Porsche Motorsport Asia-Pacific customer team Absolute Racing fought their way to a hard-earned but well deserved third place courtesy of Dirk Werner, Matt Campbell and Dennis Olsen in the Suzuka 10 Hours, the fourth round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge, and the 48thrunning of the Summer Endurance sports car race.
On Saturday morning a puncture in Q1 did not prevent Matt Campbell, Dirk Werner and Dennis Olsen to progress through to the top 20 Pole Shootout. Dirk Werner turned the fastest Porsche lap in a time of 2:01.306 minutes, qualifying the #912 Absolute Racing entry in eleventh on the grid.
In bright sunshine and temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius, with Olsen on-board for the start, the Chinese-based team quickly made up places, as it challenged the top-10 before the first round of stops. Shortly before half distance, the 500+hp GT3 vehicle from Weissach joined the leading pack.
Even a fluke collision with a lapped car couldn’t stop Werner, Campbell and Olsen on their battle back up the order. After ten hours of racing, the best-positioned Porsche entry was just 3.430 seconds adrift of the second-placed car.
This result marked the second consecutive podium finish in the Japan’s most prestigious international endurance race and first with Porsche.
Fabien Fior (Team Director):“We are really happy to be on the podium today. It was 10-hour non-stop fight with the best GT3 drivers and teams in the world. Overall, a great team result. Congratulations to everybody in the team who worked so hard to make it happen and to the drivers for their strong performance. This is the second consecutive podium of the team in this race and the first with Porsche. We’re already looking forward to coming back here in 12 months.”
Dirk Werner (#912 Driver): “I am delighted with our podium finish at Suzuka. For us drivers, for Porsche and the Absolute Racing team this is a great result. We reaped the rewards for a strong showing in the race. In the last round of the season we’ll do everything to advance in the championship. It’s not going to be easy, but that’s what makes this fiercely contested championship so attractive.”
Dennis Olsen (#912 Driver): “We pulled out all stops, and third place is a great result. This was our best racing over ten hours with lots of duels and exhausting stints. Our 911 GT3 R ran like clockwork over the entire distance. This podium finish is the reward for a strong showing.”
Matt Campbell (#912 Driver): “We definitely didn’t have the fastest car, but thanks to good tactics and a faultless drive we made it up the order. Our car was very constant during the race, even under the difficult conditions and the heat, the tyres lasted well. From start to finish we didn’t have the slightest technical problem. In the last stint I tried very hard, but second place was just not possible.”
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Photos @ Courtesy Porsche AG