After Michelin Alley posted a story on Friday night about Porsches woes in qualifying at Petit Le Mans, Porsche motorsport boss Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser tweeted in reply “The empire will strike back”.
And strike back they did!
Not only did Porsche win the GTLM championship with Patrick Pilet, they finished the season with victory in the GTLM class – but to go one step beyond – Pilet and Nick Tandy made history by winning Petit Le Mans overall.
Yes – the force is strong with Pilet and Tandy. You should never underestimate the power of the Porsche side!
“When the race was coming to a close, I was aware that the 31 car was in the lead, but I knew if we had another rain shower I knew we would checker the race, so that was why I was pushing so hard to get ahead of the GTLM cars,” Tandy said.
“Once I had done that and we had a really good pace and were comfortable we were catching the 31. It was a case of just pulling ahead of the rest, but we ended up winning overall, so it was fantastic.”
Tandy had to fight from the back of the pack after being sent to the rear of the grid for a ride height infringement.
“The opening stint opened our eyes to the fact that we could actually be fighting for the overall victory, the fact we came from the back of the field to I think we were running 2nd on pure pace,” Tandy said.
“To be honest, the first two hours were the best conditions we had. We had consistent rain, but very little running water. Clearly towards the end, it dried out a little more and our pace compared to the other classes and the BMW and Corvettes came back. It was a race of two halves really.”
The victory gave Porsche its first driver’s championship in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and second consecutive manufacturer’s title.
“It means a lot. It’s a lot of work, especially since I was with Porsche since 2008, its really a championship I love,” Pilet said.
“It’s a fight with Corvette and BMWs, and all the manufactures really push us. The team works so hard to improve the car, we had a really bad thing in the beginning of the season, and we just improved the car, improved everything.
“It’s just, I’m so happy now, just trying to enjoy the moment, and looking backward to what we have achieved, it’s really amazing.”
The Empire will strike back https://t.co/asGVLzIOQ7
— Frank Walliser (@FrankWalliser) October 3, 2015