The trio of Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber and Mathieu Jaminet came up just short at the battle for the GTLM crown at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, leaving them bewildered after a strong drive that saw them lose out on pure pace.
The #912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 had an extensive battle with the #24 BMW M8 GTE of Augusto Farfus, John Edwards, Chaz Mostert and Jesse Krohn, with the BMW having the clear pace advantage on the Daytona International Speedway oval section, an advantage that would ultimately prove a winning factor.
The two Porsches ended the race second and third, with Vanthoor, Bamber and Jaminet ahead of the #911 of Nick Tandy, Fred Makowiecki and Matt Campbell.
“We had our eye on winning, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough,” said Laurens Vanthoor. “I can’t say what we did wrong. The new RSR ran beautifully, the team and drivers did a great job.
I just have to come back next year to finally try to win at Daytona after my successes at Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.”
The Florida endurance classic marked the North American debut for the new 911 RSR-19, which had already been in use in the FIA World Endurance Championship since September, when it acquired a double podium in WEC’s season opener as well in the 4 Hours of Silverstone.
“We fought to the finish and tried everything,” added Bamber, reigning GTLM champion with Vanthoor. “Our car ran excellently. However, one of our rivals was slightly faster.
I’m still very proud, because the team worked brilliantly together and after 24 hours we’re on the podium with the two new Porsche 911 RSR.”