Quotes from Porsche GT Team officials and drivers after the 12 Hours of Sebring, the second round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The two works Porsche 911 RSRs were seventh and eighth in the ultra competitive GTLM class. The Stuttgart-based brand performed very well but faced a lot of bad luck as well.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “We witnessed a very dramatic race and up until 33 minutes before the end everything was looking good. We had a tough fight for first place with the Corvette but then suffered a slow puncture on the front left tyre. We had to pit and change the tyre and after that we could forget about victory. With our number 912 car, the unplanned pit stop due to a leaking damper cost us three laps and all chances of winning. This car was also running very well.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Our plan was to have the best car at the end of the race. This meant that it wasn’t so easy driving during the heat of the day. But once it cooled down we were very clearly the fastest on the track. The team did an excellent job. The strategy had been perfect. After the last pit stop we had a good chance to win. The tyre defect was annoying. It wasn’t a pit crew error, it was just bad luck.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “The pace of the car was very good and under normal circumstances it would have been enough to win here. Patrick was running in a very good position when he got the puncture. It’s hard to lose the fight for victory like this. Still, we had a great weekend and we put in a good race. The performance of the entire team was outstanding and we were so close to winning our first race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR #911): “It’s really disappointing. The team had done such a great job and we had a very good strategy. We knew that we would get stronger in the second half of the race when the temperatures cooled down, and that worked perfectly, too. Patrick’s flat tyre cost us the victory. That was just simply unfortunate.”
Kévin Estre (911 RSR #912): “It was a tough race. Our car had the pace to run with the leaders. The track worked better for us in the second half of the race when it got cooler. Unfortunately we then had the problem that cost us three laps. We were able to make up one of those laps, but we couldn’t do any more than that.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR # 912): “Our pace was very good. Unfortunately we lost three laps because of a leaky damper. Because there were comparatively few caution phases, we weren’t able to make up much ground in the final hours.”
Richard Lietz (911 RSR # 912): “Sebring is merciless, but we knew this beforehand. We had a good car and I enjoyed driving here with my teammates. We did our very best but unfortunately we had the problem with the rear left damper. Things like this can happen, particularly on a bumpy circuit like this one. We were well prepared, we did a great deal of testing here in Sebring, but sadly it ultimately wasn’t enough for a better result.”