Laurens Vanthoor: It was a dream to race here
Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber took the GTLM drivers' championship in the Motul Petit Le Mans season finale, with the Belgian saying he was very proud to win a championship he had dreamed to race in.
The duo, joined by Mathieu Jaminet for the championship's longer races, were firm favorites headed in and finished ahead of team-mates and rivals Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet to take the title. After the race, Vanthoor explained how winning the championship had felt.
“I joined Porsche three years ago,” said Vanthoor. “I wanted to go to America. It was kind of a dream to race here at one point and race for Porsche.
When I came here, I basically didn’t know anything. I didn’t know the teams, the tracks, the rules, not the car, nothing. For me to come away now with the championship in the books is something I’ll be really proud of.”
Despite the championship success, the final race of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship did not go smoothly for the Coca Cola-liveried #912 Porsche 911 RSR.
The car struggled to compete up front in class, and Bamber was spun round by the Cadillac of race winner Pipo Derani in the race's closing stages.
“We fought our hardest at the end of the race there for a podium and it didn’t quite come off,” Bamber said. “So that was a tough day. We managed to do what we did all season and be right there and be in the points, make no mistakes all day long and score points.
“Tomorrow it’ll definitely sink in. I think it is definitely one of the toughest championships to win here. Everyone’s at the highest level and I’m super thrilled to take the championship home for Porsche.”