Porsche GT Team back in the rhythm at 2019 Roar before the Rolex 24

by Vince Pettit

A total of 2,120 kilometres of running was undertaken by the Porsche GT Team as they completed three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway for the Roar before the Rolex 24.

Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki will share the #911 Porsche 911 RSR at the upcoming 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona while Earl Bamber, Mathieu Jaminet and Laurens Vanthoor will line up in the #912.

Vanthoor missed the test session due to the birth of his first child, but will be back in the car ready for the race at the end of January.

“That was a successful test.” said Pascal Zurlinden Director GT Factory Motorsport. “We’re very familiar with the car, it’s the third outing at Daytona for the latest 911 RSR. The tyres are new for us this year.

“The IMSA series has now adopted the tyres from the WEC. This, of course, requires some adjustments. We managed to tick all the boxes on our test list. We experienced rain, sunshine, high and low temperatures – you can’t have it better than that for a test.”

Credit: Porsche

Nick Tandy was happy with the three-day test, explaining how important it is to get back on track after the winter break. “The test was an important preparation – for both the race and the entire season. After the winter break we all had to get back into our normal rhythm.

“We not only worked on the setup, but above all we practiced procedures such as pit stops and driver changes. It’s critical to do this during the ‘Roar’ so that you can completely focus on the finer details of the car during the race week.”

Patrick Pilet added, “Testing at Daytona is always extremely important because the racetrack has unusual characteristics. It’s important to have the best possible top speed on the oval passages, but without being hampered too much by insufficient downforce in the infield.”

Credit: Porsche

In the sister car, Earl Bamber spoke of the importance of the test for the team as a whole, not just the drivers, “Although the winter break was really short, you still have to work your way back into the procedures.

“This applies as much to the mechanics and engineers as it does to us drivers. We got back into a really good rhythm during the test, and it didn’t take long at all for everything to fall into place again. We’re ready and well prepared to start the race week at Daytona.”

Mathieu Jaminet continues to adjust to the 911 RSR as he builds up his seat time in the car, “I drove the 911 RSR at the end of the 2018 season, but the car is still pretty new for me.

“For this reason the emphasis over these test days was to continue familiarising myself with the car and the racetrack. Everything went really well.

“The car handles the different sectors very well and our pace was also first-class over longer distances.”

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