The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup heads into its 26th season as a support race to Formula 1 on the outskirts of Barcelona this coming weekend (11-13 May). For the 2018 season, fans can look forward to ten rounds run over nine race weekends. Twenty-eight drivers have signed on for the whole season, with additional guest drivers joining the grid at selected rounds. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has featured on the same bill as the Formula 1 World Championship every year since it was launched in 1993. Continue reading “#Porsche #Mobil 1 #Supercup, Preview, Round 1, Formula 1 race in #Barcelona/#Spain”
Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo and 956 C with Timo Bernhard and Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel
Just before the Nürburgring 24-hour race will be green flagged on May 12, Porsche presents a legendary couple to the crowd of 200,000 expected spectators: Timo Bernhard and Hans-Joachim Stuck will take the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo and the Porsche 956 C respectively on a show run around the famous Nordschleife (literally ‘Northern Loop’). The 919 Hybrid – the Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship winning car of 2015, 2016 and 2017 – meets the prototype that won all titles in the World Sportscar Championship from 1982 to 1984 and still holds the outright Nordschleife track record. Continue reading “Dream team #Porsche at the #Nürburgring Nordschleife”
Porsche will be represented by a large fleet of vehicles at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring: 43 Porsche 911 and Porsche Cayman race cars will tackle Germany’s biggest automobile race on the 24.38-kilometre combination of the Grand Prix circuit and the Nürburgring-Nordschleife on 12-13 May. Like last year here, the Stuttgart marque is the most strongly represented in the field of around 150 cars in the company’s “70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars” anniversary year. Porsche Motorsport supports customer teams with 13 Porsche works drivers and four Porsche Young Professionals. In the strongest SP9 class, eight Porsche 911 GT3 R will chase overall victory.
Kévin Estre (France), Romain Dumas (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) share the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R (#911) fielded by Manthey-Racing. Richard Lietz (Austria), Patrick Pilet (France), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) pilot the #912 sister car. Michael Christensen (Denmark), André Lotterer (Germany), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) form a formidable quartet at the Nürburgring debut of the KÜS Team75 Bernhard. Sven Müller and Dirk Werner from Germany reinforce the Falken Motorsports crew. Porsche Young Professional Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Porsche test driver Lars Kern (Germany) drive the third 911 GT3 R campaigned by Manthey-Racing. Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Talent Pool coach Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia) take up the challenge for Frikadelli Racing. Mathieu Jaminet (France) is signed to helm the squad’s second 911 GT3 R. Continue reading “Forty-three #Porsche take on Germany’s biggest automobile race #Nürburgring”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Round 4, Mid-Ohio, USA
Clinching the second win of the season at Mid-Ohio, Porsche grabbed the lead of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. In a nail-biting finale, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) snatched victory with the 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR on Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and celebrated their first win in the USA as teammates at the most gripping race of the season by now. After completing 118 laps on the tradition-steeped 3.634-kilometre racetrack in the Midwest, they held a 1.673-second advantage in the GTLM class. For the Porsche GT Team, this marked the second victory from four rounds so far this season of North America’s premier sports car race series. In March, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) won the twelve-hour classic in Sebring with the 911 RSR. At Mid-Ohio, the pair saw the flag in sixth after spending a long period in the lead. Continue reading “Second win of season for #Porsche #911 RSR and championship lead”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Round 4, Mid-Ohio, USA
At the premiere of the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Mid-Ohio, the best Porsche 911 RSR takes up Sunday’s race from the first grid row. In a hotly contested qualifying on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the time-honoured 3.634-kilometre racetrack in America’s Midwest, Nick Tandy posted the second fastest time in the GTLM class with the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. The Briton was only six-hundredths of a second off pole position. His teammate at round four of North America’s premier sports car race series is Patrick Pilet (France), with whom he won the Sebring twelve-hour classic in March. Earl Bamber (New Zealand) planted the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team on fourth. He shares the cockpit of the #912 car with Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). A look at the times clocked during qualifying shows just how competitive the strongly represented GTLM class is with four automobiles manufacturers: All eight cars were within just six-tenths of a second.
Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “As expected, the qualifying was extremely close. Of course, it’s a bit disappointing to set the fastest times in all sessions and then not in qualifying. However, we’re heading into the race feeling positive, after all there’s not much between us and the frontrunner. It’ll certainly be a difficult race, because the track has its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to changing grip conditions. But our car is good over the distance. We’re feeling confident and we’ll attack all-out.” Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “I’m very pleased with this qualifying. The first grid row is a great place to start from. We saw in Sebring that we’re fast with the 911 RSR, particularly over the distance. I’m not worried about the weather, which is often very changeable here. If it rains we switch to wet tyres, if it’s dry we race on slicks. It’s as simple as that.” Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “The team has prepared our 911 RSR very well for the circuit. We definitely have a fast car for the race.” Continue reading “#IMSA : #Porsche 911 RSR starts from the first grid row”
After a gripping race at Spa-Francorchamps, the Porsche GT Team has started into the FIA Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) season with second and fourth place. Frenchman Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen from Denmark scored second in the #92 car and narrowly missed out on clinching the maiden WEC victory for the new Porsche 911 RSR. Their team colleagues, the two former WEC champions Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria), concluded the race in fourth with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. Over six hours and 148 laps, ten vehicles from five manufacturers battled it out in the GTE-Pro class. Under a cloudless sky and temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius, 63,000 spectators witnessed round one of the 15-month 2018/2019 Super Season.
Porsche GT Team starts Spa season-opener from second grid row
Stuttgart. Porsche heads into the opening round of the Sports Car FIA World Endurance Championship on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday from the second grid row. In a breathtakingly close qualifying, Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria) set the third quickest time with their 911 RSR, just 87-thousandths of a second off pole position. Directly behind them, Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) take off into the 15-month 2018/2019 Super Season in the sister car.
New racetrack, new challenge: After the street circuit at Long Beach, the IMSA SportsCar Championship will make its first appearance on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 6 May to contest round four of the season. The Porsche GT Team fields two Porsche 911 RSR race cars in the strongly represented GTLM class on the storied 3.634-kilometre circuit in America’s Midwest. The Porsche customer team Wright Motorsports tackles the GTD class campaigning two Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with its 13 corners is one of the most beautiful and time-honoured racetracks in the United States. Opened in 1962, the demanding circuit lies north of Cincinnati, not far from Lexington in the US state of Ohio. The last time Porsche won on this track was back in 2011 with the 911 GT3 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers in the American Le Mans Series. Continue reading “Two #911 RSR #Porsche tackle storied Midwest racetrack”
Porsche is expanding its range of hybrids even further: the new Cayenne E-Hybrid combines the best driving dynamics in its class with maximum efficiency. A three-litre V6 engine (250 kW/340 hp) combines with an electric engine (100 kW/136 hp) to generate system power of 340 kW (462 hp). The maximum torque of 700 Nm is already available just above idling speed; the boost strategy matches that of the 918 Spyder supercar. The Cayenne’s plug-in hybrid drive enables acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 5.0 seconds and a maximum speed of 253 kilometres per hour.
The new Cayenne E-Hybrid can drive up to a distance of 443)kilometres and speed of 135 kilometres per hour on electricity alone. The average consumption in the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), depending on the set of tyres used, is 3.4 – 3.2 l/100 km of fuel and 20.9 – 20.6 kWh/100 km of electricity. Alongside the launch of the Cayenne E-Hybrid, Porsche is expanding its range of comfort and assistance systems for the entire Cayenne series with additional options such as the new head-up display, massage seats and 22-inch light metal wheels. Continue reading “New #Porsche #Cayenne now available as a plug-in #hybrid”
The six-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, 2018, kicks off the 15-month Super Season of the FIA Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC. On the time-honoured racetrack in the Ardennes region of Belgium, six 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR go up against strong opposition from Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari and Ford in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes.
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which is approximately 20 kilometres from the German border, sets motorsport fans’ hearts racing: The 7,004-kilometre circuit is an electrifying mix of high-speed passages such as the famous Eau Rouge and slower sections. An altitude difference of around 100 metres makes the season-opening round into a rollercoaster ride. One unpredictable factor in the Ardennes is the weather: The sun can be shining in the Bus Stop chicane, while in Le Combes it’s raining.
Scoring third at Sunday’s round of the ADAC GT Masters in Most, Czech Republic, the Porsche 911 GT3 R run by Precote Herberth Motorsport remains at the top of the standings. After finishing yesterday’s race on
third, Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet from France and Germany’s Robert Renauer achieved their second podium result in the still young season. The 911 GT3 R fielded by KÜS Team75 Bernhard and shared by Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Adrien de Leener (Belgium) crossed the finish line as the
second best Porsche in 14th. Jan-Erik Slooten (Germany) and Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) made up nine places in the race for their team IronForce by Ring Police and scored critical points in the Trophy classification.
Another Porsche Experience Centre has been given the green light: The world’s seventh customer experience centre from the sports car manufacturer is due to be built at the Hockenheimring. Over the next two years, a 176,000-square-metre area at the heart of the historic circuit will see the construction of a state-of-the-art building complex, a handling course, several driving dynamics areas and an off-road course. The work is due to start towards the middle of 2018, with the experience centre expected to be operational by the end of 2019. Porsche is implementing this project in collaboration with emodrom-group, the company responsible for the strategic development of the Hockenheimring.
“The Porsche Experience Centres allow our customers and fans to experience the performance of our vehicles as well as the fascination of the brand at first hand”, explains Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. “We are extending this unique offering by constructing this new site near our main plant in Zuffenhausen.” In terms of its architecture, the customer experience centre will follow the example of existing Porsche Experience Centres. Spread over three floors, an area of 4,500 square metres will house event spaces, conference and meeting rooms, a Porsche Selection Shop, a Porsche Classic Lounge plus a restaurant and café. Workshops and exhibition areas for vehicles will be constructed, too. A rapid charging infrastructure will also take the growing importance of hybrid vehicles, plus the requirements of the Porsche Mission E, into account.
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, round 1, Monza, Italy
The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Manthey-Racing team finished round one of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza without earning points. A technical defect in the early stages of the three-hour race made it impossible for the three Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France),
Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) to compete amongst the frontrunners. The German-French trio contested the category solely for professional driver pairings. In sunshine and warm summer temperatures, the 54-strong field from twelve different manufacturers took off on the 5.793 kilometre Formula 1 racetrack on the outskirts of Milan.
In qualifying, which was based on the average lap times, the driver crew of Dumas, Makowiecki and Werner posted 18th. When the start driver Dumas suddenly lost pace about 20 minutes after the race took off, the trio were unable to improve on their ranking. A faulty sensor in the gearbox area forced the former overall Le Mans winner into an unscheduled pit stop. Repairs cost the squad 23 laps, which resulted in the #911 vehicle finally crossing the finish line 45th overall.
In addition to Manthey-Racing, a
second Porsche customer team, Herberth Motorsport from Germany, will contest all five races of this year’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. The all-German line-up of Jürgen Häring, Edward-Lewis Brauner and Wolfang Triller secured fourth place in the amateur category for gentlemen drivers in the ca. 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Round two of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will take place on 20 May in Great Britain. Competitors will tackle a three-hour race on the storied British racetrack in Silverstone.
Comments after the race
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser (Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars): “Such a race is disappointing, of course, but even in qualifying the car certainly wasn’t where one wants it to be. Ultimately, the team has gained experience that can be built on for the next races. I must say, though, that the atmosphere here in the paddock is as thrilling as the impressive grid and the extremely close competition. This series is appealing, particularly for customer racers, because they get a lot of track time and the regulations keep the costs low.”
Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R): “Towards the middle of his stint, Romain Dumas couldn’t change gears anymore and had to come into the pits. We discovered that a sensor in the gearbox was the cause. After the team fixed the problem the car could rejoin the race. In the race analysis it’ll be important to take a close look at the performance of the tyres. If the team can draw conclusions for the set-up, the qualifying will probably go better next time. However, the procedures over the race weekend all went smoothly, which is very positive with a view to the next race at Silverstone.”
Romain Dumas (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “I didn’t take any risks at the start so that I could make it through the first corner unscathed. The defect, however, threw us out of contention early in the fight for positions. For the next race we need to qualify further up the grid. I like the qualifying format, and I believe that we have a very good and balanced driver line-up that can stand up to the other strong drivers in the field.”
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup is reserved for race cars that comply with FIA GT3 regulations. Storied racetracks, cost-effective conditions of participation and equality in terms of technicology thanks to the Balance of Performance form the framework of this customer-oriented championship. The season highlight, the 24 Hours of Spa, is also part of the global Intercontinental GT Challenge, in which Porsche teams compete with the 911 GT3 R. SRO Motorsports Group organises both series.
Encouraged by the success of the Blancpain Endurance Series, world-renowned Swiss watch manufacture Blancpain and the SRO Motorsports Group decide at the end of 2013 to extend their partnership to the Sprint series, previously promoted as the FIA GT Series, offering teams and drivers the opportunity to compete for an overall Blancpain GT Series title, linking sprint and endurance.
New 911 GT3 RS sets a lap time of 6:56.4 minutes through the ‘Green Hell’
Stuttgart. On April 16 the Porsche 911 GT3 RS set another benchmark for road-approved sports cars at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany: Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre set a lap time in 6:56.4 minutes with the 520-hp GT3 RS. The Frenchman’s lap time was 24 seconds faster than the best time achieved with the previous GT3 RS model. Porsche development driver Lars Kern was sharing driving duties with Estre. Following the 918 Spyder and the 911 GT2 RS, the new GT3 RS is the third production Porsche sports car with a notarised lap time of less than seven minutes on the world’s most demanding race track, known as the ‘Green Hell’. As is customary for record drives, the time was measured around the 20.6-kilometre lap.
Frank Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars, commented; “No other Porsche model gets as close to racing as the new GT3 RS. Many innovative ideas from top-level motorsport were transferred; for example, from the 911 GT3 R. This is what our philosophy for GT models is about: Highest technology must be fascinating but tangible. In this regard there is no harder test for our ideas than the Nordschleife.”
Andreas Preuninger, Director GT Model Line, added; “All four lap times of both drivers were below seven minutes and only tenths of a second apart. This proves not only the outstanding power of the GT3 RS, but also its extraordinary driveability at the limit. A perfectly composed overall system allows for highly dynamic performance even with a relatively modest engine power. For a driver, each of the car’s thousands of parts have to feel like one – that’s an unbeatable strength of the GT3 RS. And what especially delights me is how much fun Lars and Kévin had when driving that car.”
29-year old Estre began the record lap at 11:40 am in ideal conditions, with 14 degree Celsius ambient and 18 degree Celsius track temperature. “This lap was a sensational experience for me”, he revealed afterwards. “Through the fast corners and on the brakes in particular, the GT3 RS is unbelievably close to our racing car GT3 R. This is also thanks to the new generation of tyres for road going sports cars. I like the engine of the GT3 RS a lot. Up to 9,000 revs per minute from a six-cylinder engine just feels fantastic. The sound is a dream and the torque is massive.”
Since 2016 Kévin Estre belongs to the squad of Porsche works drivers. He competes with the Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that includes the Le Mans 24-Hours. In the ADAC GT Masters he races the 911 GT3 R.
At the Nürburgring the 911 GT3 RS was equipped with the latest generation of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. Optimised especially for track day use, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R is fully compliant with relevant EU and US law. The tyre (265/35 ZR 20 front and 325/30 ZR 21 rear) can soon be ordered at every Porsche Centre and selected dealers or tyre fitters. Its approved fitments include 911 GT3 RS and 911 GT2 RS.
The 911 GT3 RS with motorsport-bred chassis and 383-kW (520-hp), four-litre, high- speed naturally aspirated engine had its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in early March this year. The high-performance sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 312 km/h.
Prices for the 911 GT3 RS start at 195.137 euro in Germany, including VAT and country-specific equipment.
Stuttgart. At the season-opening weekend of the ADAC GT Masters, the best Porsche 911 GT3 R scored fourth in a thrilling race on Sunday. Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (F) and Robert Renauer (D) drove a gutsy race for their Precote Herberth Motorsport team and fought a gripping duel for the
Stuttgart. At the first race of the ADAC GT Masters season, Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (F/Precote Herberth Motorsport) and his teammate Robert Renauer (D) yielded the best result of the Porsche customer teams with sixth place at Oschersleben. The two-time overall Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard (D) and Kévin Estre (F) crossed the finish line on the 3.696-kilometre circuit in Saxony-Anhalt on 14th place. The newcomer team IronForce by Ring Police won in the ADAC GT Masters Trophy class with amateur pilot Jan-Erik Slooten, finishing 24th overall.
Getting off the line well from 13th, Robert Renauer managed to make up four positions on the initially wet track. “After our less than perfect qualifying, we’re very pleased with the result and we managed to earn some vital points,” said the 33-year-old German. Renauer’s teammate Mathieu Jaminet (23) took the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R after 20 laps and concluded the race under dry conditions on sixth place. “It was a great start to the new season. We now need to analyse the data and make the appropriate changes for Sunday’s race,” declared Jaminet, who clinched his first ADAC GT Masters victory at Oschersleben last year.
Michael Ammermüller scores double victory at Oschersleben
At the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Michael Ammermüller experienced the perfect start to the season. After winning the season-opening round on Saturday, the BWT Lechner Racing driver from Germany followed up with another win on Sunday at the wheel of his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. At race two,
Ammermüller relegated his fellow competitors Dylan Pereira (L/Lechner Racing) and Robert Lukas (PL/Förch Racing) to position two and three respectively. “You can’t have a better start to the season than being first twice. I got faster lap by lap, the car was perfectly setup,” said Ammermüller.
As the quickest in qualifying, Ammermüller took off into the race from pole position in 14 degrees Celsius and occasional sunshine. After the start, the 32-year-old defended his position and gradually pulled clear of his pursuers. Leading the 29-strong field, Ammermüller took the flag after 19 laps. Behind the seasoned Porsche specialist, Lukas and Pereira treated spectators to a gripping duel for second place. Right from the start, Pereira put his rival under pressure. The 20-year-old overtook Lukas in lap 14 and successfully defended second place to the flag. At the same time, Pereira was the best driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Talent Pool, a new youth support initiative in the one-make cup. “My start wasn’t so great but afterwards I caught Robert Lukas. I waited patiently for my chance and was rewarded for it. I’m very pleased,” said Pereira.
Lukas reached the chequered flag in position three on the 3.667-kilometre track. “The race was very demanding and close. With that in mind, two podium results this weekend is a great result,” said Lukas. Fourth place went to Michael de Quesada (Team Project 1) from the USA. Behind the rookie, the Swede Henric Skoog from the Raceunion team scored fifth, with his compatriot Gustav Malja (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) finishing on sixth. Continue reading “Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, race 2, Oschersleben”
Michael Ammermüller wins the season-opener at Oschersleben
Michael Ammermüller (BWT Lechner Racing) has made a great start to the season: At race one of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, the German swept over the finish line in first place. Behind his 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Robert Lukas (PL/Förch Racing) finished on second place, with Dylan Pereira (L/Lechner Racing) concluding Saturday’s race in third. “The decisive factor was that I got off the line well. Afterwards I didn’t have as much pressure from behind, which gave me more confidence,” said Ammermüller.
Despite light rain in the morning, the track surface was dry for the race and the 29 vehicles lined up on the grid with slicks. Ammermüller converted his pole position into an early lead, however when two vehicles made contact in lap two the safety car had to be deployed. As the race went green, Ammermüller again defended his spot from Lukas who had started from position two. The driver from Rotthalmünster concluded round one of the season 2.4 seconds ahead of Lukas. “I was really fast from the start,” said Lukas, “but over the course of the race I couldn’t match Michael Ammermüller’s pace and had to keep my eye on the rear-view mirror.”
Behind the driver from Bystra in Poland, Pereira took the flag in third place. The 20-year-old squeezed past Ten Voorde (NL/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) in the first lap and defended his position to the flag. For this, Pereira was classified as the best driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Talent Pool, a new young driver initiative in the national one-make cup series. “Obviously I wanted to secure second, but Robert Lukas drove a flawless race. Overtaking at Oschersleben isn’t easy so I’m thrilled with third place,” said Pereira. Ten Voorde finished the race in fourth, half a second behind the Luxembourg racer. Position five went to Sweden’s Henric Skoog (Raceunion) ahead of Jacob Eidson (Team Project 1) from the USA.
For the first time this season, the Porsche 911 RSR starts from the front grid row on Saturday. Up until the very last lap of the gripping qualifying for round three of the IMSA SportCar Championship, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), who shares the #912 Porsche 911 RSR with Earl Bamber (New Zealand), defended the fastest time in the GTLM class.
The 510 hp race car from Weissach, which received an optimised setup and further improvements to the reliability for its second racing season, was a mere 0.144 seconds shy of posting its first 2018 pole position. In the second 911 RSR (#911), Patrick Pilet (France) clocked the third quickest time on the 3.167-kilometre racetrack in the port area, and consequently rounded off the best qualifying performance for the Porsche GT Team so far this season. Pilet’s teammate for the race is Nick Tandy (Great Britain).
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “It’s a little upsetting to miss out on pole position in the last lap of the qualifying. Still, we’ve secured a very good starting position for the race. Long Beach is a city race with very few chances to overtake. That makes it all the more important to start from as far up the grid as possible. For the race we now just have to do everything right strategically. I’m very satisfied.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “This is a great result for Porsche. The field is extremely tight. The balance of our 911 RSR was very good this morning during the first practice session, however in the qualifying I had slight understeer. But we’ll get that sorted out before the start of the race. Taking up the race from the first two grid rows opens up all possibilities for us.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “When you’re the fastest over the entire session obviously you also want to be on pole. But unfortunately we lost it in the last lap. Still, we can be happy with this result. In the race I’ll try to stay out of any trouble. The tiniest error on this track has immediate consequences.”
The race starts on Saturday at 13:05 hrs local time (22:05 hr CEST) and is broadcast live outside the USA on www.imsa.com.
1. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, 1:16.869 minutes
2. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.144 seconds
3. Tandy/Pilet (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.394
4. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.424
5. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.664
6. Westbrook/Briscoe (GB/USA), Ford GT, + 0.680
7. de Phillippi/Sims (USA/GB), BMW M8, + 1.284
8. Krohn/Edwards (SF/USA), BMW M8, + 1.355
Stuttgart. The time of tests and preparation is over: From 13 to 15 April, the Porsche customer teams KÜS Team75 Bernhard, Precote Herberth Motorsport and IronForce by Ring Police will take off into the new ADAC GT Masters season at Oschersleben. Four Porsche 911 GT3 R racers will be fielded on the 3.696-kilometre circuit in Saxony-Anhalt. With a capacity grid of 36 cars from eight manufacturers, the battle for the “super sports car league” title is played out in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands over seven race weekends.
The two-time outright Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard contests the series for the first time for his own race team, KÜS Team75 Bernhard. “We’ve set ourselves the goal of going for the title. We know how it feels to stand on the top podium step. I’m looking forward to racing with Kévin,” explains the 37-year-old from Bruchmühlbach-Miesau. His teammate and works driver colleague, Kévin Estre, who
scored four victories in 2016 for the crew from Rhineland-Palatinate, is also full of anticipation: “The 2016 season of the ADAC GT Masters underlined that we’re a strong combination. We are up against roughly 15 cars and drivers, all of whom will also have their sights set on the title,” explains the 29-year-old Frenchman. Continue reading “ADAC GT Masters preview”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 3, Long Beach, USA
Following the season-opening rounds at the long distance classics of Daytona and Sebring in Florida, the IMSA SportsCar Championship now heads to California. Coming up on April 14 is the 100-minute event at Long Beach, the shortest race of the year. On the 3.167-kilometre street circuit, the Porsche GT Team fields two Porsche 911 RSR racers against three other automobile manufacturers in the strongly represented GTLM class. In addition to these fascinating sports cars, fans can look forward to a real highlight of the season at Long Beach, where another very popular US series, IndyCar, also contests a championship round on the same weekend. After winning the Sebring 12-hour race, Porsche has moved into second place in the manufacturers’, drivers’ and team classifications of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Porsche also ranks second in the prestigious North American Endurance Cup. The long-distance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans count towards the toughest category in terms of performance and reliability in GT racing worldwide.
During construction of the street circuit around the port area of Long Beach, more than five kilometres of fencing was erected and 1,400 concrete blocks were laid. The race with the picture-postcard backdrop of sun, sea and palms is regarded as the American equivalent to the Monaco Grand Prix. In fact, the street course hosted the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix West from 1976 to 1983. And like in the Principality on the Cote d’Azur, there is no lack of stars and starlets. No wonder – the Hollywood dream factory is just around the corner.
The Porsche drivers
In the cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 RSR, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) contest the GTLM class. These two won the Long Beach race in 2016 and recently clinched the first win of this season in Sebring with the 911 RSR. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) share driving duties in the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team. The GTD class, in which Porsche customer teams campaign the 911 GT3 R, is not contested at Long Beach.
The 911 RSR
In addition to the optimised setup of the 911 RSR, the reliability has been further improved for its second racing season. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the motor, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). The large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing provides strong downforce and aerodynamic efficiency.
The race takes off on Saturday, 14 April, at 13.05 hrs local time (22.05 hrs CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA on www.imsa.com.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, President Motorsport and GT Cars: “After our phenomenal win at the Sebring 12-hour classic, we’re now going to tackle the shortest race of the season at Long Beach. The contrast couldn’t be greater. California is the most important Porsche market in the United States. That makes this race a very special challenge for us. Many of our customers and fans travel from far and wide to watch the 911 RSR on a fascinating city circuit. For us, this intense interest is an obligation to do everything we can to fight for victory and give the spectators an impression of this Porsche’s potential. Aside from that, Long Beach, which is regarded as the Monte Carlo of America for good reason, is an absolute highlight of the season.”
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “The entire squad comes under intense pressure at Long Beach. The short race is a real thriller. Drivers can’t afford to make the slightest mistake on this narrow city circuit, otherwise they end up hitting the wall. And every second we lose in the pits hurts twice as much. Refuelling, new tyres, driver changes – nothing must go wrong at the sole pit stop, otherwise you’ve lost the race. Finding the perfect setup for our 911 RSR in the short practice session is another huge challenge.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “The Long Beach city circuit is one of my favourite racetracks in the States. We won two years ago there, and we now want to do it again. After our Sebring victory, the whole team is hugely motivated. Fans know very well why they come to Long Beach: To constantly push the limits on this demanding course with total commitment is a huge challenge for the drivers and guarantees some action-packed racing.”
Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “Long Beach is a very special place to go racing. It’s a fantastic city circuit and great fun. The comparison to Monaco really fits. The racetrack is tricky and the more rubber that’s left on the track, the faster we get from one practice to the next. Finding the perfect setup for our 911 RSR during the short practice session puts the entire team under pressure right from the start.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “I really like street circuits. They pose a special challenge because you have to stay totally focussed the whole time and you can’t afford to make one mistake. The fact that we’re driving here on the same weekend as the IndyCar Series makes the race one of the season highlights for us and the fans.”
Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “Long Beach is unique. The city circuit is one of the most beautiful in the world, but it’s also one of the most difficult. There are virtually no run-off areas. Every mistake has immediate consequences. If you take a corner too fast you’ll hit the wall. I love street circuits. They’re something very special and a wonderful change for us drivers. And aside from that, California with its sun and beaches is simply fun.”
This is the IMSA SportsCar Championship
The IMSA SportsCar Championship, a sports car race series contested in the USA and Canada, was run in 2014 for the first time. The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in three different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona) and P (Prototype). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT3 R contesting the GTD class. Only the GTLM and P classes will be contested at Long Beach.
The Porsche GT Team is well prepared for the first race of the FIA Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC a month from now at Spa-Francorchamps on May 5. At the season opener, the official Prologue in Le Castellet, France, the two Porsche 911 RSR were put through a comprehensive test programme under dry conditions.
The new driver pairing in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, the Italian Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz from Austria, covered 2051 kilometres over two days on the Circuit Paul Ricard. Their team colleagues in the #92 911 RSR, Kévin Estre from France and the Dane Michael Christensen, lapped the 5.861-kilometre racetrack a total of 288 times, clocking up 1688 kilometres.
Twenty-two teams with 35 vehicles capitalised on the final shakedown for the WEC Super Season. The racetrack with its 13 corners in Southern France offered teams perfect conditions for extensive setup work. Both 911 RSR wrapped up a trouble free test programme and impressed with a commanding performance. Several times, the two 510 hp GT racers turned the fastest time in the GTE-Pro category.
The Porsche customer teams, Project 1, Dempsey Proton Racing and Gulf Racing, also used the two-day Prologue in the South of France for extensive tests. These four Porsche 911 RSR will contest the GTE-Am class of the FIA WEC.
Comments on the Prologue
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “The focus of the WEC Prologue was very clearly on our customer teams, who brought four new cars to the start. It was all about familiarising themselves with the new car and adapting the driving styles. The feedback from drivers and teams has been outstanding. They all managed to complete the test without problems and gain important insights. Overall, the performance is difficult to assess. But the most important feedback is that everything feels good and the drivers have a great deal of confidence in the car. And this is always an indication of good lap times. In the Pro category the focus was on trying out the various suspension setups and evaluating the tyres. That, too, ran perfectly. We were able to complete our test programme as planned and we’re feeling very confident for both categories as we look ahead to the first race in Spa.”
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “It was a perfect test for Porsche. We simulated an entire race weekend and completed the final preparations for our start in Spa. We were able to test different setups and trial all available tyre modifications. Everything went without the slightest hitch. The customer teams also undertook a similar programme. We’re ready and eager for the Super Season to begin.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “I’m absolutely thrilled to return to the WEC after a year’s break. I feel very comfortable in my team. The entire squad is great. I get on very well with Richard and we enjoy our work. We were able to analyse a lot and work intensively. Now I can hardly wait to travel to Spa to compete.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “The tests proved very positive. The whole team has familiarised themselves again with the WEC regulations and we’re totally motivated. We’ve perfected all the processes – now the season can start. Working with Gianmaria is fantastic. I’ve known and valued him for a long time. He’s incredibly quick. I’d definitely prefer to race with him in a car than against him.”
Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “I’m very pleased with the two days, I got a lot of track time and we collected a great deal of information. The tests were good and it’s always fun to work with my crew and my teammate Michael Christensen. The new asphalt on the track provides plenty of grip, but it causes a lot of tyre wear, especially in the long right-hander.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “We had a lot planned for these two days and we managed to tick everything off our list. The car ran very well, the tyres worked and the weather played along, as well. I’m satisfied because everything ran smoothly and now I’m looking forward to the first race.”
Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR #56): “Endurance racing is, of course, completely new ground for our team. So, the main thing was to work out a routine in the procedures, such as pit stops and general organisation. This all worked excellently and we’re well prepared for the first race.”
Julien Andlauer (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “A dream has come true for me over these two days. I was hoping to race at Le Mans and now I’ve been given the chance to contest the entire Super Season. I never expected this. First and foremost, the Porsche 911 RSR is a dream car. The power, the balance, it’s all new and I find it very impressive. The whole ambience in the WEC is thrilling. What’s more, I’m with the best team I could ever wish for. I’m really excited about the season.”
Ben Barker (Porsche 911 RSR #86): “Since this was the first major test for us, we conducted a lot of checks with the brand new Porsche 911 RSR. The vehicle has loads of downforce and feels really good. Given that we have a lot of new faces in the team, it was also very important to analyse all the internal procedures during the tests. We feel good and we’re heading to Spa feeling confident.”
From now until 2020, the Porsche 911 Turbo will be the safety car for the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC). The all-wheel-drive 911 produces 540 hp (397 kW) and sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 3.0 seconds. Technologically, the safety car corresponds largely to the production vehicle. Only a few race-specific modifications were added, such as the light bar on the roof and a radio for contacting the race director, with the brakes and suspension optimised for the racetrack. The matte-black design with glossy red stripes is modelled on the Porsche emblem design of the factory race cars.
Porsche not only supplies the safety car for the FIA WEC, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, until 2020, but also provides eleven intervention vehicles. Two Porsche 911 Turbo will travel as safety cars to all WEC rounds worldwide. Three 911 Turbo head to Le Mans as permanent vehicles. Furthermore, various Porsche models are provided for motor racing medics and track safety personnel.
The race director deploys the safety car whenever the field needs to bunch up in the event of dangerous situations. The 911 Turbo production vehicle possesses the ideal prerequisites for this task: The 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine catapults the Turbo to a top speed of 320 km/h, with the ex-works Sport Chrono Package ensuring the best possible intermediate acceleration.