2015 Tudor USCC: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park race report
It has been a long time coming but Porsche North America Racing has finally secured its first Tudor United SportsCar Championship race win since its victory in the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring last March.
The no. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Total 911 columnist, Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet dominated the sixth GTLM race of the season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, leading from lights to flag at the 2.46-mile Ontario-based circuit.
Porsche’s control of the event began in the practice sessions, with Tandy topping the time sheets in the first session before the Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner bested them by just 0.012s in free practice two.
Normal service was resumed in the final free practice session though, with Tandy once again leading the way in the factory Porsche 911 RSR, converting that form into pole position during Saturday’s 15-minute grid-setting session.
The sister no. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Jörg Bergmeister and Tandy’s Le Mans teammate, Earl Bamber did not fare so well as Bergmeister could only manage sixth, half a second down on the pole time.
Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race saw Tandy immediately scarper away into an early lead, building up a 2.5s buffer during the first 15 minutes before a safety car period eroded the British ace’s advantage.
At the first round of pitstops, Pilet took over driving duties and, like at Watkins Glen, the Frenchman’s excellent form continued as he fended off the charging Corvette C7.Rs and BMW Z4s to retain the lead throughout the race’s middle stages.
With 35 minutes to go, Pilet handed the reins back to Tandy who once again set about building an advantage over the GTLM field, eventually taking the chequered flag an impressive 15.5s ahead of the no. 24 BMW.
Bergmeister and Bamber did not enjoy such a strong performance in the no. 912 car, struggling for pace in the dry, sunny conditions that greeted competitors at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
After never managing to match their competitors’ lap times, the Watkins Glen runners-up were eventually lapped on their way to finishing seventh, while the Watkins Glen-winning Team Falken Porsche 911 RSR of Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzer was forced to retire with just over 20 minutes to go after a gearbox problem.
The result strengthens Pilet’s position in the Tudor USCC driver standings while, despite the no. 912’s struggles, Porsche has moved into second place in the USCC manufacturers’ battle as it looks to defend its 2014 title.
Wisconsin’s Road America is the next venue for the GTLM circus as the Tudor United SportsCar Championship heads to Elkhart Lake for another two-hour, 40-minute race on 7-9 August.
For all the latest Porsche 911 race and rally news, make sure you check out our dedicated motorsport section now.