Porsche boss hails “perfect” run to victory at Sebring

Pascal Zurlinden, Porsche’s director of GT factory motorsports said that Sebring 12 Hours victory in GTLM was down to a faultless run by the drivers and the team with a car that was “not the fastest over a lap.”

Porsche boss hails “perfect” run to victory at Sebring
GTLM winners Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frédéric Makowiecki, Porsche Team North America
#912 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Gianmaria Bruni, Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber
GTLM winner Nick Tandy, Porsche Team North America
#911 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frédéric Makowiecki
#912 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Gianmaria Bruni, Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber
#911 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM podium: second place Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, Connor de Phillippi, BMW Team RLL, winners Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frédéric Makowiecki, Porsche Team North America, third place Gianmaria Bruni, Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber, Porsche Team North America
GTLM podium: winners Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frédéric Makowiecki, Porsche Team North America

Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki clinched the win just 6.2sec ahead of one of the BMW M8s, while Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor and Gianmaria Bruni overcame an off-track excursion to take third.

Porsche, which has 18 outright victories at Sebring Raceway as well as 71 calss wins, saw Vanthoor’s #912 Porsche 911 RSR hit the front of the class, while Makowiecki would later lead the race in the #911 car for two hours.

With less than two hours to go, Patrick Pilet pitted from the lead and Tandy drove the final stints, dueling with Alexander Sims in the BMW until breaking his challenge and pulling away.

Meanwhile Bruni, who’d caused a yellow flag by tearing off his rear diffuser and rear valance by straddling a curb, had his car quickly repaired and he and his co-drivers inched back up the leaderboard to reach the top three.

“It’s a great achievement to score two podium spots at Sebring,” said Zurlinen. “The secret was our consistency and the fact that we didn’t make one mistake. We may not have been the fastest over a lap, but over the distance the drivers and the entire team put in a perfect performance.

“Even when we had to repair the #912 car in the pits, we pulled out all stops to get the car back up the front. Today was a great day for Porsche.”

Pilet agreed with his boss’s assessment, saying: “The pit crew didn’t make one mistake and our strategy was perfect. To celebrate this achievement with my friends Nick and Fred is incredible. After the qualifying, victory seemed a long way off. But when you’re determined to achieve something and you go for it, you can do it. This race is proof of that.”

Tandy added: “They say that the best victories come from the toughest races. Today was such a race. We didn’t have the slightest problem over the entire distance and that was the key to our success.

“My last two stints were incredibly intense, especially the duels with the [Risi Competizione] Ferrari and the BMW. We switched to new tires during the last pit stop – after that, nothing could hold us back.”

“That was one of my greatest successes,” said Makowiecki. “Sebring is my all-time favorite race in the USA and we knew that we’d only have a chance if we as a team didn’t make any mistakes. It was a really tough race, but that makes this victory all the more special.”

 

shares
comments
Vautier on Sebring shunt: “The wall came to me pretty quickly”

Previous article

Vautier on Sebring shunt: “The wall came to me pretty quickly”

Next article

IMSA’s GTLM field “better balanced now,” says BMW boss

IMSA’s GTLM field “better balanced now,” says BMW boss
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020