Porsche North America will have two entries for Sunday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix, despite Richard Lietz and the original No. 911 car having been ruled out from the rest of the weekend.
The CORE autosport-run factory operation is in the process of building up its spare Porsche 911 RSR, which will be driven by Nick Tandy and Michael Christensen.
Christensen will be pulling double-duty between both Nos. 911 and 912 entries.
Lietz suffered a broken arm following a heavy accident in today’s practice session that also involved the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen.
“We had some damage on the No. 911 chassis that was not repairable,” said Owen Hayes, Porsche Motorsport North America Director of Operations.
“The Porsche 911 RSR was strong and did its job protecting the driver, but it has to be replaced.
“We will optimize what we have on location. We have to do a lot of work to get the backup 911 car ready but we will replace that chassis. We are in a very good position that we can indeed get the car ready by tomorrow.”
With the spare chassis on-site, the team began building the new No. 911 car by noon-time, with expectations for it to make tomorrow morning’s warmup.
“I think right now replacing the number 911 is a big undertaking, but it’s manageable,” said team manager Morgan Brady. “Every time we show up at the race track, we’re not just prepared to have two cars running well, but we’re also prepared for any damage.
“That’s thanks to a large inventory of spare parts from Porsche and the team’s preparation of those parts so they’re ready to bolt on the car.
“Right now we have a great team of men and women to get the car back on track tomorrow.”
Christensen was selected to drive both cars, effectively by default, as his usual co-driver, Patrick Long, was already nominated to start the No. 912 car.
Per IMSA rules, GTLM drivers must complete a minimum of 20 minutes in each car, which should make the Dane’s duties easily achievable in the two-hour and 45-minute race.
“My thoughts are now with Richard,” Christensen said. “It is good to hear that his injuries, while not simple, are not more serious. Tomorrow, I will go out and push hard for him in the No. 911 car.”