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WEC: Porsche 911 RSR finishes second in Austin

After a fiercely-contested race at the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC in the USA, Porsche celebrated its fourth podium result of the season. GTE-Pro class

The race At the wheel of their Porsche 911 RSR, which is based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS road-legal sports car, Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) were just 4.210 seconds off claiming victory after 173 laps without a single yellow phase. A technical problem threw the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR three places down the field, with the pair ultimately taking the flag in seventh place in the GTE-Pro class. In the GTE-Am class, Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Egidio Perfetti (Norway) and Germany’s Laurents Hörr clinched third place in the 2017-spec Porche 911 RSR fielded by the Project 1 squad. Taking up the race from the second grid spot, Estre and Christensen put in a spirited and flawless drive and were rewarded with second place. The lost time relegated the Porsche 911 RSR back to seventh place in the GTE-Pro class. GTE-Am class

Comments on the race

Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC): I have mixed feelings about this round. The number 92 car had a very good race, which resulted in a commendable second place. Unfortunately we experienced an electrical problem with our number 91 Porsche 911 RSR. The car stood at the side of the track and we had to change the battery. That cost us several positions and consequently many championship points. Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): In terms of tyre choice, we chose a different strategy than most of our competitors today. We raced on used slicks for most of the time while our rivals ran new tyres and vice versa. That’s why we were sometimes ahead and sometimes behind. But we didn’t let that faze us and we simply focussed on the job at hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to win and we were only four seconds off, but second place yields us important points for the championship.

Race result

2. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 172 laps 7. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 170 laps 3. Perfetti/Hörr/Cairoli (N/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 170 laps 5. Campbell/Ried/Pera (AUS/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 169 laps 6. Wainwright/Barker/Watson (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 169 laps 9. Preining/de Leener/Curtis (A/B/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 168 laps

The qualifying

The reigning world sports car champions Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre secured position two in qualifying for the fifth round of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC on the Circuit of the Americas. The two were only 0.219 seconds shy of pole position in the new Porsche 911 RSR on the 5.513-kilometre Grand Prix circuit. In the No. 91 sister car, Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and the Austrian Richard Lietz concluded the qualifying on fifth place and take up Sunday’s race from the third grid row. In the GTE-Am class, the driver trio Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Le Mans class winner Egidio Perfetti (Norway) and Germany’s Laurents Hörr clinched pole position in the 2017-spec Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Project 1 customer squad. Halfway through the session, they handed the car to their teammates, Lietz and Estre, in positions two and five. Christensen and Estre take up the six-hour race at midday on Sunday from position two in the GTE-Pro class.

Qualifying quotes

Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): Neither Michael nor I managed to turn a perfect lap, so we’re satisfied with second place. It’s important to start from the front grid row. We have to try to stay at the front and go for the lead. The car performed really well during both the free practice and the long runs. Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): It was a long day today with two practice sessions and the evening qualifying. We managed to improve our car from session to session. Unfortunately I had a lot traffic, but that’s what happens when you’re out on the track with different classes. We’re taking up the race from the second grid row. A lot can happen over six hours.

Qualifying result

1. Thiim/Sörensen (DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:00.733 minutes 2. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 2:00.952 minutes 3. Martin/Lynn (B/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:01.029 minutes

Original article

Feb 21, 2020 at 12:07

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