The CORE autosport Porsche took a podium finish at Lime Rock Park, finishing as the only non-factory team in the top six in the American Le Mans Series.
Tom Kimber Smith and Patrick Long took their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to third place, behind the factory BMW and Corvette and beating factory Vipers, Corvettes and BMWs to the line. A late race splash’n’dash pitstop put the position in doubt, but a crash for a Ferrari in the final two minutes of the race handed the last podium spot back to the Porsche drivers.
”In this day and age, in the ALMS GT class, a podium finish is no small feat,” said Long. “I have to say, I wasn’t sure we’d be on the podium this soon, so it’s a huge confidence booster for the team. Tom Kimber-Smith was solid at the start and then we had a perfect strategy and a car that was consistent over a long run, which is what we’d worked on all week. We knew qualifying wasn’t going to be our strong point, but certainly we had a car to run with the Corvettes and BMWs and fight for a win today. Traffic is always an issue here. It’s crazy. You have to stay out of the tussles. There was a big one at the end, and confidence is one thing, but experience tells you it’s going to back up at the chicane.”
The remaining Porsche cars of Paul Miller Racing and Team Falken Tyre finished seventh and eight in the GT class respectively, while the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache, Jr. took victory in the GTC class, ahead of the JDX Hertz Porsche and the TRG Porsches filling out the top four.
“I love this place, but it has not always loved me back,” said Pumpelly. “This time, however, we were not to be denied, as the Flying Lizards gave us a great car, and Nelson’s first stint was great. We had a fast pit stop, and I was able to keep the competition behind me for the last hour. We made up a lot of points in the standing, and now we are second, just one point out of the lead.”