Pfaff Porsche dominates as GTD cars take the spotlight
I’ve seen several IMSA and SRO GT3 races now. However, I’ve never seen the IMSA GTD class stand alone before. That has been neatly solved by attending the 2022 Lime Rock Weathertech GTD race.
With that I learned what most Northeast U.S. racing fans already know.
Lime Rock Park is the perfect setting for IMSA GT cars.
The tight, quick nature of the track makes for tight, quick, fender-banging racing. The large crowd on the hillsides and along the fences sure loved it. I heard cheers when one car or another made a successful pass. Just the action at the Uphill Chicane was worth the admission! I saw some great passes going in and some great passes coming out.
One thing was pretty constant. The Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R had the measure of everyone this day. From pole position they just motored away and relinquished the lead only during pit stops. Late in the race the Pfaff car passed the leading Vasser-Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 and motored away again. The two went into the Uphill Chicane, the Pfaff car second going in, but the Porsche made the pass for the lead going out. The Pfaff Porsche was driven by Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet. They took the overall win and GTD-Pro win too.
That’s the reason the Uphill Turn in general is a favorite place to watch any race at Lime Rock. Plus it has some large trees for shade. There’s that.
Wait! There’s more!
If you’ve followed IMSA GTD racing, you know that the GTD-Pros and regular GTD teams race as one for the overall win. A lot of the time the GTD-Pro teams of all Pro drivers will eke out a win over GTD cars driven at 99.9% of the Pro skill level. But not always.
The GTD cars, drivers and teams are Pros in everything but the technical classification. Only Vasser-Sullivan (Lexus) and Heart of Racing (Aston-Martin) run cars in both classes. There’s little to choose between the intra-squad cars.
The Paul Miller BMW M4 GT3 that took the GTD class win was just under 9 seconds back at the finish after 160 minutes of frantic door-to-door action and 4th overall behind 3 Pro cars. The MIller car turned a faster lap time in the race than either of the BMW Pro cars, neither of which finished. Also faster than the 3 cars that finished ahead of it.
GT3 cars are genuine race cars masquerading as their showroom cousins. One look outside and inside of these cars would prove that. The cars have been equalized worldwide via the Balance of Performance formula that all GT3 racing organizations employ. This assures any manufacturer can be involved and be competitive. Bentleys, Ferraris and BMWs all race equally despite their vastly different mechanical and shape differences. They are easy to identify while visually and audibly fast.
To put this all into perspective, the 2022 Lime Rock Weathertech GTD race was a racing and entertainment success. Check out the series at your nearest track. But if you get the chance, check out the cars at Lime Rock Park next year. It’s the perfect track for IMSA GTD cars to show their best on. It’s also family-oriented in a well kept park-like setting and it’s situated in a really, really nice part of Connecticut.
To see the 2022 IMSA race schedule, click here.
For more racing joy, click here.