At Monterey, California’s historic, world-renowned Laguna Seca Raceway today, Porschephiles were thrilled as the new 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R wins first race of the season.
“The first victory for the new 911 GT3 R here in the IMSA SportsCar Championship was achieved thanks to the sensational performance of the drivers in an extremely close race,” asserted Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “We congratulate the winning crew of Seattle / Alex Job Racing and the two pilots.”
Those two tenacious, speedy pilots in question are Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and former Porsche Junior driver Alex Riberas (Spain), clinching the victory in their GT Daytona (GTD) class.
Riberas cranked out the fastest qualifying lap time of 1:25.775 yesterday. He thus placed the No. 23 Porsche 911 GT3 R on pole for today’s race. From the drop of the green flag and through to the checkers, the two Porsche drivers never looked back.
“What a perfect weekend!” enthused Riberas. “We were already the fastest in all free practices and the qualifying. We won the race, and we turned the quickest lap – it doesn’t get better than that. The new 911 GT3 R is a fantastic car and Laguna Seca is a fantastic racetrack. I would never have even dared to dream of finishing my first race here as the winner, and, to top it off, with the new 911.”
“Alex had built up a big gap, and when he handed the car to me I promptly encountered a safety-car phase,” retorted Farnbacher. “I then tried to look after the tires as best I could, but that’s not easy on this circuit. It was tight at the flag, but I wasn’t going to let our maiden victory with the 911 GT3 R be taken away from us. Our team has worked hard for this success.”
Farnbacher and Riberas led the entire 2-hour race up, down and around Laguna Seca’s idyllic sandy, oak-tree-scattered hills and dales — not to mention spiraling round and round the world-famous Corkscrew. Echoing Riberas, it truly doesn’t get any better than that.
Introduced at the start of this year’s racing season at Daytona in January, the new Porsche 2016 911 GT3 R debuted as Porsche’s latest-generation 4-liter, direct-fuel-injected flat-six engine. Porsche based the new Porsche 911 GT3 R on its (barely) street-legal 911 GT3 RS production sports car. The 911 GT3 R was purpose-built for GT3-series races that are being contested around the world.
The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race will take place at Belle Isle Park Raceway in Detroit, Michigan, on June 4, 2016.
The next running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is this coming June 18 & 19, 2016.
Today’s Race Results — 2016 Monterey Grand Prix — GTD
1. Riberas / Farnbacher (E / D), No. 23 Porsche 911 GT3 R, 79 laps
2. Nielsen / Balzan (DK / I), Ferrari 488 GT3, 79
3. Davis / Davison (USA / AUS), Aston Martin GT3, 79