Published on December 17th, 2019 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Porsche’s Project 1 Takes First Win of the Season
Porsche has concluded the 2019 year with another victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
At the eight-hour race in Sakhir (Bahrain), the American Ben Keating and his two Dutchmen teammates Larry ten Voorde and Jeroen Bleekemolen won the GTE-Am class in their No. 57 Porsche 911 RSR.
After claiming pole position, the Project 1 team has moved to the top of the overall classification thanks to their maiden victory. The Porsche GT Team (GTE-Pro) has enjoyed an outstandingly successful 2019 season, however the squad was struck by misfortune at the eight-hour race.
The new Porsche 911 RSR had at times held the lead, only to have technical problems relegate both works-run vehicles far down the field. A shock absorber broke on the No. 92 car driven by the world champions Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark), while a wheel nut on the sister car manned by Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria) came loose and caused tyre damage.
The repairs resulted in both ca. 515-hp cars losing about two laps to the frontrunners. Despite perfect teamwork and a strong performance from the drivers, the gap could not be closed. Porsche heads into the second half of the season ranking second in the manufacturers’ classification.
In the GTE-Am class, the three customer teams gave impressive performances with their ca. 510-hp Porsche 911 RSR in the 2017-spec. In addition to the race winners Keating, Bleekemolen and ten Voorde, the No. 86 car fielded by Gulf Racing also took the lead at times.
The all-British driver crew, Michael Wainwright, Ben Barker and Andrew Watson, concluded the final race of the year on position three after receiving a drive-through penalty.
The No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR, shared by the works driver Matt Campbell (Australia), Dempsey-Proton Racing team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and the Italian Riccardo Pera, finished at sixth place.
The No. 88 sister car retired after an accident. Project 1’s number 56 vehicle took the flag in ninth place after a lengthy pit stop for repairs.
The 2019/2020 FIA WEC season will resume on 22 February 2020 in Austin (USA).
1. Thiim/Sörensen (DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 235 laps
2. Molina/Rigon (E/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 235 laps
3. Martin/Lynn (B/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 235 laps
5. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 233 laps
6. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 233 laps
1. Keating/ten Voorde/Bleekemolen (USA/NL/NL), Porsche 911 RSR, 233 laps
2. Turner/Dalla Lana/Gunn (GB/CDN/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 233 laps
3. Wainwright/Barker/Watson (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 233 laps
6. Campbell/Ried/Pera (AUS/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 231 laps
9. Perfetti/Heinemeier Hansson/Cairoli (N/DK/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 214 laps
11. Preining/Al Qubaisi/de Leener (A/UAE/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 109 laps