Despite starting from the back of the field due to a post-qualifying engine change, the #911 Porsche North America 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet won Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase in style.
The team finished 5 seconds clear of the sister car driven by Jorg Bergmeister and Earl Bamber. The #912 had started from pole position but had moved down to third place until the final lap.
It looked as if Risi Competizione would take second place until Bergmeister made a last lap pass on Pierre Kaffer. This pushed the Ferrari out wide at turn 13 but Kaffer recovered to finish third along with co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella.
Road America proved to be a circuit that didn’t favour the front-engined cars from Corvette Racing and BMW Team RLL. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia drove the #3 Corvette C7R to fourth place, the car having now been repaired from its Le Mans qualifying crash.
Up next were the two BMW Z4s. The #25 of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner came fifth, ahead of John Edwards and Lucas Luhr‘s #24 entry.
The other Corvette of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin came seventh, ahead of Team Falken Tire‘s Porsche driven by Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler.
“It was a little frustrating at the end there,” commented Oliver Gavin. “I thought I was racing Lucas (Luhr) pretty fair, but he put me in the grass coming out of Turn 13. I didn’t think that needed to happen, but sometimes that is just racing.
“There were definitely two races in the GTLM division, the first between Porsche and Ferrari and the second involving Corvette and BMW.”
Porsche has now won three consecutive races in GTLM, with the #911 continuing its winning form from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The #17 Team Falken Tire car won at Watkins Glen.
“Unfortunately, there was a problem with the car during qualifying, so I couldn’t do a fast lap,” explained Patrick Pilet. “We changed the engine just to be safe for the race.
“It was a good choice, I had a pretty interesting first stint because I had to push really hard in the first lap because I knew I had to overtake the GTD cars as fast as possible just to be close to the GTLM class.”