Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell has led his Dempsey Proton Racing #77 Porsche 911 RSR, alongside Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (F), to victory in the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, Great Britain.
Following the team’s impressive GTE-Am win at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2016 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia champion crossed the finish line after two tremendous stints to take the GTE-Am race win in front of a crowd of 60,240, extending the team’s lead in the class standings.
Starting from pole position, the Project 1 team with Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (N) led the GTE-Am field over two-thirds of the race. A stop-and-go penalty as a result of a pit stop error relegated the team back to position five, however the trio manoeuvred their way up the field to third place and celebrated their first podium result in the WEC. Michael Wainwright (GB), Ben Barker (GB) and Australian Alex Davison achieved sixth place for the Gulf Racing customer team.
Under partly cloudy skies and with a temperature of 23-degrees Celsius, British spectators were treated to an inspired race start by Kevin Estre in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. The Frenchman got away well off the line and made the most of a collision amongst the front pack of the 34-strong field to sweep to the front of the GTE-Pro class. When his teammate, Michael Christensen, experienced tyre problems in the second stint, they fell back to position six, however, thanks to a good pit stop strategy, the pair worked their way back up to the front and at times held the lead. Towards the end of the race, however, they had to let vehicles pass.
Estre and Christensen finished in third place at the wheel of the 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR with the number 92. The No. 91 sister car driven by Austria’s Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni from Italy initially scored second, however was subsequently disqualified due to an irregularity in the ride height.
Round four of the FIA World Sports Car Championship WEC is contested on 14 October in Fuji (Japan).
Comments on the race
Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won again. After the first half of the race we thought we couldn’t do much better. But the fact that the number 56 and 90 cars were then handed a time penalty due to pitting under yellow put us back into contention. This was anything but an easy race, but our car was fast and we made the right strategic decisions.”
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “Unfortunately we were informed after the race that an irregularity was detected in the ride height. That threw our number 91 car out of the classification and advanced the number 92 car to third place. We’re still leading the manufacturers’ and drivers’ classifications. Now we need to focus on the next tasks.”
Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “Our race started well and I moved into first place after the start and built up a comfortable lead. Unfortunately, Michael was hampered by tyre problems during his stint. We had to call him in earlier than planned and change our strategy. This enabled the Ferrari to overtake us in the pits. At the end, our tyres weren’t fresh enough to attack again. Still, I’m satisfied with our result.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “This race was really exhausting and long. Kévin did a great job at the start. Unfortunately I then had bad luck with the tyres and lost positions and we never managed to really catch up again, even if at times the situation looked promising.”
Julien Andlauer (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “In my first stint I didn’t do such a great job – I stressed the tyres a little too much while pursuing the leader. After talking with the engineers my second stint went much better. We definitely had luck on our side when the penalty was handed to our rivals. Still, we were in the right place when it mattered. In the end we performed strongly as a team and can be proud.”
Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR #56): “That was a race with a lot of highs and lows. We held the lead over long stretches, but then came into the pits under safety car conditions. Unfortunately we received a 75-second stop-and-go penalty, which threw us down to fifth place. Luckily I managed to work my way up to third place in the last lap – a conciliatory result for us.”
1. Pier Guidi/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 172 laps
2. Priaulx/Tincknell (GB/GB), Ford GT, 172 laps
3.. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 172 laps
4. Lynn/Martin (GB/B), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 171 laps
5. Tomczyk/Catsburg (D/NL), BMW M8 GTE, 171 laps
6. Mücke/Pla (D/F), Ford GT, 170 laps
7. Rigon/Bird (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 157 laps
8. Sorensen/Thiim (DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 155 laps
1. Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 168 laps
2. Yoluc/Adam/Eastwood (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 168 laps
3. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 168 laps
4. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda (CDN/P/A), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 168 laps
5. Mok/Sawa/Griffin (MAL/J/IRL), Ferrari 488 GTE, 167 laps
6. Wainwright/Barker/Davison (GB/GB/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 167 laps
7. Ishikawa/Beretta/Cheever (J/MC/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 167 laps
8. Roda/Roda/Cairoli (I/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 167 laps
9. Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (CH/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 158 laps