Porsche and the GTLM pack in a learning phase

January 10, 2016

Porsche and the GTLM pack in a learning phase

January 10, 2016

roar_saturday_gal_32Every team in the GTLM class has been through a learning phase this weekend at the Roar before the 24.

Whether it be debuting a brand new car, or experiencing the updates to their existing machines, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche are all out to gather as much data as they can.

pilet_nightThe cars in 2016 have more horsepower and more downforce – working out how to balance the cars around the Daytona course and collecting vital information that will be critical to their performance over the Rolex 24 at Daytona race week.

The Ford, Ferrari and BMW are brand new in 2016 while Porsche and Corvette have updated their race-winning machines from 2015.

“We are very familiar with the 911 RSR. The effects of the 2016 modifications are no surprise to us,” 2015 IMSA GTLM champion Patrick Pilet said.

“But it’s still very early days with the set-up work. We focussed on long runs today and tried to find the correct window for the tyres, in other words, to learn when to run what rubber. On the actual race weekend you don’t have time to find the right setup. At Daytona, you have to do your homework far in advance.”

While the updates to the GTLM machines for 2016 are brand new, one of the men behind the wheel are also new to the Porsche squad – former McLaren GT3 factory driver Kevin Estre.

“My first laps as a Porsche works driver in the 911 RSR on this legendary circuit was an experience,” Estre said.

“I’ve always dreamed of this. My expectations have been exceeded. To drive for Porsche is something very special. The procedures at Porsche North America are very structured, everyone in the team knows what he has to do.

“And for a driver, this immediately gives you a good feeling. I was warmly welcomed by everyone, I felt very good right from the start. And we experienced virtually no problems with the 911 RSR. Of course there are a couple of minor things that need sorting out, but we have the whole day tomorrow to do this. We’ll use this time well.”

The Porsche North America squad debut here at the Rolex 24 at Daytona two years ago – winning on debut. They have gone on to take two consecutive  manufacturer championships for Porsche and last year’s team’s and driver’s title for Pilet.

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