Thursday’s qualifying at Daytona was a tense affair, with the top spot being snatched in the prototype and GTLM classes by the smallest of margins, in the closing stages of the session. Martin has sent a batch of interesting shots and we have combined elements of the official Porsche press release to give the report a much-needed Stuttgart flavour.
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Both 911 RSRs lock out second grid row
The two Porsche 911 RSR works cars have both secured good starting positions for the Daytona 24-hour race as they will start the race from the second row of the grid.
In the qualifying session, Laurens Vanthoor in the #912 car clocked the third quickest time in the GTLM class, a mere 14-hundredths of a second off the pole-setting time. Patrick Pilet posted the fourth quickest time in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. The first qualifying of the season highlights just how fierce the competition is in the 2018 GTLM class, with the top eight cars qualifying within eight-tenths of a second.
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport: “Both 911 RSRs on the second grid row, that’s a very good team result. I hope we can repeat this strong performance in the race. We still have another two practice sessions, which we’ll make the best use of to prepare for the race. We’re ready.”
Laurens Vanthoor (#912): “I’m very happy with my time. At least we’re up at the front for the start of the race and we can fight for the lead spot. Looking at the fight for the title, this puts us in a good position right from the start of the season.”
Patrick Pilet (#911): “Our 911 RSR ran better during the qualifying than in free practice. To see that we’ve worked in the right direction makes us very confident for the race.”
Qualifying result GTLM class
|2||66||Hand/Müller/Bourdais||Ford GT||+ 0.019|
|3||912||Bamber/Vanthoor/Bruni||Porsche 911 RSR||+ 0.148|
|4||911||Pilet/Tandy/Makowiecki||Porsche 911 RSR||+ 0.283|
|5||67||Westbrook/Briscoe/Dixon||Ford GT||+ 0.312|
|6||4||Gavin/Milner/Fässler||Chevrolet Corvette||+ 0.674|
|7||62||Vilander/Pier Guidi/Calado/Rigon||Ferrari 488||+ 0.822|
|8||25||Sims/de Phillippi/Auberlen/Eng||BMW M8||+ 1.169|
|9||24||Krohn/Edwards/Catsburg/Farfus||BMW M8||+ 1.634|
Qualifying result GTD class
|1||51||Serra/Dalla Lana/Lauda/Lamy||Ferrari 488||1:46.049|
|2||82||Molina/Perez de Lara/Fuentes/Creel/Griffin||Ferrari 488||+0.453|
|3||15||Mirko Bortolotti/Rik Breukers/Rolf Ineichen/Franck Perera||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||+ 0.609|
|9||58||Long/Nielsen/Jaminet/Renauer||Porsche 911 GT3 R||+ 1.242|
|12||59||Cairoli/Müller/Smith/Walls/Prozcyk||Porsche 911 GT3 R||+ 1.538|
There is little doubt that this race is going to be an all-out battle from flag-to-flag, as there are scores to be settled in all classes. With BMW, we have the added pressure of an extra manufacturer in the GTLM class, and this will help to raise the blood-pressure in what will already be a closely fought class. The race starts on Saturday at 14h40 local time (20h40 CET) and can be watched live outside the USA on www.imsa.com. Be sure to book your seat in front of the TV…and enjoy!
Written & edited by: Martin Raffauf & Glen Smale
Images by: Martin Raffauf, Porsche Motorsport & IMSA