Porsche customer programs podium in IMSA GT headliner at Lime Rock Park

Race, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Round 7, Lime Rock Park

• Pfaff Motorsports claims third place overall
• Kellymoss with Riley runs to second place in GTD class
• Wright Motorsports puts Volt Porsche into GTD third place
• GT classes headline on Lime Rock Park “bullring”

Porsche customer race teams secured three of the six possible podium places at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, July 22. In the first of two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships races reserved for the GTD Pro and GTD classes only, the German sports car manufacturer placed third overall with the defending race and class champions Pfaff Motorsports while Kellymoss with Riley and Wright Motorsports earned second and third place in the GTD class for the two-hour, 40-minute race.

Lakeville, Connecticut. Porsche customer teams used race strategy and strong driving to capture podium finishes in both the GTD Pro and GTD classes of round seven of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Northeast Grand Prix was the first of two races dedicated to only the two GT classes – the second to be at VIRginia International Raceway, August 25 – 27. The prototype classes including the series’ toping GTP category in which the Porsche 963 competes were not scheduled to race on the 1.474-mile, seven-turn Lime Rock Park facility in Lakeville, Connecticut. The sole Porsche 911 GT3 R competing in the GTD Pro class, the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports entry driven by Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Patrick Pilet (France), finished in third place overall after qualifying fifth overall. The No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley entered Porsche 911 GT3 R – a car identical to the GTD Pro class but with a pro/am style driver lineup – led the way for the German sports car manufacturer in the GTD class finishing second, sixth place overall. The No. 92, shared by Julien Andlauer (France) and Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) was a narrow 0.453 seconds ahead of fellow Porsche privateers Wright Motorsports and its No. 77 Volt Lighting 911 GT3 R driven by Alan Brynjolfsson (Tampa, Florida) and Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey).

Like any Saturday short track event, the two-hour, 40-minute race provided non-stop action, intense competition and strategy. Most every car, including the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche and the No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley machine, had some level of damage after the all-out battle for road car-based sports and GT cars. While the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 race cars proved the class of the field in both GTD Pro and GTD, Porsche race teams had to lean on racecraft both in the cockpit and on pit lane. The clockwise circuit, which has only one lefthand corner to counter the six righthand turns, put a premium on tire wear while the 51-second lap times demanded high performance and focus from the drivers. Following relatively weak qualifying results for all the Porsche race cars, the teams used the inherent strengths of the 911, the skillset of its drivers and pit strategy to rise to the front of the field at the longtime cornerstone event of North American motorsports.

Round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will see the prototype classes return to the fight at another iconic North American race track, Road America. The two-hour, 40-minute race on the 4-mile circuit will take place August 4 – 6.

Drivers’ comments on the race
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R, No. 9):

“It was intense first lap. I got touched by the Mercedes from behind on the start and then I got a great move on the Mercedes, I think he was saving fuel and I just braked late in turn five and captured P4 [fourth position]. I just tried to save fuel and I saw the others were struggling with their tires so I increased the pressure on them to pit. We had a really good strategy to go long [longer before pitting than the other cars]. I think it was the right one. We got a bit unlucky with the yellow after that because our advantage would have been bigger and bigger over the stints but it is a great result. I think we are just missing a little performance to really race the others. The team did great, perfect execution. We have no regrets in the end. Klaus did a good job at the end. He tried everything, but no one was making mistakes in the end.”

Alan Brynjolfsson (Porsche 911 GT3 R, No. 77):
“You never forget your first WeatherTech podium. We had had a little dry spell, but we have broken it, great day. This was a total team effort. I am especially proud of Trent. He brought it up to the podium. Great job by Trent and the team.”

Trent Hindman (Porsche 911 GT3 R, No. 77):
“I am so excited, so happy. This is Alan’s first GTD podium and it has been a longtime coming. It is super well deserved. The Wright Motorsports team gave us a phenomenal car this weekend. Lime Rock is a hard place to pass. You have to have the perfect strategy and some courage on the pit box. We were able to make some passes on track but it was all from the work on pit lane. We want to keep this momentum going. Big thanks to the guys, this was their result today.”

Race results
GTD-Pro class:

1. Gunn/Riberas (UK/Spain), Aston Martin No. 23, 168 laps
2. Barnicoat/Hawksworth (UK/UK), Lexus No. 14, 168 laps
3. Bachler/Pilet (Austria/France), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 9, 168 laps

GTD class:
1. De Angelis/Sorensen (Canada/Monaco), Aston Martin No. 27, 168 laps
2. Andlauer/Udell (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92, 103 laps
3. Brynjolfsson/Hindman (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 77, 168 laps
7. Hyett/Priaulx (USA/UK), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 80, 168 laps
19. Metni/van Berlo (USA/Netherlands), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 91, 46 laps

Full results: imsa.alkamelsystems.com.

  • Images courtesy of Porsche Motorsport.