Porsche 911 GT3 R scores 1-2 win in 24 Hours of Spa
THE Porsche 911 GT3 R cars fielded by two teams at the 24 Hours of Spa held last weekend have just handed Porsche a one-two victory in Belgium’s endurance classic. The win is Porsche’s seventh overall in what it calls as the “most important GT3 event” — 248 drivers campaigned 72 cars in this race.
GPX Racing’s No. 20 911 GT3 R, driven by current Sportscar world champions Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Richard Lietz, finished first after 363 laps while the No. 998 car of Rowe Racing, shared by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki, came in second.
Five of the six Porsche Pro-cars finished as well, the carmaker said.
The rains disrupted most parts of the race — which even had to be stopped for almost six hours on Sunday. But the No. 20 911 GT3 R took advantage of this to recover from a drive-through penalty handed the team on Saturday evening. The team was eighth when the race was halted, then tore through the field following the restart.
Estre took the lead with two hours to go, according to Porsche, adding the No. 998 Rowe Racing car followed it to the checkered flag.
Taking the last podium step was the No. 4 Mercedes-AMG of Marco Engel, Luca Stolz and Yelmer Buurman.
“This was another typically crazy race at Spa,” said Estre after the race. “We had to master various weather conditions and aquaplaning.”
The driver noted the team had to conquer “one position after the other,” and that its car was on slicks in the rain and on wets on the drying track.
“But after the race was halted in the morning we were confident to have the right strategy to make it to the top,” Estre said.
For his part, Porsche Motorsport vice-president Fritz Enzinger said the efforts of the engineers, strategists, pit crews and drivers were impressive.
“Congratulations to our customer teams at Spa…. They all cooperated with our support crew from Weissach in the best possible way. We’ve scored this victory together. And the Porsche 911 again proved to be the car to beat at sports car races.”
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