Porsche 911 GT3 R Scores Its First Victory At Laguna Seca
Stuttgart rocket brings top of the podium in dominating fashionby Jonathan Lopez, on
Blue skies and warm weather saw one of Porsche’s finest clinch a win on Sunday, as Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing brought it home for a triumphant finish in the latest round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. The famous central California racetrack played to the Porsche’s favor, as the No. 23 911 GT3 R led the GT Daytona class for the entirety of the two-hour race, successfully locking in its first win of the season.
At the helm were drivers Alex Riberas and Mario Farnbacher. Riberas was first out, managing to build a big lead before handing it off to Farnbacher. Unfortunately, a full-course caution quickly followed the driver change, as the No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R exited at Turn 5 just before the 50-minute mark.
Although the gap was gone, Farnbacher executed a flawless restart that saw him put distance on the challenging No. 63 Ferrari 488 of Alessandro Balzan. At one point, Balzan managed to get within three-quarters of a second to the Porsche, but couldn’t make the pass, eventually conceding 3.6 seconds at the checkered.
“It was tight at the flag, but I wasn’t going to let our maiden victory with the 911 GT3 R be taken away from us,” Farnbacher said. “Our team has worked hard for this success.”
Second place went to the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan, while third went to the Aston Martin GT3 of Brandon Davis and James Davison.
The crew now heads to Detroit for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle Park on June 4th.
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Why it Matters
While a win at Laguna Seca is huge, there’s still a long way to go for the Porsche team. Nielsen and Balzan in the Scuderia Corsa No.63 Ferrari currently hold the championship points lead, scoring 26 points in Daytona and a full 36 points at Sebring, granting 95 points total to the 89 points of Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing. In third is Magnus Racing with the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS GT3, currently holding 86 points after securing 19 points in California.
At this point, it’s anyone’s season, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in Detroit.
Read our full review of the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R here.
Source: Sports Car Illustrated