Porsche wins 2019 WEC Sebring 1000 Miles during this past 2019 SuperSebring weekend. The No. 91 factory Porsche 911 RSR finished in first place in Florida during the 1000 Miles of Sebring.
This was the sixth round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Hence Porsche has increased its drivers’ and manufacturer’s championship leads.
Porsche Motorsport Struts its Stuff during the 1000 Miles of Sebring
Porsche Prevails in GTE-Pro Class
The No. 91 Factory Porsche 911 RSR Emerges Victorious
Piloted by Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria), the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR ran a good, clean, consistent second place throughout most of the race on the grueling, legendary American 3.74-mile / 6.02-kilometer circuit.
But rain began falling less than a half hour ahead of the checkers. Thus forced to box for a full set of rain rubber, the No. 91 received flawless servicing by the spot-on Manthey Racing factory crew.
That speedy pit stop catapulted the Bruni and Lietz 911 RSR into the lead — the No. 91 Porsche finishing ahead of the GTE-Pro field at the checkers. This awesome first win for them together leapfrogged the boys up to second place in the drivers’ championship rankings.
“At the last pit stop in the rain, our team did an immaculate tire change and, with the better strategy, managed to make up more than five seconds over the previously leading BMW,” observed Pascal Zurlinden, Director of GT Factory Motorsport. “Congratulations to the mechanics — they made this victory possible.”
“For me personally it’s even more special: It’s the first time I’ve won a race for Porsche. That means so much to me,” Gianmaria Bruni emoted.
Richard Lietz seconded that emotion by saying, “Everything ran perfectly for us. I’m totally over the moon with my first win of this season.”
The No. 92 Factory Porsche 911 RSR Wasn’t as Lucky
Teammates Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) in their twin No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR were not as blessed. However, at the end of the day, they did manage to hang on to and extend their championship lead — 25 points ahead of their No. 91 teammates.
Estre did earn a hard-fought pole position initially, though. Despite this, problems ensued from there for the approximately 510-hp No. 92 911 RSR from Weissach. Estre traded major paint with the No. 95 Aston Martin.
Adding insult to injury, Estre incurred a stop-and-go penalty that knocked him further and further down the leaderboard. He was never able to catch up to the front of the field. Then the rain came which only worsened Estre’s plight. He had to settle for fifth place.
Kévin Estre elaborated, “I was locked in a fight with an Aston Martin and had the better line out the corner and wanted to go for it. I touched him slightly and he spun — my mistake. The penalty cost us a possible victory and many points. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s still a shame.”
The inclement downpours that arrived late to the party cut the race short at its eight-hour time limit, instead of at its eponymous 1000-mile distance.
“I’m totally delighted,” enthused Fritz Enzinger, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “After clinching pole position in both the WEC and IMSA and now winning the first of two races in Sebring, and in such difficult conditions in the closing stages — you don’t get it better than this.”
Porsche harvested 46 World Endurance GTE Manufacturers Championship Points from their Sebring efforts. This places Porsche in the catbird seat with a substantial 100-point lead out in front of their second-place Ferrari rivals. The SuperSebring WEC round marks Porsche’s fourth victory of the season.
Porsche Motorsport Enjoys an Encore Win in GTE-Am Class
Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR Also Scores a First-Place Win
Mr. Enzinger also lauded Porsche’s privateers in the race: “I’m also very proud of our customer teams who did brilliantly in the GTE-Am class.” Here’s why and how.
Historically formidable across many decades of racing since winning its first race with Porsche No. 1 in the late Forties, Porsche Motorsport enjoyed a tandem trip to the winner’s circle with another victory in GTE-Am this past weekend. The No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR clinched its second consecutive triumph of the WEC season since winning the previous Shanghai round.
Executing flawless teamwork in the winning No. 77 racecar were Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) and Christian Ried (Germany).
The trio not only won the race, but also started from pole position. In short, this turned out to be a perfect SuperSebring weekend for the German-based, Patrick Dempsey-owned race team.
“The conditions were really tricky towards the end,” conceded the young but racy Matt Campbell. “But we still managed to bring home the victory. I’m really relieved because things can quickly go wrong in the rain. At the end of the day it’s a perfect result and a banner day for Porsche.”
Other Porsche Customer Teams Finished Strong
The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche RSR of Egidio Perfetti (Norway), American Patrick Lindsey and works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) earned a fine result too. The gents in the No. 56 Porsche secured for the Porsche marque another podium spot on the third step.
Speaking of gentlemen, veteran Porsche works driver Mr. Bergmeister put it all in sage perspective: “We’ve cut our losses — very successfully. By scoring third place we’ve defended our lead in the championship and that was our main goal. Our car was strong in the race, although the balance was off due to a collision that wasn’t our fault. We made the best out of these circumstances.”
Not just one, but two spots on the podium ain’t too shabby for the Stuttgart rennsport powerhouse. But wait, there’s more:
Not far behind them in the seventh slot on the leaderboard was the Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 88 Porsche RSR, piloted by the all-Italian team of Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli, Giorgio Roda and Gianluca Roda. [Editor’s Note: Sorry, Ferrari!]
- Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 226 laps
- Tomczyk/Catsburg/Sims (D/NL/GB), BMW M8 GTE, 226 laps
- Priaulx/Tincknell/Bomarito (GB/GB/USA), Ford GT, 225 laps
- Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 225 laps
- Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 221 laps
- Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (CH/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 221 laps
- Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 221 laps
- Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 221 laps
- Roda/Roda/Cairoli (I/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 219 laps
Full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
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