Porsche wins GTLM Class at Long Beach

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With the No. 912 Porsche failing to finish after it bumped the No. 4 Corvette, the No. 911 Porsche went on to win the GT Le Mans class over the weekend at Long Beach. IMSA.COM

With the No. 912 Porsche failing to finish after it bumped the No. 4 Corvette, the No. 911 Porsche went on to win the GT Le Mans class over the weekend at Long Beach. IMSA.COM

A late pass allowed the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR entry of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy to claim the chequered flag at the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach in California on Sunday.

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At the lone International Motor Sports Association-sanctioned WeatherTech SportsCar Championship street course of the year for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, the No. 912 Porsche bumped with the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R that denied the latter a victory and allowed the No. 911 Porsche to win.

“It was definitely the most eventful win that we’ve had,” said Tandy, regarding the ups and downs that the team experienced in the race. “Coming from things going badly, and very badly, to then bouncing back and finishing with a victory.”

For the first half of the race, it was a trio of white cars – the two Porsches and polesitter Bill Auberlen in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM – that controlled the lead. However, penalties for each of those cars (the No. 25 serving a drive-thru for an incident on-track with a PC car; the No. 911 and No. 912 entries receiving stop-and-go penalties for speeding on pit road) turned the lead over to the pair of Corvettes near the midway point of the 100-minute race.

The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE climbed to its first podium of the young season after qualifying eighth for the race. Giancarlo Fisichella found himself on the podium for the second consecutive year after the team completed the sprint race in third, while Toni Vilander was third in 2011.

The Ford GTs made their debut on at Long Beach, with the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT rebounding from a mechanical issue that resulted in a fire on-course during practice on Saturday to finish fourth. The car, which was unable to qualify on Saturday because of the damage, was driven by Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook.

Ganassi’s No. 66 Ford GT entry suffered a penalty for speeding on pit road during an early driver change, and Joey Hand and Dirk Muller brought the car home in eighth.

The No. 912 finished the race in seventh while Auberlen and Dirk Werner wound up fifth after their early penalty in the pole-sitting car.

With their second place finish in the race, Gavin and Milner unofficially increased their lead in the standings to 18 points over the four drivers in the No. 912 and No. 25, who are tied for second.

THE TIMES

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