Park Place Porsche trending up after Detroit

June 5, 2019

Park Place Porsche trending up after Detroit

June 5, 2019

The lone Porsche racing at Detroit last weekend kept the brand’s solid 2019 season in IMSA competition going.

Park Place Motorsports ran its third different driver lineup in as many races but continued the methodical, consistent improvement it’s had to start the year.

LINDSEY AND BOULLE TO SEEFRIED TO ROBICHON

Its usual Michelin Endurance Cup lineup of Patrick Long, Patrick Lindsey and Nick Boulle recovered to sixth in the wet, then dry, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. That race was Lindsey’s second in as many days after racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship 1000 Miles of Sebring Friday evening.

No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, GTD: Patrick Lindsey, Patrick Long, Nicholas Boulle. Photo: Michelin North America

Lindsey then missed Mid-Ohio due to his continued FIA WEC commitments in Spa-Francorchamps with Project 1, with Marco Seefried racing for Lindsey in Ohio. Seefried and Long finished fourth there.

The team excelled even further in the streets of Detroit. Young Canadian Zacharie Robichon got the call to drive alongside Long there, after racing the opening three races with PFAFF Motorsports. PFAFF opted to skip the optional Detroit round with its “plaid Porsche.”

Robichon, a regular winner in Porsche GT3 competition in 2018, immediately took to the new team and circuit like a duck to water, even though the IMSA sessions this weekend were dry.

Running consistently and quickly from the off in his first two practice sessions, Long was complimentary of his new co-driver in noting how fast he was adapting to all the new circumstances.

It appeared as though Robichon would contend for the pole given his practice pace. He came up 0.031 of a second short. On race morning, Robichon noted the team hadn’t fully optimized its setup for qualifying, and therefore made it encouraging to see how close they were to pole.

POLE, THEN PODIUM ON RACE DAY

As it was, Robichon started on pole anyway with the Turner Motorsport BMW sent to the rear of the GTD field for a technical infringement discovered in post-qualifying inspection.

Robichon handed off the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R to Long in the lead before the flurry of GTD pit stops occurred just past the half-hour mark, the minimum drive time requirement for those in class.

Robichon and Long finished second in Detroit. Photo: Michelin North America

While Jack Hawksworth passed Long on track for the lead into Turn 7, Long held on for second to help secure the team’s first WeatherTech Championship podium of 2019.

The team won the most recent IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Mid-Ohio with Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman, and has also had success in other sports car series with its Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.

Long joined Lindsey’s plane to fly to Le Mans for Sunday’s Test Day. The two are in separate GTE-Am class Porsches there. As noted, Lindsey races in the full FIA WEC-entered Project 1 car. Long in a Dempsey Proton entry he’ll share with Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn.

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