Neel Takes Finishes Second in his Maiden RSR Outing

November 16, 2020

The Porsche GT Team has achieved maximum success at its final outing in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In the highly dramatic twelve-hour race in Sebring, the No. 911 and No. 912 Porsche 911 RSRs took first and second place, with Neel Jani finishing his maiden RSR outing on the second highest podium position alongside his teammates Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor. After contesting a total of 75 races since 2014, the North American Porsche works team has achieved 21 wins and 56 podium results.

Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “That’s just crazy. There’s no better way to wrap up a factory programme. At the end of our IMSA campaign, we secured three wins in a row at Road Atlanta, Laguna Seca and now Sebring. That’s phenomenal. Congratulations as well to our customer squad Wright Motorsports. And let’s not forget our one-two success today at the WEC in Bahrain. There, too, we managed to celebrate another class win with a customer team. It was an incredibly successful day for Porsche Motorsport.”

In an eventful twelve-hour race in Florida, the decision in the GTLM class went down to the wire to the final 15 minutes of the race. After the last of nine safety car phases, Tandy had manoeuvred himself into the slipstream of the leading BMW. Shortly after the last restart, the frontrunner sustained tyre damage in the aftermath of a collision between several GTD vehicles. Tandy snatched the lead in his ca. 515 hp Porsche 911 RSR and held tight to his front spot to the flag. For the British racer and his teammate Makowiecki, this was the third victory in a row at the esteemed Sebring endurance classic. Bamber, who drove stints in both works cars at the season finale of the North American sports car racing series, crossed the finish line in second place, just 9.025 seconds behind. The Porsche factory squad concluded the last season with the 911 RSR in the GTLM class ranking third in the championship.

Shortly before the race, the works team bid the loyal fans of the Porsche 911 RSR farewell with a special spectacle. Five GTLM vehicles of the 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020 generations turned three parade laps on the legendary circuit in Florida decked out in the much-loved liveries of Brumos, Mobil1, Coca-Cola and the special “Thank You” farewell wrap. To the delight of spectators, the drivers Laurens Vanthoor, Frédéric Makowiecki, Patrick Long, Jonathan Benett and Cooper MacNeil performed wheel spins and let the engines roar. On Wednesday evening, Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport) and Head of Operations Steffen Höllwarth thanked all employees of the Core Autosport squad at an emotional team event.

Comments on the race
Steffen Höllwarth (Head of Operations IMSA Championship): “I’m incredibly proud of the team. This weekend wasn’t easy for us. Because of the upcoming farewell, the mood was different than usual, but everyone coped just fine. We weren’t the fastest in the field, but we were the ones who made the least mistakes – and that’s how things like this happen. Suddenly you find yourself at the front. After three straight wins at Sebring, I’d say that this track has become our turf. Now it’s time to celebrate!”

Neel Jani (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “That was a perfect debut for me at the wheel of the 911 RSR. It’s almost unbelievable that I was able to contribute to the one-two result for Porsche at the final factory outing in the IMSA series. This result makes me feel fantastic. I’m absolutely thrilled!”

Result GTLM class
1. Tandy/Makowiecki/Bamber (GB/F/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR #911, 332 laps
2. Vanthoor/Bamber/Jani (B/NZ/CH), Porsche 911 RSR #912, 332 laps
3. Krohn/Edwards/Farfus (FIN/USA/BR), BMW M8 GTE #24, 331 laps
4. Spengler/De Phillippi/Herta (CDN/USA/USA), BMW M8 GTE #25, 330 laps
5. Garcia/Taylor/Catsburg (E/USA/NL), Corvette C8.R #3, 323 laps
6. Gavin/Milner/Fässler (GB/USA/CH), Corvette C8.R #4, 293 laps

Full results and championship standings on imsa.alkamelsystems.com.