Tandy: Porsche GTLM pole a result of tow from Corvettes

Nick Tandy says the record lap that earned him GT Le Mans pole for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona was the result of his Porsche 911 RSR towing behind the two Corvettes on the fastest parts of the track.

Tandy: Porsche GTLM pole a result of tow from Corvettes

The #911 Porsche set a time of 1min42.257sec, 0.326sec quicker than its nearest opposition, the #3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen.

But the Briton said that Magnussen and fellow Corvette driver Oliver Gavin were partly responsible for his dominant time.

“We had a strategy going into the session,” said Tandy. “We tried to benefit from the slipstream of other cars, and we managed to tag on to the back of the two Corvettes.

“We know with the long straights here at Daytona, a double slipstream is worth a lot of time, probably half a second plus. We managed to time the lap perfectly.

“I had a decent infield section and then the perfect gap coming onto the banking. I actually brushed the wheel on the wall on the exit on [Turn] 6 because I was concentrating so much on getting the tow of the car in front! Through the Bus Stop I was the car in third, and we just all closed up and I managed to pass them at the line.

“It was a perfectly timed lap. The car was good enough to be up there and we were fortunate to be in the right place to bag the pole.”

Asked why the cars get quicker each year, Tandy said that not only have the cars improved, so too have the tires.

The GTLM class universally ran Michelin rubber last year – unlike the rest of the field which only switched from Continentals in 2019 – but even so, Michelin has modified the compound on offer to the faster of the GT classes.

“The cars get quicker every year, of course,” explained Tandy. “Even though they haven’t changed since last year, everybody is optimizing everything with their chassis and systems.

“And we have some new tires from Michelin, which are undoubtedly faster. It’s great to have a track record; it’s also great to drive these cars with new tires and low fuel, because you don’t often get to do that. You might qualify five times a year and do a couple of simulations in a weekend, so it’s fun to have this competitive edge in a session that isn’t a race.”

Tandy remained wary of making any predictions for the race because of the potential for clashes with other cars, and observed that leading the GT cars at the start had pluses and minuses.

“Obviously qualifying for a 24-hour race is very different to qualifying for a sprint race. Of course it’s nice to be at the front, it puts us in a position that should help us stay out of trouble, although when you’re leading the GT pack, you could get caught up in some other things happening in front.

“[But] it’s better to fight to stay where you are than fighting to move forward.

“[However,] we’re under no illusions that the race is very long. Qualifying is one thing, but it’s the last hour [that counts], not the first.”

shares
comments
Alonso airs Balance of Performance concerns for Cadillac

Previous article

Alonso airs Balance of Performance concerns for Cadillac

Next article

Book review: IMSA 1969-1989 relives US sportcars’ wildest time

Book review: IMSA 1969-1989 relives US sportcars’ wildest time
Load comments
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words Prime

Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words

The 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan probably hasn’t yet driven his final IndyCar race, but we still asked him for the 10 most significant races of his career. He explained his choices to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Sep 7, 2020