The #911 Porsche GT Team trio of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki fought through to win the Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday despite falling a lap down in the GT Le Mans class, and all three drivers were ecstatic that the perseverance they showed brought them a third high-profile endurance race victory of 2018.
The final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season saw another superb battle amongst the GT Le Mans manufacturers, and a fuel-saving stint from Tandy in the final stint brought the trio the win by 11.443 seconds from the #4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet of Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler.
“What a crazy race!” said Tandy. “We were relegated from the front to the back and then came back to the front. When you’re a lap down and still manage to win, it shows just how brilliantly the entire team worked.
“Our focus was on ensuring that the car was still fast in cool temperatures at the end. And it worked perfectly. And that was the key to victory.”
The win at Road Atlanta came after previous triumphs in 2018 in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Nürburgring 24 Hours, and it was that last event that Pilet reminded Tandy of heading into the final stint.
“Such moments underline why we systematically work together as a unit throughout the year,” reiterated Pilet. “In such races you’re rewarded for this. We always believed we could win.
“When Nick climbed into the car for the final stints, I said to him: “Do it like at the Nürburgring. Go flat out and give it all you’ve got.” That’s exactly what he did. Everything came together.
“I’m incredibly proud of the whole team. To score so many victories at major races in one season is simply a dream.”
Makowiecki says the victories this season show just how well the three drivers work together, and it feels amazing to add the Petit Le Mans victory to their résumés.
“Victory at Sebring, at the Nürburgring and now here – amazing!” said Makowiecki. “It shows just how well Patrick, Nick and I work as a team.
“Again today, we always believed we could do it and we stayed calm even in difficult situations. As a driver, it simply feels fantastic to win three big races in one year.”