races and at the track. The PMNA service truck is a fixture at most race tracks in the U.S. and Canada, staffed by factory engineers to service all of Porsche's customer teams.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 270 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 189 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 66-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
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