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Porsche GT3 driver planned move on winning Toyota in Imola WEC's tricky conditions

LMGT3 championship leader Joel Sturm has revealed he planned his audacious overtaking move on Hypercar winner Kamui Kobayashi's Toyota at a crucial juncture in Imola's World Endurance Championship race.

#92 Manthey Purerxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3: Alex Malykhin, Joel Sturm, Klaus Bachler

Photo by: Porsche AG

Sturm explained that he recognised the difficulties Kobayashi was having in bringing the fresh set of slick tyres on his GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar up to temperature behind the safety car, amid tricky conditions that prompted race control to declare a wet track.
The Pure Rxcing Porsche GT3 driver's overtake on Kobayashi, exiting Acque Minerali on the first lap following the restart, was followed by a pass on the Ferrari 499P LMH of Miguel Molina that moments before had taken the lead from the Toyota into Rivazza. 
"For them [Hypercars] it’s obviously quite difficult," Sturm told Autosport. 
"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."
Sturm's slick tyres were already up to temperature, which allowed 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 tyres, Ferrari hesitated before following suit, which proved decisive in the outcome of the race won by Kobayashi, Nyck de Vries and Mike Conway.
"Already behind the safety car I noticed that [Kobayashi] was quite slow, struggling on his tyres," said the German.
 
Podium: #92 Manthey Purerxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3: Aliaksandr Malykhin, Joel Sturm, Klaus Bachler

Podium: #92 Manthey Purerxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3: Aliaksandr Malykhin, Joel Sturm, Klaus Bachler

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

"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 tyres 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. 
The conditions were not slippery enough to make the wets work and Bachler switched back to slicks after a short 15-lap stint, but Sturm believes third was still a good outcome as the crew holds a 17-point advantage in the standings over Farfus, Darren Leung and Sean Gelael.
"We extended our lead, so that’s what matters for us," he added.

Watch: BrrrakeF1 - How IMSA use Advanced Data to Enforce the Rules

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