P8 at VIR for #912

August 25, 2014

The story of Porsche North America’s weekend centered around the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. The works effort was looking strong entering the weekend but an accident on Saturday morning would force them into a newly rebuilt car for today’s race. Even more challenging than rebuilding the racecar overnight was the injury to factory driver Richard Lietz. The Austrian suffered a fractured left upper arm in the two-car accident and was unable to continue driving this weekend. After visiting his teammates at the track this morning, Lietz has returned home for surgery. 

With the car prepared in time for the early morning warm-up, Michael Christensen (Denmark) was drafted into driving both Porsche North America entries in the race. By using a rebuilt car, the No. 911 was forced to start at the back of the GTLM and GTD combined field with Nick Tandy behind the wheel for the opening stint. Adding insult to injury, the native of Great Britain was penalized for jumping the start of the two-hour, 45-minute race, and later drove the car off and back on the track while pushing to make his way to the front. Christensen started the No. 912 and was prepared to take the checkered flag in the team’s No. 911. However, an ongoing engine issue – which first reared its head at the one-hour, 45-minute mark dropping Tandy from second-place – would sideline the No. 911 with 19 minutes remaining while Christensen was behind the wheel. The car was classified 10th in GTLM.

No_ 912 at Speed

The saga of the No. 912 revolved around the No. 911 with Christensen replacing the injured Lietz. The first-year Porsche factory driver started the No. 912 handing the wheel over to Patrick Long (USA) just one hour into the race before making his way to the No. 911. Long was embroiled in a hard battle around the 3.27-mile track suffering right rear wheel and bodywork damage during his stint. While he was able to continue, with right rear suspension damage the team elected a fuel conservation strategy as opposed to outright speed. The No. 912 would finish eighth on the day.

Patrick said, ““We had good pace today but it just didn’t come together. We made contact with the Corvette. It was one of those racing deals. Unfortunately, we had a bent right rear suspension as a result. We then decided to try and conserve fuel and stay out of other people’s races. Congratulations to Falken.“