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2014 Daytona 24: R.Lietz, N.Tandy, P.Pilet
Posted by: newsla on Jan 27, 2014 - 06:14 AM
Grand Am News
2014 Daytona 24: R.Lietz, N.Tandy, P.Pilet

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by our GT Le Mans class winners, fittingly in the 40th win for a Porsche 911 here at the Rolex 24, so it's fitting that theseguys drive the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR, Nick Tandy, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet. This is the first Rolex 24 win for both Nick and Patrick and second for Richard, who also won the GT class here in 2012.


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Let's start with Nick. Just talk about, if you can, just getting a win here in the return of this factory‑supported team to North America here in the Tudor United SportCar Championship.

NICK TANDY: Yeah, that's interesting because about three weeks ago there was really a lot going on, and because of the start of the season is obviously a little bit earlier than the ALMS program, which Porsche have been kind of associated with the past few ‑‑ the previous years, it's been difficult to get everybody together, and I'm sure it's the same for most teams and manufacturers. It's a brand new project that Porsche have got here. It's a brand new factory team. There's personnel from CORE as we all know which are running the team. But getting everybody to work together, the three of us that come over from Europe, people are ‑‑ we're all strangers more or less when we came to the test, but now at the end of this weekend we're now the champions of Daytona.

So it goes to show just what a good job everybody has done within the team and the people that are looking after everything that goes ‑‑ that's involved with putting together the program that we've got.

Yeah, it's been a very good weekend.

THE MODERATOR: Let's go to Patrick. Your thoughts on winning the Rolex 24 as well as just how competitive this GT Le Mans class was here throughout the 24 hours between your team, your sister car and all the other cars. It really seemed like anybody in the classalmost had a shot to win this thing.

PATRICK PILET: Yeah, it was really tough. You can see we finished P6 overall in front of the PC car, we run flat out all the race. We have to also congratulate all the teams because honestly without the problem of Corvette and Viper, it would be more difficult for us, and especially here in the U.S. is why it's very nice to drive here. You don't know what can happen until the end.

For this race I prefer honestly to have a more quiet race at the end, but no, just fantastic. My teammates make a really good job, and the team make a lot of ‑‑ we have a lot of problems since our race here, especially at the pre‑test, we have some small issue on the car, but everybody works day and night to fix it, and we made it.

THE MODERATOR: Let's go to Richard. Obviously as I said this is your second Rolex 24 win. How different was this race this time from when you won here before a couple of years ago?

RICHARD LIETZ: Well, you know, it's a couple of years ago, two years ago basically. It was just a single event for me, so I just actually cared about the watch which I won there, but now it's also a championship I'm running in, so it's good for the points. At the moment we are leading the championship, and it's the best season start I can have together with my team.

As I said before, it's a very young team. We come together really in a very short amount of time, so it's all new for us, and when you look at our pit stop crew, they have done a fantastic job, and I think we're one of the quickestthere. We gained a lot of time there.

I think if we ‑‑ like if you look at February, we have the Sebring test, and I think we are even more prepared there. Yeah, I hope for a good season at the end.

Q. Nick, you said you were foreigners coming here first, your team, everything was set up at the last minute, and Patrick said during the test you had a couple of issues. Nevertheless, after the test did you expect already to be so good here in the race?

NICK TANDY: We knew that Daytona, the circuit would be exceptionally good for the characteristics of our car. We were hoping ‑‑ we knew that if the car was going to run well, then we would be competitive for sure. And after we worked through everything that we needed to do preseason and during the ‑‑ the Roar test really was a good time for us to get a lot of work done. Normally it's a time where you can refine settings and little details.

But it was really a good three days for us to prepare for the race, really. Yeah, we really did expect to be good and competitive here, as it turned out, of course.

Q. Patrick, just like in the Prototype class, the last yellow had a close battle between you and the BMW car. On the restart, how concerned were you by the comeback of the BMW and how muchpressure did you have on your shoulders?

PATRICK PILET: Maximum. It was just, I don't know, three or four cars behind me. I can see the car. So I just have to ‑‑ the last hour, just cruising, it was okay, no problem, one lap ahead, no problem, nothing can happen normally. But after this, I have to push completely, so I have to change completely my pace and just go flat out and take a lot more risk to overtake the LMPC because I overtake two, the LMPC in the last three laps, and Ferrari, and we knew that the Ferrari GTD was really already quick and in the fast lane they were really difficult to overtake. But it works perfectly. I was lucky also in the traffic and I can create a small gap on the BMW, and it was enough to win.

Q. I didn't see in the garage or behind the wall. It doesn't seem you had any problem at all during this race.

PATRICK PILET: No big one. We are scared about many things during the race, but especially with the dust and the rubber here, but easy to overheat the engine. But no, we have no issue, nothing. I think we just have one puncture or something. But except that, everything works perfectly.

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