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Category Archives: Le Mans

Porsche keen to repeat last year’s GT victory, Sports Car World Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

 

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Marco Holzer, Frederic Makowiecki, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Marco Holzer, Frederic Makowiecki, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet, Joerg Bergmeister, Nick Tandy

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet, Joerg Bergmeister, Nick Tandy

 

Stuttgart. It was a debut made to order: At its first ever outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year, the Porsche 911 RSR brought home a double victory. At the 82nd edition of the world’s most famous long distance race, contested on the Circuit des 24 Heures on 14/15 June, Porsche Team Manthey will again field a pair of 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. Taking up the challenge alongside the factory squad, Porsche customer teams from Europe and America again contest the GTE-Am class, which Porsche also won last year. The classic event in provincial France, where Porsche is chronicled as the most successful manufacturer with 16 overall victories, is regarded as the highlight of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC).

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The race
First contested in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the toughest automobile race in the world and represents the greatest challenge motorsport has to offer. What makes this classic so unique is also the 13.65 kilometre “Circuit des 24 Heures”, one of the oldest and fastest race tracks in the world with 38 corners and the legendary five-kilometre long Mulsanne straight. Almost 75 percent of a lap is driven at full throttle.

Porsche drivers
Double points are awarded for round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC at Le Mans. Tackling the GTE-Pro class in the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR are Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). Sharing the #92 cockpit are their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and last year’s winner Richard Lietz (Austria). Customer teams take on the GTE-Am class with a pair of 911 RSR: For the Dempsey Racing-Proton outfit, Patrick Dempsey (USA) and Joe Foster (USA) join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA). Christian Ried (Germany), Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) compete for Proton Competition. The customer squads IMSA Performance Matmut and Prospeed Competition each bring two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in last year’s spec to the start. IMSA Performance Matmut has contracted an all-French driver line-up with Erik Maris, Jean Marc Merlin and Eric Hélary as well as Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo and David Hallyday. Taking on the challenge for Prospeed Competition are Cooper MacNeil (USA), Bret Curtis (USA) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) as well as Frenchmen Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard.

The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR which Porsche has campaigned in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship since 2013 is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut last year the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach scored a brilliant double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the 911 RSR received improvements in many areas. In addition to winning the WEC season opener at Silverstone, this racer has also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring. Through the balance of performance ruling, the 911 RSR for Le Mans must now weigh 25 kilograms more than last year’s contender, with the restrictors reduced from 29.6 to 29.3 millimetres.

The schedule
Free practice on the Circuit des 24 Heures is held on Wednesday, 11 June, from 16.00 to 20.00 hrs, followed by the first qualifying session from 22.00 hrs to midnight. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Thursday, 12 June, from 19.00 to 21.00 hrs and from 22.00 hrs to midnight. The start flag for the 24 hour pursuit drops on Saturday, 14 June, at 15.00 hours. The 56-strong field is sent on its way by ex-Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.

TV tips
Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the complete race live. The last two hours of free practice as well as the three qualifying sessions and the warm-up are also televised live. Also aired during the week are various programmes highlighting the world’s most famous long distance race with news, interviews, portraits and background reports. Detailed TV information is available on http://www.eurosport.com.

Quotes before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“Le Mans is the highlight of the year. For our teams and drivers this race represents an exceptional challenge – and we’re feeling highly motivated and very well prepared. After our double victory at the season-opener in Silverstone, our car now has to carry 25 extra kilograms of ballast and the diameter of the two restrictors is now 0.3 millimetres smaller than last year’s. When considering the additional changes made, as against 2013, at one or the other competitor one has to question to what extent is the Balance of Performance actually balanced. We feel it is a matter of utmost urgency in the spirit of the sport to find a regulation for the classification of vehicles where you don’t have to fear being punished for a good performance, like what happened to us after Silverstone. Nevertheless, we’ll work extremely hard to do a good job at Le Mans – just like last year.”

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

“I’ve raced at Le Mans since 2002 and it’s a fantastic feeling to be back again this year. It’s the season highlight for me. This race has a very special atmosphere and it’s always incredibly demanding. More than anything I enjoy the extremely fast corners, they’re the most fun. Last year we came second behind our teammates and I wouldn’t mind at all if we switch positions this year.”

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“Le Mans is a very special race, especially for me as a Frenchman. It’s always an incredible feeling to go racing on such an extreme circuit in front of so many fans. Aside from the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans is the greatest race on Earth. We are well prepared and our 911 RSR is a strong contender, especially on the long straights. It would be fantastic if we could turn this into a win. We were so close last year.”

Nick Tandy (#91):

“Ever since I began racing for Porsche at Le Mans in 2010 it has been my goal to secure a podium spot here. You only get this chance once a year and I’ll do everything within my power to make it happen. For a race driver, Le Mans is a magical place. Even when you arrive in the paddock you get a sense of the great history. And the Circuit des 24 Heures is something very special with its unique combination of race track and normal country roads. It’s an honour for me to drive again for Porsche at Le Mans this year.”

Marco Holzer (#92):

“At my first race in Le Mans in 2010 we managed to achieve a podium finish with third place. When I think back to the cheering crowds at the award ceremony it still sends shivers down my spine. I’d very much like to experience this feeling again and our chances don’t look too bad. We have a great car and a strong team behind us. But in Le Mans you can’t afford to make one mistake. You have to be totally focussed otherwise you can forget it.”

Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):

“As a Frenchman you simply have to race at Le Mans. And you want to win. Your family is watching at the track, your friends are there supporting you. This makes it hugely motivating to achieve everything you’ve set out to do. As a child I dreamed of Porsche. I launched my racing career with Porsche. If I could now win Le Mans with Porsche, well that would just be the best thing in the world. But first we have to face 24 gruelling hours where pretty much anything can happen.”

Richard Lietz (#92):

“I have many wonderful memories of Le Mans, especially my wins in 2007, 2010 and 2013. It’s the greatest race in the world. I love it. If I couldn’t be here as a driver, I’d buy a ticket and watch the race as a spectator. Earlier, only victory in Le Mans counted. Since 2013, it has become part of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship which means that if you can’t win then you have to make sure you bring home as many points as possible. The connection between Porsche and Le Mans is pure racing fascination. Getting the chance to compete at Le Mans for Porsche, the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race, is motivation enough. You automatically do your absolute best to win.”

Patrick Long (#77):

“Le Mans is always a huge challenge. Everyone wants to win, regardless of the category they’re contesting. I’m really looking forward to racing with Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster and helping the whole team to fulfil their dreams at Le Mans. Last year we narrowly missed out on a podium spot. This time we’re determined to make it.”

SOURCE:

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Works engagement with 919 hybrid and 911 RSR, Most comprehensive racing programme of all time

Works engagement with 919 hybrid and 911 RSR

Porsche 919 R Hybrid

Porsche 919 R Hybrid

Stuttgart. Porsche heads into the 2014 season with the most extensive motorsport programme ever. In addition to its new LMP1 project, Porsche Motorsport sends two GT works teams to compete on race tracks around the world. Porsche AG Team Manthey again fields two Porsche 911 RSR in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC), as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche North America contests the new Tudor United Sportscar Championship with CORE autosport as the race team, with the new season kicking off at the Daytona 24 hour race on 25 January.

Matthias Müller, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Matthias Müller, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Porsche Motorsport’s driver squad has also grown to record size.

For the upcoming season, Porsche has signed on 20 drivers including four Porsche juniors and a scholarship candidate chosen from the international one-make race series. All current Porsche factory pilots have received a contract for the 2014 season. “We’ve never had such a large driver line-up in the history of the company,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

Porsche 919 hybrid named, LMP1 driver squad complete
Porsche AG announces its driver line-up and the vehicle name for its return to the top category of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2014, with the season highlight in Le Mans: On the occasion of the Porsche Night of Champions this Saturday in Weissach, the young New Zealander Brendon Hartley (24) and long-standing Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (33) from Germany have been confirmed as regular drivers in the LMP1 race car, officially called the “Porsche 919 hybrid”. Already signed on for the LMP1 project are the drivers Timo Bernhard (DE, 32), Romain Dumas (FR, 36), Neel Jani (CH, 30) and the Australian Mark Webber (37).

Driver squad Porsche LMP1, Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley (l-r)

Driver squad Porsche LMP1, Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley (l-r)

Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG, stated:

“We are very proud of our strong international driver line-up. Three of the six drivers come from our own Porsche driver squad, two were even Porsche juniors. This is something we are particularly proud of.” Hatz continued: “The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s embarkation into the hybrid future. With hybrid sports cars like the Cayenne as a SUV, the Grand Touring Panamera, and the 918 Spyder three-litre super sportscar, we are on the right track. But to continue leading the way in the future and to merge sportiness with sustainability, we need to keep learning. Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC regulations for the works-entered class 1 prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future.”

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1, explained:

“We had a substantial number of applicants from all classes for the two 919 hybrids. We were looking for experience, sheer speed, technical understanding, and we wanted team players because this is more important in endurance racing than in any discipline.”

Strong driver squad wrapped up with Hartley and Lieb 
Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas were the first drivers to be selected. The two bring the experience of seven overall victories each from 24 hour races – Nürburgring, Daytona, Spa and overall victory together in Le Mans with Audi. In July 2013, the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani joined the team, with Mark Webber onboard since the end of the 2013 Formula 1 season. Brendon Hartley and Marc Lieb now complete the squad.

Hartley left his homeland early to advance his racing career in Europe. Following on from successes in the Formula Renault and Formula 3 came the long-awaited Formula 1 contract – as a test driver but with precious little chance to race. Hence, parallel to his F1 commitments, Hartley turned to sports car racing. He said: “I’m incredibly proud that Porsche has chosen me. I was deeply impressed at my first outing in Le Mans. But to compete there in the LMP1 for an iconic company like Porsche is another dimension completely.”

Marc Lieb was 20 years old when his career as a race driver at Porsche took off: In the year 2000, he won the Porsche Junior driver selection. In addition to a raft of class victories, he also scored five overall wins at 24 hour races, four times on the Nürburgring, once at Spa. “I have been fortunate enough to celebrate victories with Porsche all over the world,” said Lieb, “even in the GT class at Le Mans. People there always asked when we would return to the LMP1 class. Since the project was given the go-ahead, I only wanted one thing: to be involved. Le Mans and Porsche, I can’t even begin to describe how excited this makes me feel.”

Mark Webber disclosed:

“For me a lot of it is familiar, a lot is foreign, everything is special. I’m absorbing every bit of information I can and I’m already looking forward to the next tests.” The nine-time Grand Prix winner took the wheel of the 919 hybrid for the first time several days ago in Portimão, Portugal.

Timo Bernhard has a few more kilometres to his credit. He said:

“I’ve been with Porsche for 15 years and I feel an immense responsibility that comes with the return to LMP1. In the development, all your skills as a driver are required. The first premise is not to drive fast, it’s more to feel what the car is doing and to share even the smallest details with the engineers.”

Romain Dumas, who celebrates his 36th birthday today on the Night of Champions, underlined:

“We are a good team for the development of the 919 hybrid. We have a lot of work ahead of us. The 2013 class victory with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz in the factory-run Porsche 911 RSR was really great, but now we’re heading into new territory, and with all the complex technical innovations, our new squad faces an enormous challenge.”

Neel Jani summarises:

“It has always been my goal to one day fight for overall victory in the WEC and Le Mans. To do this you have to be part of a good works squad, and this is where I am right now. To compete for Porsche is a great honour and it comes with a lot of responsibility. We want to write a new chapter in the great history of Porsche motorsport, even if it takes time. The technology is completely new and we need to grow together as a team.”

Frédéric Makowiecki signed as Porsche works driver
Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki (33) will join the ranks of Porsche Motorsport’s GT squad this coming season and pilot a 911 RSR. Makowiecki, who prefers to be called Fred Mako, is a regular competitor behind the wheel of Porsche race cars. He has collected more than nine years of experience in the cockpit of the 911. One of his greatest achievements was clinching the title of the Porsche Carrera Cup France in 2010.

Frédéric Makowiecki (FR)

Frédéric Makowiecki (FR)

“Frédéric Makowiecki is one of the fastest and most experienced GT pilots,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen. “He has a great deal of experience on virtually all international race tracks and he knows precisely how to drive a Porsche 911 fast. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

Porsche acquires majority holding in Manthey Racing GmbH
Porsche has acquired a 51 percent stake in Manthey Racing GmbH and as such continues to expand its long and successful collaboration with the race outfit from Meuspath at the Nürburgring. “I’m sure this will help us to prepare even better for the challenges we are facing together in the WEC and I look forward to working with Olaf Manthey, Nicolas Raeder and Martin Raeder,” says Wolfgang Hatz.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Martin Ragginger wins Porsche Cup
After a successful season in international GT racing, Austrian Martin Ragginger (25) can celebrate winning the Porsche Cup as the best Porsche private driver in the world. On the occasion of the Night of Champions on 14 December in the R&D Centre at Weissach, Ragginger accepted the Porsche Cup from Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG.

After earning 5,940 points this past season, Ragginger also takes home a new Porsche 911 Carrera S with a total value of more than 120,000 Euros. Second-placed Klark Quinn (AUS) is the recipient of 30,000 Euros, with Robert Renauer given 25,000 Euros for third place. The Porsche Cup comes with a total purse of 253,000 Euros. As the brainchild of Ferry Porsche, this trophy has been awarded every year since 1970 to the best private Porsche race driver. Pilots earn points towards the Porsche Cup in 18 international race series as well as at selected long distance races.

Professional racer Martin Ragginger, who contested his first kart race at the age of nine, competed in six race series during 2013. He celebrated his greatest success of the season at the 24 Hours of Dubai, winning the A6-AM class for GT3 vehicles. Ragginger also tackled the ADAC GT Masters at the wheel of a 911 GT3 R and concluded the season in fourth overall. The Austrian earned more points towards the Porsche Cup in the VLN on the Nürburgring, at the Campionato Italiano GT, in the Grand-AM and in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Trailing Ragginger by just 110 points, Klark Quinn (31) came a close second in the fight for the Porsche Cup. Quinn secured the 2013 Australian GT Championship title, winning three out of twelve rounds of the Australian series, and climbing the podium eleven times. At the twelve-hour race at Bathurst, Australia, he achieved third place at the wheel of a Porsche 991 GT3 R fielded by his team “VIP Petfoods Racing”.

After an exciting season, Robert Renauer clinches the third spot on the Porsche Cup podium. The 28-year-old from Jedenhofen in Bavaria earned Cup points at 17 races. In the ADAC GT Masters, the qualified car salesman secured second place in the overall classification with his team Tonino powered by Herberth Motorsport. Renauer went on to score more points at rounds of the Campionato Italiano GT, as well as in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the GrandAM Rolex Sportscar Series.

Start: Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Deutschland 2013

Start:
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Deutschland 2013

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup continues with Formula 1
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup continues to run as part of the Formula 1 weekends. The successful partnership, which began back in 1993, has now been extended for another three years, up to and including the 2016 season. For more than two decades, the flagship of Porsche’s one-make race series has been regarded as one of the major launching platforms for an international GT career.

“The Supercup is the crown of Porsche’s brand trophy series. It has everything that makes international motor racing great. Many of our works drivers are the best sports car pilots in the world and they came from the Supercup,” says Porsche Motorsport boss Hartmut Kristen. “We’re delighted to be able to continue offering our partners and fans exciting racing in such an attractive environment like the top league of motorsport.”

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup heads into its 22nd season on 11 May 2014 in Barcelona. Nine events with a total of ten races make up the calendar. A highlight of the season will be on 12 October at the Supercup debut on the new Formula 1 circuit in the Russian Olympic city of Sochi.

The 2014 Supercup calendar:

11.05. Barcelona/Spain
25.05. Monte Carlo/Monaco
22.06. Spielberg/Austria
06.07. Silverstone/Great Britain
20.07. Hockenheim/Germany
27.07. Budapest/Hungary
24.08. Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium
07.09. Monza/Italy
12.10. Sochi/Russia (2 races)

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Neel Jani races the LMP1 Porsche, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours

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Stuttgart. Another driver has been confirmed to contest the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The ex-Formula 1 test pilot Neel Jani (29) from Switzerland will join Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) for testing and from 2014 onwards will take the wheel of one of the two new LMP1 vehicles from Weissach.

Jani’s contract with Porsche extending over several years begins on 1st July. In addition to test driving the Porsche, the experienced sports car pilot will complete his planned race schedule for 2013 with the Rebellion team in the American Le Mans Series and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC.

Neel Jani began his career in the classical way at the age of 12 in karting and at age 16 went on to race single-seaters. In 2002 he concluded the European Formula Renault 2000 championship as runner-up.

The following season he clinched vice championship honours in the European Formula Renault V6 series. In 2003 and 2004 Jani was a Formula 1 test driver for Sauber and in 2005 he scored two GP2 victories. During the winter season of 2005/2006, he secured second overall for Switzerland in the global A1GP series and in 2006 was signed on as test and reserve driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team. In 2007 he switched to the American Champcar Series and clinched three podium places. For the 2007/2008 season he returned to the A1GP, took home the title after four victories and went on to secure yet another runner-up title the following year. In 2009 Jani contested the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time and finished twelfth in the LMP1 class. Since 2010, he has competed for the Rebellion Racing team.

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“To compete for Porsche in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC and at the Le Mans 24 Hours is a dream come true,” says Neel Jani. “I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel for the first time and contributing my test driving experience.

Porsche is incomparable with any other marque in sports car racing and I’m proud to now be a part of the Porsche works team. My goal is to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and secure the WEC World Championship title with Porsche. I don’t just want to build on Porsche’s successful history, I want to add a new chapter.”

 

“Neel Jani is extremely talented and is currently one of the best sports car pilots altogether. I’m delighted that we can already confirm three drivers for the 2014 season of the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

 “Neel fits very well into our Porsche motorsport family. He is incredibly fast, he has a wealth of experience in international long distance racing as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours and he’s a real team player,” adds Fritz Enzinger, Head of the LMP1 project.

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche 911 RSR make up positions after start, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Stuttgart. The race is on: On Saturday at 15.00 hours, the honorary starter of the Le Mans 24 Hour race Jim France, the founder of the American Grand-Am Series, sent the 56 cars on their way.

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Watched by Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, and Matthias Müller, Porsche AG Chairman of the Executive Board, two Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche AG Team Manthey as well as five customer team-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR headed into the 81st edition of the most famous long distance race in the world.

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In the first hour of the race, in which there was a long caution period due to an accident, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) moved up into second place in the GTE-Pro class at the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92.

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His works driver colleague Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) made up three places in the 911 RSR with the starting number 91 also run by Porsche AG Team Manthey and now ranks fourth.

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In the GTE-Am class three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR sit in the lead: Front-runner is Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA), followed by his factory pilot colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Paoli Ruberti (Italy).

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SOURCE:

 Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche 911 RSR sets the second fastest lap time in warm-up, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Porsche. The Porsche AG Team Manthey squad has concluded the preparations for the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday morning with the second fastest lap time in the GTE-Pro class.

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It was posted by the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92 shared by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

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The #91 Porsche 911 RSR with their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) scored the fourth quickest time.

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In the GTE-Am class, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) achieved the top time. He shares the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton squad with Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Joe Foster (both USA).
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The Le Mans 24 Hours takes off today at 15.00 hours. Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the entire race live. On the internet the race can be viewed live on http://www.fiawec.com.

Quotes after the warm-up

Timo Bernhard (# 91): “We have checked the car again and everything is fine. Our times in each sector were good. I’m pleased that it will soon get going. We’re feeling confident for the race.”

Richard Lietz (# 92): “We practiced driver changes and went out with a full tank to find the braking points and to see how the car handles. We didn’t make any changes to the set-up. The warm-up is a great chance for drivers and teams to refocus again on the race.”

Romain Dumas (# 92): “The warm-up was the first time this weekend that I drove on a dry track, so it was important for me. The car felt good. We are all very confident for the race.”

Patrick Long (#77): “I used the warm-up to try out the medium tyres for the first time and that made a big difference. Unfortunately we were on the wrong tyres in qualifying but that’s the past. Patrick didn’t get a chance to drive because of the red flag. But that’s not so bad, he knows what to do. We have a good car for the race and we’re feeling very optimistic.”

Result warm-up
GTE-Pro class
1. Vilander/Kobayashi/Beretta (SF/J/MC), Ferrari 458 Italia, 3:58.796 min.
2. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:58.796
3. Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 3:59.935
4. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 4:00.593
5. Bertolini/Al Faisal/Qubaisi (I/KSA/UAE), Ferrari 458 Italia, 4:03.317

GTE-Am class
1. Long/Dempsey/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:58.358 min.
2. Nygaard/Simonsen/Poulsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 4:01.401
3. Henzler/Milesi/Gibon (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.312
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.658

SOURCE:

Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche “Mission 2014. Our return.” Interactive microsite highlighting Porsche’s comeback into top motor racing

Interactive journey through time into the history of Porsche Motorsport

Stuttgart. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche returns to the pinnacle of endurance motor racing in 2014 with a newly designed sports prototype. The greatly anticipated comeback will be accompanied by a multimedia microsite entitled “Mission 2014. Our Return.” on porsche.com/mission2014.

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

It takes fans on an interactive journey through 60 years of Porsche Motorsport history showcasing previously unreleased films, photo galleries and stories. Phase one of the three-stage Web Special highlights the legendary venues of Porsche’s racing history and brings the greatest moments of motorsport back to life.

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

Each week, new content is added, outlining why Porsche and motorsport are inseparably connected. In addition to historical film documentaries, interviews with drivers, engineers and former race directors allow a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes.

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

The microsite “Mission 2014. Our Return.” is found under porsche.com/mission2014

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

Source: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

 

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Porsche AG works team Manthey fields two 911 RSR in 2013, Le Mans 24 Hours / World Endurance Championship

Le Mans

Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours / World Endurance Championship

Porsche works team fields two 911 RSR in 2013

Stuttgart. For the 2013 racing season, Porsche AG will field two new GT racecars based on the newest generation of the Porsche 911 at the Le Mans 24 hour race and in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). For the first time since the overall victory in 1998, a factory team from Porsche will tackle the famed long distance classic in France.

While having halted development of its 997-model 911 GT3 RSR and pulled factory support from Flying Lizard Motorsports and Team Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche announced Friday that it will field a team of its own in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship with its new-generation GTE contender.

The German manufacturer will team up with longtime partner Manthey Racing to campaign two new 991-model Porsche 911 RSRs in the global sports car championship, including a full attack at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The effort, to be run under the Porsche AG Team Manthey banner, will mark the first factory entry in the twice-around-the-clock marathon by Porsche since its overall victory in the famed race in 1998.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

The two new Porsche 911 RSR, which race in the GTE category, will be run by the Porsche AG Team Manthey.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

The role of team manager goes to the experienced endurance specialist Olaf Manthey, who has celebrated five overall wins with Porsche at the Nürburgring 24 hour race and recently fielded a 911 GT3 RSR in the International GT Open.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

“The new 911 RSR is currently being developed by our engineers and tested by our works drivers,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “What better time could there be to introduce the new car than the Porsche 911’s 50th anniversary.”

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

Full details of Porsche’s factory program, including drivers, are unclear at this point. However, it would seem logical for both cars to be filled with its usual crop of factory pilots, with Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long all appearing to be potential candidates. Additionally, fellow factory driver Marco Holzer and Nick Tandy, who both drove for Manthey’s works-supported squad in International GT Open this year, could be in contention as well.  

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database Porsche Motorsport

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche claims podium spot at the Le Mans 24 hour race, WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours, France

Podium LM GTE Am (l.-r.): Franck Rava, Anthony Pons, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo (IMSA Performance Matmut) Pedro Lamy, Jack Leconte, Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal (Larbre Competition) Niclas Jonsson, Michele Rugolo, Tracy Krohn (Krohn Racing)

Stuttgart. Less than four minutes were missing for Porsche to clinch its 99th class win at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Nicolas Armindo, Raymond Narac, Anthony Pons[slideshow]

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the IMSA Performance Matmut team, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo, Raymond Narac and Anthony Pons had led the field just a few laps before the flag dropped on the 80th running of the long distance classic in the Sarthe. But in the final minutes, tyre damage robbed the 2011-spec 911 of all hopes for victory. Nevertheless, the joy over second place was huge for the French Porsche customer team.


IMSA Performance Matmut (l.-r.): Anthony Pons, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

“For our team and partners, Le Mans is the most important race of the year,” said team owner Raymond Narac.

“To have finished second with such a great team effort is a success that we will all savour for a long time. Thank you also to Porsche for the unbelievable support.” Nicolas Armindo said, “We focused all our work on this race. Achieving class victory at the dress rehearsal in Spa was wonderful, but it’s nothing compared to the feeling of climbing the podium here in Le Mans.”


Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut: Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo, Anthony Pons

Other Porsche teams had less luck this time on the legendary Circuit des 24 Heures.

In the GTE Pro class the race was over during the night for the two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports and Felbermayr-Proton.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Pilet, Seth Neiman (79) – Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Marco Holzer (80)

Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA), who shared the Flying Lizard 911 with his German works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister and Marco Holzer, slid on gravel, which another vehicle had just spread on the track in the first chicane, hit the stack of tyres and retired after 114 laps.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Pilet, Seth Neiman

“I didn’t have a chance to bring the car safely back to the pits,” he said. It was not the first problem that the number 80 vehicle had to contend with in Le Mans. In the first race lap, a broken shock absorber cost several positions, and later tyre damage caused even more time loss. “The race wasn’t going well for us right from the start,” said Joerg Bergmeister.

“Still, we kept fighting. You never give up in Le Mans, a lot can happen here right to the end. It’s just a shame we couldn’t finish the race.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Marco Holzer

The unexpected early retirement of the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro class came after 184 laps when Marc Lieb (Germany) came to a standstill on the infamous Hunaudières straight with gearbox damage.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Wolf Henzler

“I wanted to shift up but couldn’t get any gears in,” said Marc Lieb, who at the time was running in fourth place with his works driver colleagues Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). The trio had won in Le Mans in 2010.

“It’s such a shame we couldn’t take home points, especially at this race. Up until our retirement we were running really well. We experienced a few hiccups along the way, but mostly things were good. A podium result would have been possible.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Wolf Henzler

In the GTE Am class, Porsche had another iron in the fire for 17 hours with last year’s 911 run by Felbermayr-Proton. Team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti, class winners of the season-opening round in Sebring, were running a promising fourth in the race.

But after 222 laps, the Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda had to park the 911 trackside without any drive.

However, Porsche works driver, Patrick Pilet (France) and Americans Seth Neiman and Spencer Pumpelly secured fourth place with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.

Taking up the race as pole-sitters in their class, they could defend their top position in the early phase of the race, only to be temporarily thrown out of the top ten after a journey into the gravel.

“First and foremost, thank you to all the teams and drivers for their superb effort,” said Porsche Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “Regardless of the result, we must analyse the race so that we can talk to the authorities of the WEC about a more balanced grading of our cars in the GTE Pro class for the second half of the season.

We will also immediately begin preparations for the next races with the teams, as the championship classification is still open. We look forward with optimism.”

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Round four of the World Endurance Championship is run on 26 August in Silverstone/Great Britain.

Result

GTE Am class
1. Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy (F/F/P), Chevrolet Corvette, 329 laps
2. Armindo/Narac/Pons (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 328
3. Krohn/Jonsson/Rugola (USA/S/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 323
4. Pilet/Neiman/Pumpelly (F/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 313
5. Belloc/Bourret/Gibon (F/F/F), Chevrolet Corvette, 309
8. Daniels/Palttala/Camathias (GB/SF/CH), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 290

This is the World Endurance Championship
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the World Endurance Championship, for which double points are awarded in Le Mans. They are divided into four classes that start together but are classified separately:

LMGTE Pro class: This class is reserved for slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).

LMGTE Am class: Like the LMGTE Pro, but the regulations stipulate that only last year’s cars are eligible and there must be no more than one professional driver per vehicle.

LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.

LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with around 440 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.

SOURCE: Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Endurance Championship

Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 

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Porsche Celebrates 2,000,000+ Fans on Facebook January 2012

Source: Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/porsche

Start the Porsche microsite: http://2m.porsche.com/  Search Yourself, Find yourself.

Porsche now has 2,000,000+ fans on Facebook and to celebrate reaching this milestone, Porsche would like to say “Thank You” to their followers. Profile pictures from all their Facebook fans decorate a special Porsche Cayman S in the Iconic 917 K livery to be shown in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart – to be part of this special display from January to Feburary 2012. Porsche used submitted pictures from their followers to re-create a historic race car livery.

Porsche asked their fans to choose which livery to display on the car, choices were…Porsche 917 LH “Hippie” livery, Porsche 917 K red-white Salzburg livery and Porsche 917/30 “Sunoco” livery.

Porsche 917 LH “Hippie” livery, Porsche 917 K red-white Salzburg livery and Porsche 917/30 “Sunoco” livery- Porsche AG

and the votes came in:

The winning design that was chosen and a  inspiration was  the car that delivered Porsche first overall victory in Le Mans, the iconc 917 K livery.

Source: Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/porsche

The 917 K features the red-white Porsche Salzburg livery and won with Richard Attwood and Hans Herrmann at the wheel.

Porsche prepared the Cayman S ( below) and is now displayed at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and will be on display January- Feburary 2012 with their Facebook fans’ pictures and the replication of the iconic design.

Source: Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/porsche

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Porsche Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/porsche

 

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Le Mans Series, rd 5 in Estoril/Portugal, race report: Porsche teams claim podium spots, win with championship

Richard Lietz (l), Marc Lieb (r)

Stuttgart. That was close. Just 0.183 seconds separated Porsche’s works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) in the 911 GT3 RSR from their first win of the season.

Patrick Pilet (l), Wolf Henzler (r)

At the final round of the Le Mans Series, the title defenders celebrated their best result of the year clinching second at Estoril in the GTE Pro sports car category. Factory pilots Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) were delighted with their best result of the season in third place. And there was wild elation in the GTE Am class in which just one professional driver may compete per vehicle.

Raymond Narac (l), Franck Rava (m), Nicolas Armindo (r)

Frenchmen Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac crowned their season with another victory with the 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR, and took home the drivers’ championship title.

Marc Lieb (r)

“It was a really great race,” said Marc Lieb. “As expected, there was a very close fight between us and Ferrari. Our 911 remained consistent over the entire six hours. Richard, the team and I gave our very best. We fought to the flag. During the last pit stop, Richard experienced a bit of bad luck when he encountered traffic. That cost us the decisive seconds and handed the lead to the Ferrari.”

Taking up the race from fourth, Richard Lietz managed to move into second position after almost an hour.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Lap for lap, Lieb and Lietz then reeled in the front-runner. It was Lietz who finally closed the gap during his second stint – and the Felbermayr-Proton pit crew played their hand in the success: Their eight-second faster pit stop catapulted Lieb into the lead with the 911 GT3 RSR. Trying to defend this, however, was no easy task. Lieb could fend off his pursuers, but not really shake them. The Felbermayr-Proton squad’s last pit stop also worked perfectly, but back on the track Lietz hit traffic – and the Ferrari snatched back the lead. Although Lietz stuck like glue to the bumper of the leader he wasn’t able to overtake on the narrow circuit.

“The last phase was sensational,” Richard Lietz said. “In the last lap we were panel to panel twice and touched several times. But there was no way I could pass without crossing the line of fairness. When you have victory in sight and are beaten by such a close margin, well, your joy over second place is somewhat overshadowed.”

After winning the drivers’ championship in the last two years, the pair finished the season in third.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

For works drivers Wolf Henzler and Patrick Pilet, who contest the GTE-Pro class for the IMSA Performance Matmut team, the race was no less exciting. Start driver Pilet took an early lead before having to relinquish it after five laps. Suffering problems with the nut gun at two pit stops, the German/French duo fell back to third place. “Holding on to third took a huge effort,” said both Henzler and Pilet.

“We tried out all variations of set-up possibilities,” explained Henzler. “But we simply didn’t manage to find a decent balance. With fresh tyres we could easily hold the pace, but after a couple of laps the 911 become difficult to drive. And we lost a lot of time in the pits. This is something we have to work on.” Pilet added: “But this makes it all the more wonderful that, despite everything, we claimed out first podium result. We’re happy.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

For IMSA Performance Matmut, there were two reasons to celebrate at the finale. Aside from third place for the GTE Pro pilots, there were joyous celebrations over the race victory and win of the championship title in the GTE Am class. This marks the first international title for the team based in the northern French town of Rouen. The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Nicolas Armindo, and team owner and amateur racer Raymond Narac, yielded the brilliant balance of four wins from five races. As stipulated by the regulations, the pair competed with the 2010 version of the 911 GT3 RSR. The squad also secured the team championship title which serves as an entrance ticket to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012.

Nicolas Armindo

“I simply can’t express how happy I am,” said Armindo with a wide grin. “At the beginning of the season everything was new for me. But thanks to my team I quickly found my feet in this new environment and it didn’t take me long at all to get familiar with the 911 GT3 RSR. It makes me proud that in my first year of LMS I can contribute to bringing home the championship trophy for this warm and wonderful team.”

Christian Ried

Felbermayr-Proton team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and Austria’s Horst Felbermayr Junior were also pleased. The winners of the season-opener in Le Castellet concluded the year with a podium result in the GTE Am class.

Marc Goossens

For the third Porsche team contesting the GTE-Pro class with works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and Marc Goossens (Belgium), the race came to a premature end in lap one when an opponent crashed into the right front wheel of their ProSpeed Competition 911 – broke the steering gear and knocked them out of contention.

 

“It is such a shame that the season ends like this,” said Marco Holzer. “We’d qualified a decent fourth yesterday and thought our chances for second in the GTE Pro classification looked good. Unfortunately the overzealous move of a competitor robbed us of this chance. For our team, who had worked so incredibly hard, this was a particularly bitter conclusion to the year.”

 

Marco Holzer and Patrick Pilet

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Statistics: 5th of 5 rounds of the Le Mans Series in Estoril/Portugal

Result GTE Pro class
1. Bell/Walker (GB/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 209 laps
2. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 0.183 seconds behind
3. Henzler/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 207
4. Melo/Vilander (BR/FIN), Ferrari F458 Italia, 206
5. Hancock/Dolan (GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 204
6. Rodrigues/Ballay/Ayari (P/F/F), Ferrari F458 Italia, 197
7. Farnbacher/Simonsen (D/DK), Ferrari F458 Italia, 99

Result GTE Am class
1. Armindo/Narac (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 205 laps
2. Hummel/Christodoulou/Quaife (NL/GB/GB), Ferrari F430, 203
3. Ried/Felbermayr Jr. (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 202

The Le Mans Series

Contested for the first time in 2004, the Le Mans Series (LMS) is open for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations are based on those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Five six-hour races are contested this season throughout Europe.

GTE Pro class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers (previously known as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified standard sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.
GTE-Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle may have just one professional driver.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kg.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.
FLM class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to the class. Points are only allocated for placings in each class. Championship titles are awarded for drivers, manufacturers and teams in all five classes. With four title wins in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010,

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

 

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Le Mans Series, rd 5 in Estoril/Portugal – 2nd grid row in the hands of Porsche teams

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Stuttgart. The Porsche works drivers start the final race of the Le Mans Series season from promising positions.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Posting grid position three, title defender Richard Lietz (Austria) clinched the best result of the season with the 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro sports car category.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

On the fourth spot, Marco Holzer (Germany) takes up the six hour race alongside Lietz on the 4.182 kilometre former Grand Prix circuit of Estoril.

Marco Holzer (Germany)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, ProSpeed Competition, Marco Holzer, Marc Goossens

Patrick Pilet (France) rounds off the good result with position six on the grid. In the GTE Am class, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo again set pole position with the 2010-version of the 911 GT3 RSR.

Patrick Pilet (France)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Wolf Henzler (l), Patrick Pilet (r)

Wolf Henzler (l)

Frenchman Nicolas Armindo

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

“We gave our best and are really pleased with third on the grid,” said Lietz who last year secured the championship title in the sports car class with his Felbermayr-Proton teammate Marc Lieb (Germany). “My lap was good, third on the grid is the best result of the season by now. Above all, we’re thrilled that our times are so close to the leaders. Now let’s see what the race yields for us.”

After a difficult start to the season with two crashes that were not their fault, the luck of the title defenders finally turned recently in Silverstone with their first podium position.

After competing last year as a Porsche Junior, 23-year-old factory pilot Marco Holzer was delighted with his fourth grid spot.

“That was a great qualifying session,” commented Holzer, who joins forces for ProSpeed Competition with Belgium’s Marc Goossens.

“We missed out on the first free practice because we had to change something on our gearbox. Hence we were behind with our set-up work. But this makes our second row position even sweeter. In fact, we’ve never started so far up the front of the field this season. And we’re also hoping to further improve the handling of our 911 during the warm-up tomorrow and then the race should go well. The track is challenging but I really like it.”

The French factory pilot Patrick Pilet also seemed satisfied.

Patrick Pilet

“Sixth on the grid is okay,” stated Pilet, who shares driving duties for IMSA Performance Matmut with works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany).

“Our car was rather difficult to drive in the practice sessions, so we tried out something very new in the qualifying but that didn’t work. Now we have some things to sort out during the warm-up. And then comes the race that will undoubtedly be very exciting on this somewhat narrow circuit.”

Wolf Henzler

Nicolas Armindo secured another point in the fight for the championship with his fourth pole position of the season in the GTE Am class. In this category, only one professional driver is permitted per vehicle.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler

The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland drives with the team owner IMSA Performance Matmut, amateur racer Raymond Narac. In compliance with the regulations, the two Frenchmen compete with a 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Horst Felbermayr Jr. (l), Christian Ried (r)

The pair takes up the final round with an eleven point lead over their closest rival. Felbermayr-Proton’s team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria) head into tomorrow’s race from fourth in the GTE Am class.

Christian Ried (Germany)

Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria)

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Qualifying result
GTE Pro class
1. Rob Bell (GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:39.176 minutes
2. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.057 seconds
3. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.198
4. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.350
5. Dominik Farnbacher (D), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.573
6. Patrick Pilet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.788
7. Jamie Melo (BR), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.214

GTE Am class
1. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:40.014 minutes
2. Marco Cioci (I), Ferrari F430, + 0.544 seconds
3. Phil Quaife (GB), Ferrari F430, + 0.763
4. Christian Ried (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.093

The six hour race starts on Sunday, 25 September, at 13.00 hours local time (CEST 14.00 hours).

The Le Mans Series

Contested for the first time in 2004, the Le Mans Series (LMS) is open for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations are based on those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Five six-hour races are contested this season throughout Europe.

GTE-Pro class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers (previously known as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified standard sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.
GTE-Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with the 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle must have one professional driver at the most.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.
FLM class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to the class. Points are only allocated for placings in each class. Championship titles are awarded for drivers, manufacturers and teams in all five classes.

Claiming four titles in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

Marc Lieb (r)

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database 

 

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Porsche Motorsport around the world – Newsletter 4 – 2011

Stuttgart. The Motorsport Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world.

Development of an LMP1 sports prototype: Porsche returns to Le Mans Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the race car developed from scratch is planned for 2014.

With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The last overall victory went to the Porsche 911 GT1 in the year 1998.

Porsche 911 GT1

Nürburgring 24 Hours: Porsche triumphs and sets new distance record Dramatic 24 hour sprint:

At the 39th running of the classic on the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife (25/26 June), works drivers Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas as well as Lucas Luhr took the lead with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR after 7:25 hours ahead of strong competition from Audi, BMW und Mercedes.

(l. – r.): Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

The quartet fended off rivals to the flag and set a distance record of 3,958.968 kilometres. For Porsche and the Manthey Racing squad, this marked the fifth victory at the “Ring” in the last six years – the same for Timo Bernhard.

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey: Jörg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Patrick Long

For the innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid the weekend ran less smoothly. Works drivers Joerg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer and Patrick Long led the field after four hours in front of 220,000 spectators, but spent a lot of time in the pits with a broken flange on the differential to finish 23rd.

Le Mans Series/Intercontinental Le Mans Cup: Fourth after tough struggle Works drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz brought the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton home in fourth as the best Porsche at the third round of the LMS (3 July, 4th ILMC race) in Imola.

Team Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR , Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

After being the innocent victims of two accidents in the first two races, this result was the best for the title defenders in the GTE Pro category.

Nicolas Armindo (l), Raymond Narac (r)
P1, GTE-Am, Le Mans Series Imola

Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac were delighted with victory number two in the GTE Am class with their 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut.

IMSA Performance Matmut, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

Porsche Carrera World Cup: René Rast wins the greatest Porsche race of all time Rain, the world’s most difficult circuit and a field hailing from 25 countries: The Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nordschleife, contested prior to the 24 hour race, was not for the faint-hearted.

René Rast (D)
Porsche Carrera World Cup – Nürburgring 2011

After six hours and about 150 kilometres, René Rast celebrated overall victory at the greatest Porsche race in history. In the class for 911 GT3 Cup vehicles from 2007 to 2009, Timo Rumpfkeil won.

For the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and many national Carrera Cups the race counted towards their respective championships. René Rast took home maximum points for the Supercup.

Former champion Tim Harvey was the quickest in the Carrera Cup Great Britain (13th overall). Kévin Estre won the Carrera Cup France (6th overall), Alessandro Balzan was the best Italian (12th overall) and Johan Kristoffersson the best driver from the Carrera Cup Scandinavia (25th overall).

Grand-Am: Andrew Davis and Leh Keen at the front at half-way mark After the seventh of twelve Grand-Am races, Andrew Davis and Leh Keen rank second in the GT driver’s classification. At the six hour race in Watkins Glen (4 June) the duo won their class in a Brumos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with none other than racing legend Hurley Haywood calling the tactical shots. On the last June weekend (27 June), Davis and Keen clinched sixth in Road America.

French GT Championship: Dream weekend for Porsche teams With a double win for Patrick Bornhauser/Laurent Groppi in Larbre Compétition’s 911 GT3 R ahead of Anthony Beltoise/Laurent Pasquali in the GT3 R of Pro GT by Almeras, the fourth race weekend took off in Val de Vienne (25/26 June).

Porsche 911 GT3 R: Anthony Beltoise, Laurent Pasquali
GT Championship France, Val de Vienne

A one-two-three at race two with Beltoise/Pasquali in front of Bornhauser/Groppi and Laurent Cazenave/Jean-Claude Police in the sister Almeras-Porsche made the weekend perfect for Porsche.

Italian GT Championship: Autorlando pilot battles for points’ lead After a win and a second place at the third race weekend at the Autodromo dell Umbria near Magione (19 June), Autorlando pilot Ruberti lies a close second in the GT drivers’ classification. Ruberti shared the cockpit in Magione with his regular teammate Mario Cordoni.

Belcar Endurance Championship: Tactical brilliance yields win for Prospeed A courageous tyre choice and a perfect performance from drivers Marc Goossens and Maxime Soulet yielded the Prospeed Competition team their second win of the season at round three in Spa (18 June).

The squad sent the 911 GT3 R into the three-hour race on slicks, whilst the competition opted for rain tyres. With ten laps to go, Prospeed again made the right choice with slicks and won by more than a minute. Goossens/Soulet currently lead the driver’s classification.

British GT Championship: Victory for Trackspeed-Porsche at Brands Hatch Tim Bridgman and Gregor Fisken are the victors of the spectacular third race in Brands Hatch (19 June). A rain shower after the first half hour provided thrills and spills amongst the 30-strong field.

Bridgman and Fisken brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Trackspeed home in first after two hours. Reigning champion David Ashburn was forced into retirement with a fire in the rear left wheel arch of his Porsche.

Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds: Jeff Zwart clocks record time in 911 GT2 RS At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, American Jeff Zwart set a record time for street homologated sports cars at the famous Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds in Colorado (26 June).

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

In the 620 hp 911, he broke the old record on the 20 kilometre track which leads over 156 corners from an altitude of 2,860 up to 4,600 metres, by 24 seconds.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

Zwart had collected the 911 GT3 RS himself from Porsche Motorsport in California and drove the 1,770 kilometres to the start.

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Six races, six different winners Sean Edwards from Great Britain won the sixth round of the season on the rain-soaked, extremely difficult Norisring in Nuremberg (3 July) to extend his points’ lead ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Round five of the series run at the Porsche Carrera World Cup (25 June) went to Nicolas Armindo, with the Frenchman finishing fifth out of 98 starters.

Carrera Cup Japan: Hideto Yasuoka unstoppable At the fourth and fifth race of the Carrera Cup Japan on the extremely demanding Fuji International Speedway (11/12 June), Hideto Yasuoka again proved unbeatable in his class with two pole-to-flag wins.

(l.-r.): Akira Fujita, Hideto Yasuoka, Michael Green
Porsche Carrera Cup Japan, Fuji International Speedway

The talented youngster driving for the Garmin Porsche team has yet to be beaten in 2011. Akira Fujita secured second place twice.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama: Macneil and Cisneros win in Montreal Cooper Macneil (Alex Job Racing) celebrated his first victory in the Platinum Cup class after a rainy fifth round on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve run as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal (11 June), with points’ leader Henrique Cisneros retiring after a journey off the track. Gold Cup class honours went to Eduardo Cisneros after a hefty duel with the 15-year-old front-runner Madison Snow.

GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil: Rosset and Junior continue on-going duel With fading brakes, points’ leader Ricardo Rosset managed to salvage his victory at the first race in Interlagos (18 June), fending off an attack from second-placed Constantino Junior. Victory at the second race on the same day went to Junior, who had taken up the race from seventh on the grid as per the regulations. In the drivers’ classification, Rosset sits ten points ahead of Junior. The Challenge race for older 911 GT3 Cup was won by Fernando Barci.

Race notes: Pole-sitters Manuel Giao and Miguel Angel de Castro win round three of the Spanish GT Championship (19 June) on the Circuito de Albacete in the 911 GT3 RSR of the Drivex squad. +++ Gianluca Roda and Fabio Babini defend their GTS class lead at the fifth and sixth race of the International GT Open in Spa (25/26 June) with a Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Autorlando Sport.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

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PORSCHE NEWS: Le Mans 24 Hours, race report: Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

Le Mans 24 Hours

Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

Stuttgart. Last year’s winners narrowly missed out on the podium at the 79th running of the long distance classic.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb, Wolf Henzler

After 24 hours, the Felbermayr-Proton team with Porsche works drivers

Marc Lieb (Germany),

Richard Lietz (Austria)

and Wolf Henzler (Germany) received the flag as fourth in the GTE Pro sports car class.

The French IMSA Performance Matmut squad clinched fifth place ahead of Flying Lizard Motorsports from the USA.

The 911 of the Belgian ProSpeed Competition team crossed the finish line

at the Le Mans 24 Hours in eighth.

In the GTE Am class, where only one professional race driver is permitted per vehicle and only last year’s vehicles are eligible to race, the French Larbre Competition team celebrated second place with the 911 GT3 RSR.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Larbre Competition (l.-r.): Pascal Gibon, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Christophe Bourret

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“All of our teams took off into the race well prepared. Under the most difficult circumstances, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR proved to be enormously durable and reliable. Unfortunately our teams had to cope with two accidents. You could clearly see the performance differences that are a direct result of the current Balance of Performance ratings. Unfortunately the fastest 911 GT3 RSR were affected by the phenomenon that they couldn’t turn the number of laps per set of tyres that were calculated which meant some extra pit stops for tyre changes. Under these conditions we can be satisfied with the results – especially in the GTE Am class where our team claimed a spot on the podium. I congratulate all the teams, drivers and partners who have contributed to this good result.”

Like in 2010, the best-placed Porsche crew put in a brilliant drive with high reliability in all areas. Drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler drove an immaculate race that was punctuated by many accidents and safety car phases. Only in the early stages of the race, the team lost more than one lap, first at the red light on the exit of the pitlane, then due to tyre damage which also required repairs to the car body.

Other than that, the blue 911 GT3 RSR only came into the pits for tyre changes and refuelling. Under the leadership of team boss Christian Ried, the pit crew of the Felbermayr-Proton team again shone with very fast pit stops.

Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet (France) also lost time in the jam at the red light of the pitlane exit. Shortly before midnight, Pilet and his driver colleagues, team owner Raymond Narac and his French compatriot Nicolas Armindo were ranking eighth in the GTE Pro class.

With consistent lap times and a perfectly-running 911, the trio with the two seasoned Le Mans campaigners Pilet and Narac and the 24 hour rookie Armindo fought their way up to fifth place.

The pilots of Flying Lizard Motorsports can look back on a lively marathon.

In the opening phase of the race, the set-up was not perfect, and they also had to contend with tyre damage. For a while, works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) as well as Lucas Luhr (Germany) held a promising fourth place, only to fall back to eighth with technical problems.

After a difficult race, the trio were satisfied to finally bring home sixth place.

Fight to the finish – that was also the motto of the Belgian squad.

Works driver Marco Holzer (Germany), Belgium’s Marc Goossens and Jaap van Lagen from the Netherlands had all but worked their way nearly into the lead after the first third of the race but finally finished in eighth place after losing time with two minor repair stops.

The untiring mechanics of ProSpeed Competition received a very special honour:

They won the “Prix ESCRA”, an award that has been endowed for the 36th time to the best pit crew of the entire race.

In the GTE Am category, Larbre Competition were thrilled with second place in a 2010-spec 911 manned by the all-French line up of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon und Jean-Philippe Belloc.

Podium (l.-r.): Christophe Bourret, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Pascal Gibon

Two 911 GT3 RSR retired after accidents that were not their fault. One of those affected was the sister car of Felbermayr-Proton. Suffering tyre damage Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) flew from the track in the fast Indianapolis corner.

Al Faisal

Luckily, Al Faisal climbed out uninjured, but the Pro-911, which he shared with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Bryce Miller (USA), was so badly damaged that the team was unable to repair it.

Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition)

Contesting the GTE Am class, Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition) fell victim to an opponent at 8.00 a.m. when his 911 GT3 RSR was hit hard on the driver’s side.The Austrian was transported to hospital for a medical examination.

Result Le Mans 24 Hours
GTE Pro class
1. Garcia/Milner/Beretta (E/USA/MC), Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 314 laps
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/FIN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 314
3. Priaulx/Müller/Hand (GB/D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 313
4. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler (D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 312
5. Pilet/Narac/Armindo (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 311
6. Bergmeister/Long/Luhr (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 310
8. Holzer/Goossens/van Lagen (D/B/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 293

GTE Am class
1. Gardel/Canal/Bornhauser (CH/F/F), Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1, 302 laps
2. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 301

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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With grid line-up of 55 vehicles, the 24 Hours of Le Mans consists of two different sports car categories: sports prototypes and modified standard sports cars. The technical regulations of the European Le Mans Series (LMS) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) correspond to those of the 24 hour race. All race cars start together in Le Mans; there is an overall classification and a classification for individual classes.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media/Press Database
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Motor and Sports Press

 

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Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the top ten – Le Mans 24 Hours, Interim report 23.00 hrs

(double click on images to enlarge/zoom in)

Stuttgart. The opening eight hours of the long distance classic brought mixed fortunes for the five Porsche customer teams.

The Belgian ProSpeed Competition squad made the best start to the race. After completing the first third of the distance, Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany), Marc Goossens (Belgium) and Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands) rank third in the GTE Pro sports car class in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Flying Lizard Motorsports (USA) follows with factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) as well as seasoned campaigner Lucas Luhr (Germany) sitting sixth in the strongest-supported class of the 24 hour race.


Driving for the Felbermayr-Proton squad, last year’s winners Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) were thrown far back down the field with two mishaps and are now fighting their way through the pack.

An hour before midnight, the Porsche works drivers lie tenth in the GTE Pro class.

“After refuelling we waited for ages for the lights to turn green at the pit exit during the safety car phase,” explains Marc Lieb. “Once we rejoined the race the car suffered tyre damage – I must have picked something up. Unfortunately it happened in the first chicane, that’s about 10 kilometres from the pits.”

Lieb returned to the pits on his rim and lost more time when the crew found that part of the body had also been damaged.

The ProSpeed Competition team are feeling cautiously optimistic.

“The first eight hours ran smoothly,” reported Marco Holzer.

The 22-year-old was a Le Mans rookie last year and now has the role of team leader. For Jaap van Lagen this marks a premiere on the demanding 13.629 kilometre track.

“I know exactly how this feels,” says Holzer. “You need quite some time to find a rhythm and to trust the car and your own ability. Our 911 is running well, the team’s pit stops are super. Our goal is to keep out of any trouble.”

The American Flying Lizard Motorsports team also faced tyre problems. Early on in the race, Joerg Bergmeister fell victim to tyre damage.

“My first stint was difficult because the set-up wasn’t one hundred percent,” said Bergmeister. “We then made a few changes and now the balance is much better. We can’t quite match the pace of the front-runners but we’re looking ahead. We can build on sixth place.”

Heading into the night, the French IMSA Performance Matmut team was not particularly pleased with their eighth place.

Works driver Patrick Pilet was also held up long at the red lights of the pit exit.

“It was really dumb,” complained the Frenchman. “But I had to come in to refuel otherwise I would have been stranded out there. The traffic on the track is brutal and the prototype drivers are at times very aggressive. Nicolas Armindo is a newcomer in our team, but he’s a very controlled driver.” Third in the group is an experienced Le Mans contender, team owner Raymond Narac (France).

The second Felbermayr-911 ranks 13th in the GTE Pro class after eight hours. At the wheel are Le Mans debutant Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) as well as American Bryce Miller, who contested the endurance classic last year.


In the GTE Am sports car class, in which only one professional race driver is permitted per vehicle, Larbre Competition lies in a excellent first place with their 911 GT3 RSR in last year’s specification (as stipulated by the regulations for this class). The sister 911 of Flying Lizard Motorsports has settled in to fourth place, with the Proton Competition drivers currently sitting in sixth.

Facts and figures

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

With grid line-up of 55 vehicles, the 24 Hours of Le Mans consists of two different sports car categories: sports prototypes and modified standard sports cars. The technical regulations of the European Le Mans Series (LMS) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) correspond to those of the 24 hour race. All race cars start together in Le Mans; there is an overall classification and a classification for individual classes.

The four classes in Le Mans:
GTE Pro class: The most popular class of car manufacturers (formerly run as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.
GTE Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with the 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle must have one professional driver at the most.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes of around 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.

Source: Images of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Porsche AG Press Database
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Motor and Sports Press

 

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PORSCHE NEWS: Qualifying at Le Mans 24 Hours

“We made the most out of what was possible”

Stuttgart. The first step is taken with success. Porsche customer teams from all over Europe and the USA have secured good grid positions after the qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports (l.-r.): Jörg Bergmeister, Lucas Luhr, Patrick Long, Seth Neiman, Spencer Pumpelly, Darren Law

The fastest Porsche driver, works pilot Marc Lieb (Germany), planted the Felbermayr 911 GT3 RSR on seventh in the GTE Pro class. Lieb competes for last year’s winning team with works drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). Four other 2011-spec 911 GT3 RSR take up the race in the GTE Pro category. In the GTE Am class, three 911 GT3 RSR from last year take off into the 79th edition of the long distance classic on Saturday at 15.00 hours from positions two, three and four.

(l.-r.): Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Wolf Henzler

“We’re satisfied with our preparations and are feeling confident for the race,” said two-time Le Mans winner Marc Lieb. “In the practice sessions, we managed to find a good set-up for our 911 for the challenges of this marathon and the very special, highly demanding race track.”

Richard Lietz, who has also notched up two wins at the world’s toughest automobile race, added:

“The handling of our 911 GT3 RSR is neutral and comfortable. This means that the car tends neither towards oversteer nor understeer. This works in favour of Marc, Wolf and I because our driving styles are similar.”

  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton

The crew of the #75 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR also finished the qualifying without problems. Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) clinched the ninth grid spot for the ProSpeed Competition squad.