Porsche brought its 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship season to a close with a podium position in Bahrain.
Patrick Pilet and Joerg Bergmeister drove to a strong second place in the highly competitive GTE Pro category, piloting the new 911 RSR featuring technical modifications that will be used in the 2014 season.
Pilet started the race from second in the #91 911, fending off his rivals’ attacks throughout the first hour of the race until the first round of pit stops. Both Pilet and Bergmeister enjoyed a strong battle with one of the Ferraris for the win, having to settle for second at the drop of the chequered flag, the fifth podium of the year for the duo.
“Second place off the bat with the new car is a great result,” said Pilet. “The handling of our 911 RSR was really good. That it wasn’t enough to win was due to the fact that we lost a little time towards the end of the stints with deteriorating tyres. Still, it was a pleasing end to the season. I’m already looking forward to 2014.”
It was not a successful outing for the sister 911, however. Starting from pole, Richard Lietz race took a turn for the worse early on when he was collected by a spinning prototype car, forcing the Porsche driver to come to the pits for repairs. The pit stop put Lietz and team-mate Marc Lieb a lap down a gap that could not be closed down over the race, despite consistently quick lap times and pit stops.
“All in all it was a conciliatory conclusion to the season,” said Porsche’s Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “Our modified 911 RSR ran well. It was a real shame that our number 92 car was hit in just the fourth lap. That of course affected the mood a little. I would like to thank the entire team, especially the drivers, for another flawless performance. The way Marc drove despite suffering from a gastro-intestinal bug is truly admirable. This maiden season with our 911 RSR was dominated, of course, by the incredible double victory in Le Mans. We struggled somewhat in the first races, but afterwards things improved. If we can continue next season from where we have left off here, then 2014 could prove to be a very good year for Porsche.”