Porsche‘s updated GT3 R Hybrid made its North American debut this weekend at the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca and the folks at Porsche couldn’t be happier. Well, that’s not exactly true. They’d be a lot happier if the car had been racing for points.
Driven by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas and Richard Lietz the hybrid not only posted the fastest lap time of all the GT competitors, but it completed the 6 hour endurance race with just three pit stops, compared to five for its rivals. And to make the victory even more impressive, because the car wasn’t competing for points it wasn’t eligible to qualify and so it started at the back of the grid.
“The start phase was huge fun, because it was relatively easy to overtake the slower competitors,” said Romain Dumas. “But it’s even more fun because we can apply superior tactics thanks to the lower fuel consumption. We are much more flexible and we made the most of this today.”
“We had the least pit stops of all the teams and showed clearly what the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid can do,” said Lietz. “We didn’t experience one technical problem and left all the other GT vehicles behind us. Our expectations have been far exceeded.”
And with that excellent news, there was added celebration as it was also a Porsche that managed to take the first place spot in the race, with Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long finishing just ahead of one of the BMWs to lock down the team’s third victory this season.
The GT3 R Hybrid mates a 470-hp naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine powering the rear wheels with an additional 200-hp of electric boost available on demand to the front wheels thanks to Porsche’s innovative flywheel hybrid technology.