Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor actually raced both Porsches in the space of 24 hours at Sebring in March. Vanthoor competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 1000 Miles of Sebring in a Porsche Penske Motorsport 963, before tackling – and winning – IMSA’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring the very next day in Pfaff’s GTD PRO 911 GT3.
Starting the Sebring WEC race in a Porsche prototype was a career highlight for 31-year-old Vanthoor, who raced GT cars for Audi from 2013-16 before joining Porsche’s factory GT lineup in 2017.
“I was actually really excited like a kid,” Vanthoor recalled on his “Over the Limit” podcast. “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for 10 years, when I was with Audi, and now it’s happening. I still get goosebumps when I think about it. It’s something I was waiting for, for a long time.”
Vanthoor described the marathon double as “exhausting” and admitted he was too tired to join the Pfaff crew to celebrate their class victory after the Twelve Hours.
“Sebring is quite physical,” he said. “You feel it in your muscles, and whenever I get out of the (GTP) car, I’m just tired because the speeds are high and there are so many things to do in the car and functions you have to manage. You can adjust so many things in the car, it’s so complicated, and at the moment, not everybody understands. So it’s a lot of thinking besides driving, and that’s the exhausting part.
“The warmup (in the GTD PRO 911) was a bit weird in the beginning – it felt like I was driving a bus!” he laughed.
Yelloly, a BMW contracted driver since 2019, believes that switching between the two cars requires an almost completely different mindset.
“I’m lucky enough I still get to do GTs in Europe, so hopping between the two is the perfect combination,” he said. “The driving styles I would say are quite different. It’s two entirely different mentalities you have to go about. You get the real door-to-door hitting people in GTs, but here (in GTP), the speeds are a lot higher and you have to be more careful.
“It’s quite a privilege to be able to jump between the two, like having the best of both worlds.”