First GT Le Mans Class Victory For Bamber, Makowiecki At Circuit of The Americas
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Porsche North America teammates Earl Bamber and Frederic Makowiecki claimed their first career IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory and led a 1-2 GT Le Mans (GTLM) class sweep for the Porsche factory team in the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas.

Both Porsches spent much of the race battling and chasing the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE co-driven by Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella before a mechanical problem removed the Ferrari from contention with under 30 minutes remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race. With under 20 minutes remaining, Bamber drove his No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR past teammate Nick Tandy in the nearly identical No. 911 entry to take the lead.

“We didn’t have as big of a fight as we hoped, but we got a 1-2 for Porsche,” said Bamber, a 2015 overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “It shows that we continue to fight every weekend. We have to maximize every effort, and when the people are there to make a few mistakes, we are there to be able to get a great result or a podium.”

He pulled away over the remaining distance to win by 6.399 seconds. It was Porsche’s second GTLM class victory of the season, and first since Tandy and 2015 GTLM champion Patrick Pilet won in the No. 911 Porsche at the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach in April.

"I’m really happy to win here,” Makowiecki said. “So many times we were close to a win, but we missed it. We showed again today we were strong. We were consistent there in the long run. We got some contact, but we were in P2 speed with the Porsches. The car was fast in the long distance. We always did a great job, and we were really strong with our teamwork. I’m really proud of today’s achievement because we always give our maximum. Today, we finally got the result from all the hard work we’re used to putting in."

One race after taking their first victory of the season, No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R co-drivers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen completed the GTLM podium with a third-place run.

View full results via Al Kamel Systems at Results.IMSA.com

NOTEBOOK

  • With their victory, the No. 912 Porsche North America team with Frederic Makowiecki and Earl Bamber won the DEKRA Green Award. The award recognizes the most clean, fast and efficient team in the GTLM class in each race through a scoring system developed in a partnership between IMSA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International.
  • After winning the GTLM pole position on Friday, it was a tough race for the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT team of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook. The car never led the race and broke a steering rack after contact with the GTLM championship-leading No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. The damage sent the car behind the wall for lengthy repairs and relegated the car to a ninth-place class result.
  • The No. 4 Corvette team salvaged a fifth-place result from a difficult weekend in Texas. Co-drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner lead No. 67 Ford GT co-drivers Briscoe and Westbrook by 11 points, 314-303, heading into Petit Le Mans.

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