Driver Spotlight: Patrick Pilet
Driver: No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR
What’s your feeling a week later after not only winning overall at Petit Le Mans but claiming the GTLM title?
“For the title, we realized immediately because there was so much effort. But from the overall victory, I’m starting to realize what we achieved. It’s just an amazing feeling, really, especially to offer the unique race to Porsche. It was something special and to write another line on Porsche’s history.”
Your season isn’t over as you have two remaining races with Porsche in the WEC, this time, trying to help Richard Lietz win the championship. How does it feel to be in a reversed role?
“It’s a lot less pressure for me now, that my main championship is over. I’m just here in [the WEC] really relaxed and trying to help Richie [Lietz] and the team to win the championship. For me that’s the real team spirit. That’s why we’re with Porsche; it’s like a family. We try to help each other.
“For sure, I was sad Nick was not able to win the championship with me because he deserved it. But he had a fantastic year anyways. Richie had a tough race at Petit because he didn’t take the wheel [due to the rain]. He’s quick and an amazing guy. We’re just trying to help him because he really deserves this title. He did an incredible job this year in WEC.
“It will be tough for sure. WEC is not like IMSA. If you have a problem during the race, the championship is over. You have to be quick and safe.”
Do you enjoy racing in America?
“I started my career with Porsche at Flying Lizard [in the U.S.]. It’s a great atmosphere in the U.S. and so much fun. It’s close to all of the people who love motorsport. The spirit between the teams and cars is really good.
“It’s a big competition and especially the fights on track are nice. The tracks are amazing too. They’re still old-school. In some points, it’s tricky and dangerous and on the limits but that’s why it’s so difficult.”
Are you hoping to defend your GLTM title next year?
“Cleary. The best would be to have Nick all season as well and just try to win the championship together. For sure, it will be difficult because this year was just amazing, especially the second part of the season.
“We’re so excited to have Ford in the championship next season. We’re not coming with a brand-new car but Ferrari has a new car, Ford has a new car and we have some updates, as well as Corvette, and BMW has a new car as well. It will be amazing. Even if we don’t have a brand-new car, I think we’ll have a strong chance just because we have a strong team.”