On the 2010 Le Mans starting grid before the race was the (foreground) #76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by the familiar trio of Raymond Narac/Patrick Pilet/Patrick Long. The #76 car qualified in sixth place in class and 41st overall out of 54 starters. The #97 BMS Scuderia Italia SPA Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (background) was driven by three Le Mans first-timers, Marco Holzer/Richard Westbrook/Timo Scheider – this car qualified eighth in class.
As happens in long distance endurance racing things begin to break or fail as the race progresses, and during the 22nd hour the #76 suffered clutch trouble. They had been running well up to that point but this repair set them back to fifth in class which is where the car finished. Things went slightly better for the #97 Porsche as after the first 90 minutes, this car had moved up from eighth to fifth in class. Over the first half of the race the car yo-yoed between this and ninth place. Consistent lapping saw the car back in fifth place by Sunday morning, but a punctured tyre, a broken damper, steering and clutch problems set them back once more. However, with some determined driving, the #97 Porsche clawed its way back up the class ladder, finishing third in class and fourteenth overall.
Written by: Glen Smale
Image by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale