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Porsche, Viper Win GTLM, GTD at Road America

Porsche wins second straight GTLM race at Road America…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Porsche North America dominated the GT Le Mans class in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase en route to its second straight class win, while Riley Motorsports’ full-season pairing secured its first win of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season in GT Daytona at Road America.

The No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet scored the win in GTLM, their second straight, and recovered nicely after a pre-race engine change and a last place starting position in class.

It became a one-two with the No. 912 Porsche in second following some last lap drama.

Pilet started eighth but after a charge up to third in his first stint, handed over to Tandy on the first full course caution, in the opening half hour of the race.

From there, Tandy ran consistently in either second or third. He had a rare spin at Turn 5 after overcooking the entry and locking up, but resumed without losing too much time.

Tandy handed back to Pilet on the second stop, with the team then opting to take two left side tires only on the third and final stop made on Lap 52.

Pilet emerged ahead once Pierre Kaffer pitted the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia from the lead, having taken fuel only on his final stop on Lap 56.

Kaffer was stuck anywhere from three to four seconds back from there and unable to hunt down the Frenchman, and then lost out for second on the final lap after he had played good defense in the waning stages against Joerg Bergmeister in the second factory Porsche.

Kaffer, who took over from Giancarlo Fisichella, held off the Bergmeister’s advances while on older tires, until the final lap.

Kaffer and Bergmeister collided on the final lap, side-by-side, battling for second, before Kaffer ran wide onto the gravel past Turn 13.

Bergmeister took over the No. 912 Porsche RSR from polesitter Earl Bamber, and they finished second. Bamber led early, but was then caught out by pit stop timing, and then a hood pin coming loose that cost time on the pit stop. Bergmeister said the car was great, and was then frustrated to end second.

A tough day for the rest of the GTLM field saw the title contending No. 3 Corvette C7.R and No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE finish fourth and fifth, without having much for either the factory Porsches or the Ferrari.

At one stage, Jan Magnussen’s No. 3 car had slight contact with PC class driver Mirco Schultis at Canada Corner in the second hour.

Riley’s full-season pair of Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen finally got on the board in 2015, for their second straight podium in the No. 33 Dodge Viper GT3-R after coming second at Lime Rock Park.

Bleekemolen took the lead on Lap 61 once Kuno Wittmer pitted the then-leading No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for a splash of fuel and two left side tires.

Bleekemolen, who pitted for the final time with just under 54 minutes remaining, held on from there over Wittmer, who co-drove with Christina Nielsen.

Spencer Pumpelly and polesitter Patrick Lindsey finished third in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America.

Wittmer and Nielsen finished best of the four driver pairings in the GTD title fight, with the No. 63 Ferrari in fourth, No. 48 Audi in sixth, and No. 22 Porsche in seventh.

RESULTS: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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