THE go-To macHinES
American Endurance Championship races.
But what Bryce Miller cares about most
is how the car performs once it’s in his
hands. From that point of view, he’s pleased.
“I think our strength with the Audi is that
it has good balance with the mid-engine
placement. The car is really efficient from
an aerodynamic standpoint. In the
medium- to high-speed corners, the car
really excels. With the Crawford wings
being put on the cars, that starts to offset
that aerodynamic efficiency, though,” he
says of the spec rear wing that every GTD
car must use in place of the GT3 aero
package the factories deliver.
“We chase some rear tire wear as a
mid-speed corner and seeing the Audis
pull away there. Plus, downforce and tire
life really come into play with the Porsche,
with the narrow-body, low-downforce
design. We’re one of the only cars without
a diffuser. We get inefficient tire life.”
With four rounds down, Porsches had
more podiums than any of the other
makes: five in total, compared with the
three each of Ferrari and Audi, and BMW’s
one. Much of that is from sheer numbers;
folding the American Le Mans Series GTC
category into GTD means there are a lot of
flat sixes humming around the track.
Another factor is Porsche’s long history of
endurance racing and the reliability that
Ferrari tasked Michelotto Automobili
with developing the 458 for GT3 in
2011. After winning that year’s FIA
GT3 European Championship with
AF Corse, a version was developed
for Grand-Am GT, making its debut
at the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona
with current TUDOR Championship
GTD pacesetters AIM Autosport.
The Canadian team went on to win
the GT Drivers’ Championship with
Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal.
Based on the Porsche 911 GT3
Cup, the GT America is produced
exclusively for the TUDOR
Championship’s GTD class. Aside
from a new braking system, the
biggest changes compared with the
GT3 Cup are a revised front spoiler
and undertray to optimize aero
balance with the spec Crawford
rear wing mandated for all GTD
cars. Typically, GT Americas make
up half of the 20-plus GTD field.
FERRARi 458 itAliA PoRsChE 911 Gt AmERiCA
result of the imbalance that comes from
that Crawford wing,” he adds. “But as far
as short-term running is concerned, I think
that’s where our strength is on this car.”
Rear tire wear can also be an issue for
the Porsche teams. In fact, ask Andy Lally,
and he doesn’t list off any real standout
attributes for the car, despite the fact that
his Magnus Racing Porsche won GTD at
the 12 Hours of Sebring with him, regular
co-driver John Potter and Marco Seefried
taking turns at the wheel.
“I see no defining strengths,” he says.
“Weakness…torque. First couple of gears
coming out of the corner; middle of
third-gear corners; grunting out of a
A win at the Rolex
24 and second in
Sebring took Aim
and Bill Sweedler to
points lead in GTD.