Porsche Pursues Multiple IMSA Titles

Entering the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Porsche is poised to clinch the manufacturer, team and driver titles in the all-factory GTLM class. The North American factory team of the German sports car manufacturer tackles the 22nd Running Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday, October 12 holding a clear lead in all class categories.

In addition to the factory effort, Pfaff Motorsports will field a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GTD category at Road Atlanta. The Canadian customer team earned the first 2019 title for Porsche, the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, at the most recent race.

To win the IMSA GTLM manufacturers’ championship, only one of the two Porsche 911 RSR race cars needs to roll from the multi-class grid to acquire the necessary points. However, the fight for the GTLM drivers’ classification goes down to the wire between the Porsche works driver pairings of Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) in the No. 912 car and their colleagues in the No. 911 vehicle, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain).

The ten-hour race on the 2.54-mile (4.088-kilometer) circuit marks the conclusion of IMSA’s 50th anniversary season. The storied racetrack on the outskirts of Atlanta is a favorite among drivers. The aptly named “Esses” (turns two to five) are particularly challenging on the high-speed circuit. Courage and utmost precision combined with a perfect car setup are required through this high-speed section. In 21 years, Porsche has secured a record 20 class wins at Petit Le Mans. In 2015, the factory team had an unprecedented overall victory bettering not only its GTLM class competitors but all prototypes in the rain-soaked race, while securing three class championships.

In 2018, Porsche claimed victory in the fiercely competitive GTLM class flying the historic colors of Mobil 1. Petit Le Mans is also the final round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC). In this championship within a championship, which includes the endurance races at Daytona (24-hours in length), Sebring (12-hours), Watkins Glen (six-hours) and Road Atlanta (10-hours), the Porsche GT Team is currently first and second in the standings. The No. 911 has secured to two victories (the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Florida and the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen in New York).

Regular drivers Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) join forces with their works driver teammate Frédéric Makowiecki in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR in defense of their 2018 “Petit” class win. This trio won at Sebring, Watkins Glen and VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) earlier this season. Pilet and Tandy, along with Richard Lietz (Austria), also combined for the 2015 Petit Le Mans victory. Pilet/Tandy currently rank second in the full season drivers’ classification. Their works driver colleagues in the No. 912 sister car, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), lead the class with a twelve-point advantage after victories at Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The pair shares driving duties in the ca. 510 hp 911 RSR with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) at Petit Le Mans.

With its successor debuting at the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, the 10-hour Petit Le Mans marks the last outing for the two Porsche 911 RSR (2017 model year) with the Porsche GT Team factory program. Since debuting in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, the Porsche 911 RSR (MY 2017) has won ten times entering its final race. The most recent victory came with the No. 911 at VIR on August 25.

In the GTD class, the customer squad Pfaff Motorsports again relies on the services of Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Germany) for the ten-hour finale. The two Canadians, Zacharie Robichon and Scott Hargrove, join the seasoned German in the cockpit of the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Hargrove is a Porsche Selected Driver. Robichon took home an early title in the Sprint Cup at the previous IMSA round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to secure the first 2019 IMSA title for Porsche. The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Canadian team will contest the event decked out in a special blue and yellow livery.

The Petit Le Mans will take the green flag on Saturday, October 12 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Check local listings for the NBC family of stations covering the race live. IMSA Radio coverage of the race – as well as in-car coverage from both the factory Porsche 911 RSR race cars – can be found at www.IMSA.com and also on SiriusXM

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport.

“We are eager to make the final race of the IMSA season a huge celebration for the fans, for Porsche and for our partner Coca-Cola. Last year we won the Petit Le Mans with our Porsche 911 RSR finished in a historic design. That’s our goal again this year. It’ll be the last factory outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR. It would be fantastic if we were able to again experience the vehicle in the center of the winner’s ceremony at Road Atlanta.”