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Triple victory for Porsche in strongest GT field in history at Daytona 24 Hours, USA

 

 GT Podium

Press Release

29/01/2012

Magnus Racing, (l.-r.): Rene Rast, Richard Lietz, Andy Lally, John Potter

Stuttgart. The 24 hour race in Daytona remains Porsche territory:

At the cliff-hanger 50th anniversary of the long distance classic in Florida/USA, the Zuffenhausen sports car manufacturer celebrated a convincing triple triumph in the GT class against strong opposition from the likes of Audi, BMW, Corvette and Ferrari.

(l.-r.): Andy Lally, John Potter, Richard Lietz, Rene Rast

Victory went to Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Magnus Racing with teammates René Rast (Germany) as well as Americans Andy Lally and John Potter.

Porsche Factory Pilot Richard Lietz (Austria) – Magnus Racing

Magnus Racing – René Rast (Germany)  

  Magnus Racing – American Andy Lally  

Magnus Racing – American John Potter.

#44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

After a thrilling finale in front of record crowds on the Daytona International Speedway, Lietz saw the flag 9.412 seconds ahead of his factory pilot colleague Wolf Henzler.

#67 TRG Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

The previous year’s winner from Germany shared the cockpit of TRG Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Marc Goossens (Belgium), Spencer Pumpelly (USA) and Steven Bertheau (USA).

Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Marc Goossens (Belgium),                                   Steven Bertheau (USA), Factory Pilot Wolf Henzler, Spencer Pumpelly (USA)

Scoring third place was Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) with Americans Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the legendary starting number 59 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by the Daytona-winning squad Brumos Racing.

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) with Americans Hurley Haywood,           Leh Keen and Andrew Davis – Brumos Racing Team

Today we all witnessed why Daytona is one of the world’s most fascinating races,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

“For me that was a 24 hour sprint. The front-runners were incredibly close right to the flag. I’m very pleased to see that we had virtually no technical problems with our cars and the teams and drivers did such a magnificent job under difficult conditions.

Congratulations and well done to you all.”

Joerg Bergmiester, Patrick Long, Marc Lieb, Marco Holzer, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz – Porsche Factory Pilots

Porsche’s head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, commented after this latest success:

“The 50th running of this classic was unbelievably exciting. For much of the time, there were ten GT cars in one lap. The spectators were again treated to some fantastic motorsport. And it’s great of course to celebrate an impressive victory in front of such spectacular crowds. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup again brilliantly underlined its outstanding reliability at this extremely difficult race.”

With its latest win, Porsche has now scored 22 overall and 74 class wins, making it the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race.

The anniversary race of the endurance classic in Florida, at which the new Porsche 911 ran as the safety car, was stronger than ever before. In the GT class alone, 45 cars lined up to start.

“To beat so many great drivers, the crème de la crème of GT pilots, is simply awesome,” said the winner Richard Lietz.

“Winning this race for Porsche is a highlight of my career, comparable only to my two victories in Le Mans.”

His teammate René Rast, the two-time champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, to whom Porsche gave the chance to compete at Daytona in recognition of his excellent performance last season, said:

“Everything ran smoothly. We didn’t experience a single technical problem. That was only the second 24 hour race of my career and undoubtedly the toughest. During one of my stints I spent three and a half hours at the wheel. That was incredibly exhausting.”

In the gripping final phase, Wolf Henzler again pulled out all stops, but the leading Richard Lietz managed to stave him off to the flag.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Wolf Henzler

“He was just too quick today,” Henzler stated. “But to climb the podium again after my win last year is a huge success for me.”

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Brumos Racing, which took off into the race from pole position, Marc Lieb pitted shortly before the flag for a ‘splash and dash’ refuelling stop.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Marc Lieb

Despite having led the race for long distances up until this point, he was unable to rejoin the fight for victory.

“We experienced a bit of bad luck towards the end with our race strategy,” he said. “But although I was rather disappointed initially, it’s still a great team effort to come third against such an incredibly strong GT field.”

Andrew Davis, Leh Keen and Marc Lieb – Brumos Racing

Turning the fastest race lap of the entire GT field, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) turned heads at the classic on the Daytona International Speedway.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Marco Holzer

Alex Job Racing #23

He didn’t, however, manage to reach the flag.

“Everything was running beautifully with our car until the retirement,” he commented.

“But we had a bit of bad luck under the yellow flag. Three times we came in to refuel just before a caution phase and lost laps because of it. That’s rough.”

Lady Luck wasn’t with Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) either.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports, which they shared with American Seth Neiman and Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland), they were holding their own with the front-runners early on, but fell back and had to settle for 15th place at the flag.

Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller (D/USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

“Early on in the race we were running in the top three,” said Patrick Long. “Our pace was very fast.

But Seth’s collision with a Daytona prototype put us out of serious contention.”

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports

GT class

1. Lietz/Lally/Rast/Potter (A/USA/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 727 laps

2. Henzler/Bleekemolen/Bertheau/Goossens/Pumpelly (D/NL/USA/B/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 727 laps

3. Lieb/Haywood/Davis/Keen (D/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 726 laps

4. Edwards/Bremer/Liddell (USA/DK/GB), Camaro GT.R, 726 laps

5. Beretta/Bertolini/Vilander (MC/I/SF), Ferrari 458, 726 laps

6. Franchitti/Bomarito/Hinchcliffe/Tremblay (GB/USA/CAN/USA), Mazda RX-8, 722 laps

7. Pilet/Farnbacher/Keating/Simonsen (F/D/USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 721 laps

11. Armindo/Curtis/Lewis/Sofronas/Willsey (F/USA/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 713 laps

14. Avenatti/Faieta/Poordad/Sweedler/Wagner (USA/USA/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 707 laps

15. Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller (D/USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 706 laps

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SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG Motorsportpress

 

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24 Hours of Daytona, USA::Strong #Porsche showing at 50th anniversary of sports car classic

Porsche

Stuttgart. Happy Birthday Daytona: The sports car classic in Florida celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Traditionally, the 24 hour race on the Daytona International Speedway is the first highlight of the motorsport season and year after year attracts the best pilots from all kinds of race series worldwide to the ‘Sunshine State’ of the USA.

Spearheaded by title defender Wolf Henzler (Germany), seven Porsche works drivers contest the strongly supported GT class. With 22 overall wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the race.

The race

The endurance classic, which kicks off the Grand-Am Series season, started out in 1962 as a three hour race. At 1,250 miles in 1964, the race grew to double the distance of the classic 1,000 kilometre races of Spa, Monza and the Nürburgring. The maiden 24 hour event in Daytona took place in 1966. Due to the oil crisis in 1974 the race was not run. Taking their places on the winner’s list are Formula 1 champions like Phil Hill and Mario Andretti as well as legendary Porsche pilots like Hans Herrmann, Rolf Stommelen, Hurley Haywood and Bob Wollek.

The circuit

The Daytona International Speedway is one of the world’s most famous race tracks. The 24 hour race is contested on the 5.729 kilometre track combination of oval with banked corner and the infield. The circuit is also the venue for the famed NASCAR Daytona 500 race with over 250,000 spectators annually.

The Porsche drivers

In the traditionally very competitive GT class, seven Porsche works drivers have victory in sight with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup:

Title defender Wolf Henzler competes for TRG Racing, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) line up for Flying Lizard Motorsports, their winning team from the American Le Mans Series. Alex Job Racing has Marco Holzer (Germany) onboard, with Patrick Pilet (Franc) taking the wheel of the second TRG-Porsche. Magnus Racing competes with Richard Lietz (Austria), whilst his teammate in the new World Endurance Championship, Marc Lieb (Germany), lines up for Brumos Racing.

One of the partners of the Porsche works driver is the US racing legend Hurley Haywood (USA). With five overall and six class victories, Haywood is the most successful pilot ever in Daytona. On 4 May he celebrates his 64th birthday.

US racing legend Hurley Haywood (USA)

Also taking up the race with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is Audi factory pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland).

Audi factory pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland)

In recognition of their brilliant performances in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Porsche AG gave the two-time champion René Rast (Germany) as well as “Rookie of the Year” Kévin Estre (France) the chance to compete at Daytona.

Two-time champion René Rast (Germany)

 “Rookie of the Year” Kévin Estre (France)

What they said before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“Daytona is always a very special race for Porsche. Our Porsche teams have already yielded many great results here with the Porsche 911. And with 21 vehicles we are very well represented again this year. For teams like Brumos who compete in 2012 as title defenders of the Grand-Am Series, it is particularly exciting that the most important race of the year is also the start of the season. And it will be particularly interesting to see the new competitors who compete with modified and, in fact, more powerful GT3 vehicles.”

Jörg Bergmeister:

“After the long break over winter, this race is a great way to get ready for the new season. Porsche was always very strong in Daytona. I last won the race here in 2009 and I’m feeling quite confident that we’ll be good for a win again this year. The competition was never this strong. It’ll be a tough fight from start to finish.”

Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) 

Patrick Long:

“Our excursion into the prototype class last year was an interesting experience. But now I’m looking forward to racing a 911 again in Daytona. The fact that our GT-class rivals are not only much stronger in sheer numbers makes the task for us and our team even more interesting.”

Patrick Long (USA)

Marc Lieb:

“Our tests ran well in Daytona and I’m sure that we’ll be competitive in the race. The 24 Hours of Daytona is always a cool event, and added to this is the unbelievably big grid for the 50th anniversary. I’m looking forward to driving for such a well established and successful team like Brumos Racing with the legendary starting number 59.”

Marc Lieb (Germany)

Wolf Henzler:

“When we tested I was really impressed by the strength of our competition. With 42 GT cars on the grid, it’ll certainly not be an easy race. I imagine things will get really tough right from the start flag. I’m driving again for TRG, the team with which I won last year. My teammates are very strong and of course I’ll do my best to repeat my victory from last year.”

Wolf Henzler (Germany)

Marco Holzer:

“It’s a fantastic challenge to start the season with a 24 hour race, and a classic like Daytona at that. I very much like this circuit. It’s demanding but real fun. We did a great deal of work on the car with my team Alex Job Racing. I’m quite optimistic for the race.”

Marco Holzer (Germany)

Richard Lietz:

“Great that the season finally gets underway. The GT class booms, the competition is stronger this year than ever before. That will surely be an interesting race. We always had a good car in the last years and we are keen to continue the success streak of Porsche in Daytona.”

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Patrick Pilet:

“Driving in Daytona is something very special for us all. This race is a legend and a great challenge, particularly in its anniversary year. Manufacturers send the best GT teams with very strong driver contingents to Daytona. The fight for victory is open like never before.”

Patrick Pilet (France)

 

Porsche successes

With 22 overall and 72 class victories, Porsche is by far the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Daytona 24 hour race.

The first overall win for Porsche was in 1968 with Vic Elford, Jochen Neerpasch, Rolf Stommelen, Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann with the Porsche 907.

The latest win in 2010 went to Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller with the Porsche-Riley. In 2003, Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Kevin Buckler and Michael Schrom clinched a sensational overall win with the near-standard Porsche 911 GT3 RS against more powerful Daytona prototypes.

In the previous year, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler secured the GT class victory at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

The schedule

The 24 hour race in Daytona starts on Saturday, 28 January, at 15.30 hrs local time (21.30 hrs CET).

Other interesting facts

- Marking the longest winning streak in the history of the race, Porsche notched up a total of eleven overall victories between 1977 and 1987. Add the class victories to this and Porsche has 21 wins in succession between 1966 and 1987 (in 1974 the race was not contested due to the oil crisis).

– According to statistics, Porsche veteran Hurley Haywood has turned more than 18,800 laps from his 37 Daytona starts to date and with this has completed almost 110,000 kilometres – that’s far more than two and a half times the circumference of the earth. For this, the Porsche dealer from Jacksonville/Florida has spent 476 hours behind the wheel and used around 1,100 sets of tyres.

– Right behind front-runner Hurley Haywood with five overall wins (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991) in the all-time list of winners at Daytona are two further Porsche pilots: Rolf Stommelen (1968, 1978, 1980, 1982) and Bob Wollek (1983, 1985, 1989, 1991) each with four overall victories.

The calendar

Thirteen races in the USA and Canada make up the calendar of the Grand-Am Series for 2012:

28/29.01. 24 Hours Daytona/Florida
01.04. Birmingham/Alabama
29.04. Miami/Florida
13.05. Millville/New Jersey
03.06. Detroit/Michigan
10.06. Lexington/Ohio
24.06. Elkhart Lake/Wisconsin
01.07 6 Hours Watkins Glen/New York
29.07. Indianapolis/Indiana
12.08. Watkins Glen/New York
19.08. Montreal/Canada
09.09. Laguna Seca/California
28.09. Lime Rock, Connecticut

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

Porsche

This year marks an important race in the manufacturer’s history because we will be celebrating 50 years at Daytona. As the most winning Marque of the Rolex 24, Porsche will be the official pace car of the 24 hour race, showcasing the new 911. Porsche Cars North America is excited to announce the return of the two-day customer hospitality program at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Each hospitality package is $300 and includes an official race ticket to the Rolex 24 and access to the Porsche hospitality tent Saturday (Jan 28) and Sunday (Jan 29) with the following amenities:

  • Food and Beverage (3 meals per day)

  • Lounge area

  • Track feed from the race

  • Team/Sponsor presentations

  • Driving Simulators for xBox

  • Gift bag

In addition to the Rolex 24 at Daytona, any additional customer hospitality programs that will be implemented later in the year will appear on the same website. Dealers, customers, and prospects are able to use this site to order any of the motorsport hospitality packages.

For more information on each of the events or to order hospitality packages please visit:www.porscheracingusa.com.

 

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