Laurens Vanthoor said he decided to take ‘luck into his own hands’ Sunday at Road America, which saw a return to victory lane for Pfaff Motorsports and the Belgian, who was sidelined in a freak paddock accident just one week ago.
The Porsche factory driver took the Canadian squad’s Porsche 911 GT3 R to its second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class victory of the season, in a controlling run for he and co-driver Zach Robichon.
The pairing combined to lead 51 of the 69 laps of the race.
“It definitely was a lot harder than it looked,” said Vanthoor. “Zach did an amazing job in his stint and he gave me the race on a golden plateau.
“It was a bit of a fuel race as well because, with the yellows, everyone was trying to make it to the end, and there was some tire rubs here as well.
“I was trying to be smart and manage the fuel numbers and the tires, but it worked out well.
“The car was good since the get-go of the weekend.”
It marked Pfaff’s first class win since the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring where Vanthoor and Robichon teamed with Lars Kern for victory.
“I’m really happy because at the beginning of the season we were good at Sebring and then we kind of ran into trouble and made mistakes, bad luck,” Vanthoor said.
“I don’t like calling things bad luck because you create your own luck but especially after last weekend with what happened to me I decided to take luck into our own hands and win some races and get going in the championship.
Vanthoor’s participation in this weekend’s race was initially in question after an off-track accident during the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa sent him to the hospital with multiple injuries and ended his race early in Belgium.
While sustaining a broken nose and facial wounds, Vanthoor said he “couldn’t move” by Monday.
“I was in bed. My whole face was blue. I had wounds all over my face and it took me two minutes to get up,” he said.
“The doctors cleared me and I had no concussion or anything… Maybe a little less brain but it seems to work for me.”
Robichon joked: “We’re going to hire somebody to hit him in the head at every race. It seems to work for him!”
With the win, the pairing have moved into third in the GTD points standings, 100 points behind new leaders Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley entering the final four rounds of the season.