TUSCC: Indianapolis Motor Speedway race report
Porsche were back on the podium as the Porsche North America Racing 911 RSR of Patrick Long and Michael Christensen came home third in the Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
However, there was disappointment on the other side of the PNAR garage as the no. 911 car of Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz had to retire from a potentially race-winning position with an engine failure, severely denting their championship hopes.
Ahead of the two-hour, 45-minute race around the Indianapolis road course (a mix of infield corners and the high-speed, famous oval) the Porsche 911 RSRs had been given an adjusted Balance of Performance after struggling for pace since their Sebring victory.
Talking to Total 911 before the race, Tandy was hopeful that the BoP adjustment would revive the factory Porsche team’s hopes of further 2014 success and this proved to be the case for much of the USCC’s seventh round.
After a disappointing qualifying where the no. 912 and no. 911 RSRs would line up eighth and ninth respectively in the GTLM class, the Porsche North America Racing entries enjoyed much improved race pace, quickly moving their way through the pack.
The high-speed oval section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway suited the Porsche 911 RSR and its low downforce setup, with all three cars (including the Falken entry) moving into top five positions within the first hour.
Tandy was particularly racey, making use of the numerous full-course caution periods to launch attacks on the restarts, moving from sixth to second at consecutive green flags before taking the lead from the no. 93 Dodge Viper SRT as the race entered its second hour.
With Lietz also making use of the 2014 911 RSR’s improved pace, it was looking like the no. 911 was in with a chance of victory as the battle with the lead Viper intensified. Unfortunately, with under an hour remaining the crew’s good work was eradicated by a race-ending engine problem.
This left the no. 93 Viper to take a ten-second victory from the Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 however, the no. 912 Porsche had been similarly working its way through the field, being promoted to third with the demise of its sister car.
|1||No. 3 Corvette C7.R||219|
|2||No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT||206|
|3||No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE||197|
|4||No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT||195|
|5||No. 4 Corvette C7.R||192|
|6||No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR||188|
|7||No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR||187|
Through slick pit work, the correct strategy, and the RSR’s improved pace, Long and Christensen found themselves challenging for second late on, crossing the yard of bricks just four tenths behind the Ferrari as the chequered flag fell.
Team Falken’s entry was also enjoying its best run of the season until damage led to a prolonged pitstop for repairs to the customer 911 RSR, dropping the car from fifth to a final finishing position of ninth, a lap down on the leaders.
Just four rounds of the inaugural Tudor United SportsCar Championship remain, with Road America up next on 8-10 August. Keep an eye out for all the latest Porsche racing news on Total911.com as the season heads towards it climax at Petit Le Mans.