Nick Tandy has scored Porsche North America‘s first front row start since the new 991 GT3 RSR made its way across the Atlantic to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Pushed out by Marc Goossens in the Viper, Tandy was less than one tenth of a second away from claiming pole in the #911 with the sister #912 driven by Patrick Long claiming fifth behind the second Viper and the Corvette C7.R.
Nick Tandy said after qualifying: “We’ll start the race on the Michelin rubber that we used in qualifying, so we had to be careful not to overtax the tyres today. That wasn’t easy, because with the cool weather they took relatively long to reach the right temperature. So we had to find a good compromise. The car ran well and this qualifying was a great start into the new season. I’m happy.”
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “The GTLM class qualifying result underlines just how close the competition is in this category. Only seven-hundredths of a second separate the first and second spot. That’s pretty intense and it promises an action-packed, tough race right to the flag. Teams and drivers can’t afford to make the slightest mistake and the technology needs to work perfectly so that the cars are completely operational for the final one or two hours. I’m very pleased with the qualifying.”
That success was not echoed in the GT Daytona class where the highest placed 911 GT America could only manage seventh place behind the mass of Ferraris, Aston Martins and the GT3 spec SRT Viper.
The Porsche was run by Park Place Motorsports in a car that featured Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard as well as Norbert Siedler, Craig Stanton and Jim Norman. Their nearest Porsche ally was the Dempsey Racing machine that could only manage eleventh place.