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Porsche Wins GTLM as Risi Falters

Earl Bamber, Fred Makowiecki lead Porsche GTLM success at COTA…

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Earl Bamber and Fred Makowiecki led a Porsche North America 1-2 finish in GT Le Mans in Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas.

It came after Toni Vilander was forced to pit from the lead in the last 20 minutes with an electrical issue in his the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE that had led the class for much of the two-hour and 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race.

The No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR took advantage of the Ferrari’s late problems to take the CORE autosport-run team’s first class victory since Long Beach.

The sister No. 911 car driven by Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet finished second. Tandy initially took over the lead from Vilander, but then lost it to Bamber just a few laps later.

A series of incidents affected several cars throughout the race, including contact from Giancarlo Fisichella on Tandy out of Turn 1 as the Ferrari driver lost the class lead to the Porsche towards the end of the first hour.

The No. 67 Ford GT crew took a huge blow to its title hopes when Ryan Briscoe collided with Tommy Milner’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R, forcing the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing car into pits for repairs and dropping it down to ninth in class.

Milner and Oliver Gavin finished fifth and now hold an 11-point lead over Briscoe and Westrbrook heading into next month’s season-ending Petit Le Mans.

The No. 3 Corvette, meanwhile, took third. Dirk Werner took the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM to fourth in class despite an early drive-through penalty for contact with the No. 66 Ford.

Jens Klingmann brought the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 home for its second GT Daytona win of the season, following the car’s maiden victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July.

Kilingmann, who shared top class honors with Bret Curtis, took over the lead in the second half, after the No. 23 The Heart of Racing/AJR Porsche 911 GT3 R had been out front since the start.

Alex Riberas started the AJR car from class pole, and along with Mario Farnbacher it held onto second-place until the Porsche ran out of fuel on the final lap, dropping it down to seventh.

As a result, Bryan Sellers took the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to second in GTD, with championship leaders Scuderia Corsa ultimately finished third and extending its advantage.

Power steering issues for Riley Motorsports dropped the No. 33 Dodge Viper GT3-R down to 13th in GTD by the end. Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen were second in the championship heading into this race, with Keating undefeated at COTA.

Scuderia Corsa’s Alessandro Balzan and Christia Nielsen leave COTA with a 32-point lead over the Riley pairing.

RESULTS: Lone Star Le Mans

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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