Porsche North America carried momentum from its GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona to Sebring International Raceway on Thursday, posting the two fastest times on the opening day of a two-day TUDOR United SportsCar Championship test.
Joerg Bergmeister ran the fastest lap of the day in the morning session at 2:00.048 (112.155 mph) in the team’s No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR. Patrick Pilet led the afternoon session with a lap of 2:00.364 (111.861 mph) in the Rolex 24-winning No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR while Testing continues Friday in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on March 15, which also is the second round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
“We had a little bad luck with our car in the Rolex 24, but overall Daytona was perfect start for our new team,” Bergmeister said. “This is a new car, but we’ve tested here quite bit in the past and our setup was perfect right off the truck.”
“We’re happy, because it’s always hard to be on the pace at the beginning of a test at Sebring,” said Pilet, who drove to victory in the season opener at Daytona with Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz. “It was a good day for us. We had no real issues. Daytona was a dream week for us, with a new team, a new car and new teammates. Everything worked perfectly. I feel a real key was the hard work by the crew and perfect pit stops.”
The GTLM class saw the top eight cars represented by five different marques separated by less than one second. Marc Goossens was third-fastest in the No. 93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R at 2:00.496 (111.738 mph).
In the GT Daytona (GTD) class, Dane Cameron was fastest with a lap of 2:04.487 (108.156 mph) in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4. He was followed by the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America of Kevin Estre at 2:04.703 (107.969 mph), and the No. 33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R of Jeroen Bleekemolen with a lap of 2:04.915 (107.785 mph).
“Sebring is one of my favorite places,” said Cameron, who will co-drive with Paul Dalla Lana and Markus Palttala. “The car is fast, and now we will work on making it happier over the bumps. We went through a lot of things today, and will continue working on the car tomorrow.”
Friday will feature two sessions for the TUDOR Championship, the first from from 9:30 a.m.-noon and the second from 2:45-5 p.m.
(Photo: Marcel ten Caat)