Car Racing News: Sturm Proves Porsche’s Prowess at Imola WEC Round

    In the latest round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Imola, Pure Rxcing Porsche GT3 driver Joel Sturm showcased the impressive performance of the German marque’s machinery, navigating the challenging conditions to secure a podium finish.

    Sturm explained that he recognized the difficulties Kobayashi, the driver of the GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar, was facing in bringing the fresh set of slick tires up to temperature behind the safety car, as the tricky conditions prompted race control to declare a wet track.

    “For them [Hypercars], it’s obviously quite difficult,” Sturm told “They have way more power than we have, and then also they were on slicks. So, for sure, they didn’t have the best cards at that time, but it was nice to overtake them.”

    Seizing the opportunity, Sturm executed a decisive overtake on Kobayashi, exiting Acque Minerali on the first lap following the restart. He then went on to pass the Ferrari 499P LMH of Miguel Molina, which had previously taken the lead from the Toyota.

    Sturm’s slick tires were already up to temperature, allowing him to pounce on the struggling Hypercars that were faster on the straights but slower in the corners. While Kobayashi headed immediately for the pits to take on wet tires, Ferrari hesitated before following suit, a decision that proved pivotal in the outcome of the race, which was won by Kobayashi, Nyck de Vries, and Mike Conway.

    “Already behind the safety car, I noticed that [Kobayashi] was quite slow, struggling on his tires,” said Sturm. “So, it was like ‘okay, maybe we have to overtake him after the restart’ and that was the case. I planned it a bit, let’s say.”

    Sturm eventually finished third in class aboard the Manthey-run #92 Porsche he shared with Klaus Bachler and Alexander Malykhin, as the WRT BMW team locked out the top two places on the podium.

    Following their victory in the WEC’s Qatar season-opener, Sturm said that the choice of wet tires for Bachler’s first stint, while the BMWs of Maxime Martin and eventual winner Augusto Farfus remained on slicks, was “the safer decision” to preserve their early points advantage.

    “We are still championship leaders, so we can’t risk it at that point,” he said. “We extended our lead, so that’s what matters for us.”

    ๐Ÿ”— Source