Porsche North America 911 RSR - no.911 - makes its one pit stop en route to a fourth-place finish at Long Beach.
Trio of Porsche 911 RSR Fight Streets of Long Beach, Holds Manufacturer Point Lead
Long Beach, Calif. The trio of Porsche 911 RSR entered in today's 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 Playa del Rey, California's Patrick Long and Denmark's Michael Christensen, fifth in class. The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR 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 Lietz relinquished the car to Tandy with fresh Michelin tires and a full fuel load from their fifth place qualifying position. One lap later, the No. 912 stopped with Long taking over from 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, Tandy ran a mostly unchallenged race to cross under the checkered flag 27-seconds behind the winning Corvette of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. Long, on the other hand, had a heated battle with fellow Southern Californian Bill Auberlen in the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE. Long held off the pressing BMW to take the top-five spot in front of his hometown crowd.
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.
The next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be held at the classic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. on May 4. The weekend will feature separate races for the GTLM and GT Daytona (GTD) classes. The Porsche 911 GT America will race in a GTD/Prototype Challenge (PC), two-hour, 45-minute race followed by the GTLM and Prototype classes in their own two-hour, 45-minute race. It is the first time the format has been tried in the championship.
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 just a good old fashion Southern Californian street fight with Bill [Auberlen]. It was a good hard, clean fight.
Yesterday morning put us behind and we never had a chance to catch up. It's super competitive this year and to miss two hours of the two hours and 45 of track time was really hard to recover. 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."
Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America: "I think obviously, we were trying to give it our best. In this race, we had to just try and consolidate our position and bring home the points. It was as simple as that."
Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach GT Le Mans Results
1. Jan Magnussen (Denmark)/Antonio Garcia (Spain), Corvette C-7R - 75 laps
2. Dirk Mueller (Switzerland)/John Edwards (Cincinnati, Ohio), BMW Z4 - 75 laps
3. Oliver Gavin (UK)/Tommy Milner (Lake Mary, Fla.), Corvette C-7R - 75 laps
4. Nick Tandy (UK)/Richard Lietz (Austria), Porsche 911 RSR - 75 laps
5. Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.)/Michael Christensen (Denmark), Porsche 911 RSR - 75 laps
6. Bill Auberlen (Redondo Beach, Calif.)/Andy Priaulx (UK), BMW Z4 - 75 laps
7. Dominik Farnbacher (Germany)/Marc Goossens (Belgium), SRT Viper -75 laps
8. Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga, Porsche 911 RSR - 74 laps
9. Gianmaria Bruni (Italy)/Dane Cameron (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia - 73 laps
10. Jonathan Bomarito (Monterey, Calif.)/Kuno Wittmer (Canada), SRT Viper - 56 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 GT3 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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