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WEC Monza

Porsche's Monza WEC result 'at the limit of our capabilities' - Cameron

Dane Cameron feels Porsche’s fourth-place finish at the Monza round of the World Endurance Championship was at the "limit" of what the German brand is currently capable of.

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

Cameron, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki completed Sunday’s 6 Hours of Monza in fourth in the best of the two Porsche Penske Motorsport cars, finishing a lap down on the race-winning #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.

Although the #5 Porsche 963 ran as high as second due the pitstop cycle after starting from eighth on the grid, it was never really in contention for a podium finish, with the LMH cars from Toyota, Ferrari and even Peugeot showing superior pace to the German manufacturer’s LMDh contender in the fifth round of the season.

Two-time IMSA SportsCar champion Cameron hailed Porsche for executing a clean race, but admitted that the team lacked pace to fight at the sharp end of the pack.

“Fourth place for our number five Porsche here in Monza – in the end, it was a good day,” said the American driver. 

“We made smart tactical decisions during the race and executed them well. We were pretty much at the limit of our current capabilities. 

“It’s a pity that towards the end our chances of a podium finish slipped through our fingers like they did at Spa. 

“Nevertheless, we made good progress with the Porsche 963 and with the development of the team.”

Porsche’s LMDh director Urs Kuratle echoed Cameron’s remarks, saying the result was in line with what is possible with the current pace of the 963 LMDh.

“Fourth and seventh place reflect what we can currently achieve with our performance,” said Kuratle.

“We delivered a flawless race, and we were also very good from a technical and strategic standpoint. 

“However, the yellow phases had their snags for us. Our customer team Jota had to deal with some difficulties during the race.”

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kévin Estre, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kévin Estre, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

Photo by: Eric Le Galliot

Approaching the end of the race, the #5 Porsche was circulating in fourth with Makowiecki at the wheel, but the Frenchman was overtaken in quick succession by the #8 Toyota of Brendon Hartley and the #51 Ferrari of James Calado, dropping to sixth at the flag.

However, it returned to fourth in the final order after both the Toyota and Ferrari were hit with penalties, with the #51 car specifically punished for passing Makowiecki by going off track.

The sister #6 Porsche of Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre was classified seventh after losing a chunk of time by having to make an emergency fuel stop under a safety car and then pitting again for regular service when the race went back to green.

A late-drive through penalty for overtaking under the safety car added to its woes.

Lotterer felt the timing of the second safety car period “threw us” out of contention, but was otherwise satisfied with the performance of the #6 crew.

“The race actually went smoothly for us," said the German. “I’m pleased with my double stint. It was similar for my team-mates. 

“Unfortunately, we had some really bad luck with the yellow phases at the beginning. The field had split into two groups and our group was ahead. 

“When there was an accident, the pit lane closed two seconds before we could get in – we were supposed to pit at exactly that moment. That threw us completely out of the race.”

Porsche has scored one podium so far since its return to the top WEC’s top class, a third-place result achieved at Portimao courtesy of Lotterer, Vanthoor and Estre.

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