Away from the Porsche LMP1 hybrid’s debut, the evergreen 911 soldiered on at Silverstone today. Porsche Team Manthey took a solid 1-2 ahead of Darren turner’s Aston Martin, with new boy Frédéric Makowiecki piloting the number 92 Porsche 991 RSR shared with Marco Holzer and Richard Lietz to a GTE Pro win.
“That is exactly how I imagined my first race as a Porsche works driver,” said Frédéric. “A great race, but really challenging. We started on a dry track, then it began to rain which made our tyre choice difficult. We changed the rubber quickly without losing too much time. Even switching back to slicks went smoothly thanks to our swift pit crew. A big compliment to our whole team: that was a great job.”
“It’s fantastic to kick off my first WEC season with a victory,” enthused Marco. “After two laps it began to drizzle, which made it very difficult to drive consistent lap times. My first priority was not to fly off the track. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to compete under such changeable conditions. You enter a corner that looks completely dry on slicks only to suddenly find your car going sideways and you’re looking ahead out of the side window. That was pretty hair-raising.”
The number 91 Tandy/Pilet/Bergmeister car started from the front row, but a stop/go penalty saw them in the pits eight times versus number 92’s six. Finishing P2 was a pretty good achievement, all things considered.
“We had a very good car, regardless of whether the track was dry or wet,” reflected a philosophical Mr Tandy. “In my first stint I enjoyed a great fight with a Ferrari. The rain gave us a few hairy moments, but I love it when unexpected things happen and you have to adjust your strategy. It proved really difficult not to make a mistake. I’m pleased that everything went so well, especially here at Silverstone. Driving on this circuit is always fun, particularly in such difficult conditions.”
The WEC now moves on to Spa on May 3rd. I’m at Donington with EB Motorsport at the FIA Masters Historics that weekend, but we’ll find a way to watch the boys do battle.