Stuttgart. At the Le Mans 24 hour race, the #92 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) has moved up into fourth place in the GTE-Pro class during the first hours of the night. However, their factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) fell back down the field with the second #91 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche Manthey squad. At times the car had held the lead but was forced to pit for 41 minutes with a fuel pressure problem. After nine hours on the 13.629 kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures the car rejoined the race action in position six.
The best-placed Porsche customer team in the GTE-Am category is Proton Competition. The number 88 Porsche 911 RSR with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria), Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) is currently running in fourth place.
Marco Holzer (911 RSR #92): “After the first rain squall the track dried really quickly during the safety car period and we were out on wets. As you can imagine, it was no fun driving four, five laps on a dry track with rain tyres. Then it started to rain again and we moved into the lead but again the circuit dried up quickly. We continued on slicks and just did a double stint on slicks. Our car is running well, but we’re off the pace of the front-runners. We’re now hoping to catch up to some extent during the night.”
Christian Ried (911 RSR #88): “The beginning of my stint was wet, and at the end it was dry. In between everything went well.”
Patrick Dempsey (911 RSR #77): “My first double stint was good. I didn’t make any mistakes, drove consistently and took good care of the car. It’s great to have the first stint behind me. Coming back to the pits afterwards is a great feeling.”
Richard Lietz (911 RSR #92): “We switched to soft tyres a little too early. They suffered badly in the warm temperatures at the start and we slid around quite a bit. Well, we tried and it didn’t work. Now we definitely know better next year. The traffic in Le Mans is always bad, but because there are more LMP1 cars on the track this year and they lap you more often, the track marshals are really nervous. We’re constantly getting blue-flagged even when we don’t have a faster car behind us. They should be a little more restrained.”
Joe Foster (911 RSR #77): “We learned a lot about the tyres in the first hours and we will benefit from this over the rest of the race. We’re very happy with our car, it’s running really well. No problems. Now I’m looking forward to my night stint. I like the night-time at Le Mans, it’s somehow really peaceful out there.”
Nick Tandy (911 RSR #91): “The car ran well during my time in the cockpit. We’re lacking some speed. It’s a shame that we’ve lost so much time in the pits.”
Status after 9½ hours
1. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 129 laps
2. Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella (I/SF/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 129
3. Gavin/Milner/Westbrook (GB/USA/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 129
4. Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz (D/F/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 128
5. Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor (DK/E/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 127
6. Bergmeister/Pilet/Tandy (D/F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 119
1. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard (CAN/P/DK), Aston Martin, 128 laps
2. Poulsen/Heinemeier-Hansson/Thiim (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 127
3. Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov (I/RUS/RUS), Ferrari 458 Italia, 127
4. Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi (D/A/UAE), Porsche 911 RSR, 127
5. Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi (RA/I/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 126
7. Dempsey/Foster/Long (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 125
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