On its race debut, Porsche 911 RSR takes one-two finish at the 4H of Silverstone
FIRST race. First win. The new Porsche 911 RSR secured a one-two victory in its race debut at the season-opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone in Great Britain. Drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz crossed the finish line first in the No. 91 car and reigning world champions Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre claimed second place in the No. 92 sister car.
“We experienced a lot in the short qualifying: a spin, a tire defect, damage to the front. That was really intense. I was able to turn my laps normally after the repairs. Ultimately, fourth place was possible — a position that is absolutely fine for the first outing of the new Porsche 911 RSR,” said Lietz.
A perfect tactic from the world champion team, strong driving performances, swift pit stops, and a reliable and fast car in both dry and the wet conditions were the key factors for this one-two win.
After a mediocre qualifying performance, the two 911 RSRs run by the factory squad took up the four-hour race from positions four and six on the grid. In sunny conditions in the early phase, the two new GTE racers from Weissach initially made up very little ground. A heavy shower after around 90 minutes of racing changed the situation significantly. In contrast to the rivals, the Porsche GT Team opted for rain tires — an ideal choice. The drivers made perfect use of the improved tire grip on the wet track and managed to pull well clear of the field in the new 911 RSR, which is based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS.
However, this margin disappeared when the safety car was deployed after two hours of racing. In the remaining 120 minutes, the drivers staved off attacks from the competition on a drying track and crossed the finish line in first and second places, separated by 3.802 seconds.
In the GTE-Am class, the best-placed 911 RSR finished in fourth place, although right up until the final pit stop, drivers Michael Wainwright, Ben Barker and Andrew Watson were on course for a podium result in the No. 86 vehicle fielded by Gulf Racing. Fifth place went to the No. 77 car run by Dempsey-Proton Racing with Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and Riccardo Pera. The sister car with the starting number 88, in which Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining had his first outing, finished in 11th place. The two 911 RSR campaigned by Project 1 yielded positions six (No. 56) and 10 (No. 57).
After the one-two victory at the opening round of the 2019/2020 season, Porsche leads all categories of the GTE-Pro class. Next up on the calendar is the race in Fuji, Japan on October 6.
“At its race premiere, the new Porsche 911 RSR clearly exceeded our expectations. Congratulations to the drivers and the team for a perfect performance at Silverstone. This great success was only possible because the entire Porsche Motorsport team did such excellent work. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this project and made the new car into a winner,” said Fritz Enzinger, vice president of Porsche Motorsport.
1. Lietz/Bruni, Porsche 911 RSR, 115 laps
2. Christensen/Estre, Porsche 911 RSR, + 3.802 seconds
3. Lynn/Martin, Aston Martin Vantage, + 6.286 seconds
4. Calado/Pier Guidi, Ferrari 488 GTE, + 16.054 seconds
5. Thiim/Sörensen, Aston Martin Vantage, 114 laps
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