Stuttgart. After a successful start to the season with a double victory at Silverstone,
At the race on the storied circuit in the Belgian Ardennes, generally regarded as the dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 911 RSR sports cars competed with 25 kilograms of additional weight. During the preceding week, the WEC Endurance Committee had decided to increase in vehicle weight as part of the Balance of Performance regulations. The 470 hp GT racer from Weissach, which has already won the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring this season, was unable to match the pace of the front-runners during the first half of the race. But in an impressive final stint, Patrick Pilet swept past two opponents, scoring second place with Joerg Bergmeister, just like at the season-opener at Silverstone. This result allows them to retain second place in the GT driver’s classification heading to the season highlight at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Patrick Pilet (#91): “I had a great fight with the Ferrari in front of me during my last stint. I knew that he was out on worn tyres and I finally managed to overtake him. With more rubber on the track and sinking surface temperatures, our car performed far better than in the beginning.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91): “Our car became increasingly better over the course of the race. The track conditions improved significantly thanks to the rubber on the track and this very much suited us. I tried everything to get past the Ferrari but it was extremely difficult. Particularly in the fast passages we lost a lot of downforce on the front axle and you can’t overtake unless the driver in front makes a mistake. But this was not the case. Luckily Patrick finally managed it.”
Marco Holzer (#92): “In terms of effort, my last stint was the toughest I’ve ever had to drive. Fred announced over the radio that the steering was becoming increasingly heavy. So we changed the seal in the pits, but in my first lap I had absolutely no power steering support anymore. The slower corners were the hardest because it took an incredible amount of physical power to turn the steering wheel.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92): “Looking ahead to Le Mans it was important for us to reach the finish line well and gain vital experience. At times we tested a new strategy and drove double stints. In this case it proved to be the wrong decision, but it was definitely worth trying.”
Round three of the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC is the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans on 14/15 June.
1. Bruni/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari 458 Italia, 152 laps
2. Bergmeister/Pilet (D/F),
3. Rigon/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 151
4. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 150
5. MacDowall/O’Young/Rees (GB/HK/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 150
6. Holzer/Makowiecki (D/F),
1. Perez Companc/Cioci/Venturi (ARG/I/I), Ferrari F 458 Italia, 149 laps
2. Poulsen/Hansson/Stanaway (DK/DK/NZ), Aston Martin Vantage, 149
3. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard (CDN/P/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 149
4. Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi (D/A/UAE),
5. Mann/Giammaria/Case (USA/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 145
6. Potolicchio/Roda/Ruberti (YV/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 142
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC in four classes: LMP1 (eg.