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24 hours of Le Mans, Interview with Wolfgang Hatz, “Porsche is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Porsche”

 

24 hours of Le Mans, Interview with Wolfgang Hatz

“Porsche is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Porsche”

Stuttgart. This coming Sunday on June 1, the entries for what will be the 82nd running of the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans will be testing at the famous track. It is the final test prior to arguably the toughest motor race in the world. Porsche vehicles have been on the starting grid continuously for 63 years, and the German sports car manufacturer is the record holder with 16 overall victories and 103 class victories. The most recent class victory was last year with two 911 RSRs one-two in the GTE Pro category. To date, the last overall victory was 16 years ago, as Porsche has not competed in the top class since 1998. Porsche returns there this year and faces the new FIA-efficiency regulations with the innovative 919 Hybrid, which limits the energy consumption per lap. In parallel to this, the GT team is trying to build on the success of the previous year. A gigantic factory involvement. There are also six private Porsche teams starting the event; the most well known driver and team owner is Patrick Dempsey, racing car driver and American actor. As Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, at Porsche AG, Wolfgang Hatz is responsible for the Porsche factory involvement.

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Mr Hatz, when and why did Porsche decide to return to the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans?

Wolfgang Hatz: “This was in 2011. We were and still are well positioned in the GT category, but it is time for the brand to re-enter at the elite level. The options for this are easily understandable. There is Formula 1, and there is the WEC with Le Mans. An essential criteria for the decision was the desire to establish the project at Porsche itself, so the expertise would be developed and remain in-house. The World Endurance Championship including Le Mans suits us best, it is a real team sport. This is especially true of the team of drivers. But we also needed to create the infrastructure for this first: new buildings, a team of 230 people, every other one of which is an engineer.”

Did the historical connection to Le Mans also play a role?

Wolfgang Hatz: “Porsche is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Porsche. They fit together. Nevertheless, no one makes these kind of investments due to nostalgia; they have to pay off in the future. As far as I can remember, there was never a regulation that gave the engineers so much freedom and required so much innovation. The obligation towards producing a hybrid and the efficiency formula represent revolutionary challenges. I am proud that our engineers ventured the furthest of any. Ultimately, Porsche customers will benefit from this.”

Porsche Team: Alexander Hitzinger, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG), Fritz Enzinger, Leiter LMP1 (r)

Porsche Team: Alexander Hitzinger, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG), Fritz Enzinger, Leiter LMP1 (r)

Can you explain this in laymen’s terms?

Wolfgang Hatz: “Our combustion engine is the finest and most efficient engine ever developed by Porsche. This compact two litre, four cylinder, turbo engine with direct fuel injection and a performance of over 500 PS drives the rear axle. It is the smallest engine with the least number of cylinders in the top category of the race. Our engineers also combined a fundamentally new exhaust gas energy recovery system with this engine. No one else has that. We store the energy recovered from the otherwise unproductive flow of escaping exhaust gasses in a battery. We store energy, which we generate during braking on the front axle in the same battery. When the driver retrieves energy from this reservoir comprised of the latest type of battery cells, several hundred horsepower drive the front axle. During this phase, the driver has a powerful all-wheel drive at his disposal. Our car is the only one in the field which converts energy that would otherwise simply be wasted and makes it useable, not only when braking, but also when accelerating. This represents an immense potential for future road sports cars.”

Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)


Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)

Are the efficiency regulations not to the detriment of racing itself?

Wolfgang Hatz: “Not at all; the races at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps have demonstrated this. The prototypes have plenty of power available; whether this is from the internal combustion engine or electrical does not matter. They must use all of the energy on each lap, otherwise it is a waste. Nothing can be saved here. These endurance races are sprints over incredible distances.”

The World Championships comprises eight races, but the focus is on Le Mans. When would the factory involvement be considered a success?

Wolfgang Hatz: “It would be terrific, if the GT team could build on the success of the previous year. However, that is literally more difficult because we had to add weight in accordance with the regulations. Porsche Team Manthey headed by Hartmut Kristen has extensive experience, which may make the decisive difference at Le Mans. The situation is completely different in the case of the Porsche team headed by Fritz Enzinger in the LMP1 class: We have no experience there at all. 2014 is a year of learning. Not admitting that would mean miscalculating Le Mans. At Spa-Francorchamps, the Porsche 919 Hybrid impressively demonstrated that the necessary speed is there with pole position and the fastest race lap. Our competitors know we are a force to be reckoned with. However, the 919 Hybrid has not yet covered the complete Le Mans distance in racing conditions. In this respect, it would be a success if one LMP1 finishes the event. Succeeding with both would be fabulous.”

Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard (l), Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)

Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard (l), Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)

At Silverstone, we saw you emotionally applauding the podium place in the overall standings in the pouring rain. Isn’t that the high demand Porsche imposes on itself?

Wolfgang Hatz: “That was a great moment of joy. But I am not losing sight of reality over this. We were not top-notch at Silverstone. We also benefited from the competition’s problems. But we did complete the first six-hour race with this extremely complex car and a team that has never competed before at a circuit. All the processes, especially under chaotic weather conditions, worked very well for the debut. And everyone worked extremely hard for this. The drivers showed their enormous skills but also a lot of discipline. The podium was a great experience for all of us. And we had a one-two in the GT class. The picture we saw on Sunday in England was terrific.”

Where will you be watching the 24 hour race from?

Wolfgang Hatz: “I will be on duty and will not be a spectator. Of course, I spend most of the time in the pit. I attend every race and was at the tracks for almost all the tests. Mostly, by the way, by the side of Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board, and that will also be the case on June 14/15. Come, what may.”

Source: Porsche Product and Technology Communication, Motorsport Press

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Porsche pilots keen to tackle the WEC premiere in Texas Round 5

 

Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, round 5 in Austin/USA

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

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

Stuttgart. As part of this year’s sports car World Endurance Championship WEC campaign, Porsche competes for the first time on the Circuit of the Americas on 22 September in Austin. Fans in the United States can not only look forward to seeing the successful Le Mans contender Porsche 911 RSR in action, which is fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey in the hotly-contested GTE-Pro class.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Also racing on this weekend alongside the WEC is the American Le Mans Series with a strong Porsche contingent on the Formula 1 track in the Texas capital close to the Colorado River

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

The Porsche drivers

Porsche factory pilots and Le Mans winners Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) share the cockpit of the number 92 Porsche 911 RSR in Austin.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France), who recently scored third in Sao Paulo, take up the race in the number 91 car.

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

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

In the GTE-Am class, two customer teams field last year’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: Driving for IMSA Performance Matmut are the Le Mans winners from France, Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Competing for the Proton Competition squad is team owner Christian Ried (Germany) with his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

The Porsche 911 RSR

The 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR features consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The look of the 2013 Le Mans winner (GTE-Pro) is dominated by the flared fenders and the cooling air intake at the front.

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

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

The exceptional livery of the car honours the anniversary, “50 years of the 911”. As the successor to the winning 911 GT3 RSR, with which Porsche customers have scored many victories and title wins since 2004, the GT racer from Weissach is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car.

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet (l), Joerg Bergmeister

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet (l), Joerg Bergmeister

The schedule

The six-hour race on the Circuit of the Americas starts on 22 September at 11.00 hours local time (18.00 CEST). Eurosport International broadcasts the starting phase live from 18.00 to 19.00 hours CEST. From 20.30 to 22.30 hours, Eurosport 2 telecasts live race action.

The final phase of the race is covered live by Eurosport from 22.30 p.m. to midnight. Viewers can follow the race live on the internet under http://www.fiawec.com.

Comments before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche-Motorsportchief

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche-Motorsportchief

“The race in Austin is undoubtedly a real asset and a gain for the WEC. After all, motor racing has a great tradition in America. The USA is one of the most important markets for Porsche.

That’s why we are particularly pleased to showcase the Porsche 911 RSR, which did so well recently in Le Mans, to our many US fans for the first time at a race meeting.”

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

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

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

“Austin is one of the few race tracks in the USA that I don’t know. The greatest challenge for us all will be to quickly familiarise ourselves with the circuit and to find the optimal race set-up during practice.”

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet (# 91):

“I only know this track from TV. It’ll certainly be an interesting race. Like in Le Mans and Sao Paulo, I’m hoping for another podium result.”

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb (# 92):

“A new race always adds interest to the series. I’m looking forward to the Austin track. There are a couple of unusual corner combinations. All in all, it looks interesting and rather challenging.”

Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Richard Lietz (# 92):

“The track is new for us all. But we had an additional day of testing so it shouldn’t be a problem. Our goal is to bring home a top result and keep the bid for the championship open.”

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb (r)

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb (r)

The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC

In the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete in one race but are classified separately.

Points standings after 4 of 8 races

World Cup for Manufacturers GTE

1. Ferrari, 149 points

2. Porsche, 145

3. Aston Martin, 134

World Endurance Cup for GTE drivers

1. Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke ( Aston Martin), 86 points

2. Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz (Porsche), 84

3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni (Ferrari), 81

4. Romain Dumas (Porsche), 72

5. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet (Porsche), 57

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Am drivers

1. Jean-Karl Vernay, Raymond Narac (Porsche), 76 points

2. Jamie Campbell-Walter, Stuart Hall (Aston Martin), 70

3. Christophe Bourret (Porsche), 68

6. Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti, Gianluca Roda (Porsche), 47

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Pro teams

1. Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin), 89 points

2. Porsche AG Team Manthey (Porsche), 87

3. AF Corse (Ferrari), 81

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Am teams

1. IMSA Performance Matmut (Porsche), 76 points

2. 8 Star Motorsports (Ferrari), 74

3. Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin), 74

5. Proton Competition (Porsche), 55

 World Endurance Championship WEC

SOURCE: 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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VIDEO: New 2013 Porsche 911 RSR in the second grid row, WEC rd 1 in Silverstone, Great Britain

 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Stuttgart. The new Porsche 911 RSR heads into its race debut from the second grid row of the GTE-Pro class.

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

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

In qualifying for the six hour race on the tradition-steeped British race circuit, on which the World Endurance Championship (WEC) kicks off the new season on Sunday, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) posted the third quickest average time.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Sharing the number 91 cockpit for the race is their works driver colleague Timo Bernhard (Germany). The 470 hp 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and is fielded by the Porsche AG Team Manthey squad.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

From this season on, the qualifying in the WEC is conducted following a new format: For the first time, two drivers must qualify one car.

The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed laps of each of these drivers.

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“As far as the set-up is concerned we have found some potential because prior to this qualifying we had very little time in the dry,” said Joerg Bergmeister.

“So we had to take a bit of a risk and almost found the right point. I think we’ll get it under control in time for the race.” Patrick Pilet commented: “In a six hour race, the qualifying times are not everything. I’m looking forward to Sunday and can’t wait for the first race with the new 911 RSR.”

 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

In the second Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92, the factory pilots Richard Lietz (Austria) and Romain Dumas (France) achieved the fourth quickest average time. For the race, the pair receives support from Marc Lieb (Germany).

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“That was the first time that I drove the car on the dry track this weekend,” stated Richard Lietz. “We knew it would be difficult. But much more important than the result was that I got a good feel for dry conditions with new slicks. I was very happy with my laps.”

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

His teammate Romain Dumas said: “That was an interesting qualifying. We are going well with our new car, but we’re still certain to learn a great deal over the season.”

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“The qualifying went quite well so far. We were lucky that it stayed dry,” said Porsche’s Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “The whole team is now raring to tackle the first race with the 911 RSR.”

 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Qualifying result
GTE-Pro class
1. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:00.556 minutes
2. DallaLana/Macowiecki/Lamy (CAN/F/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.216 seconds
3. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.742
4. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.886
5. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.946
6. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.237

GTE-Am class
1. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:01.158 minutes
2. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DEN/DEN/DEN), Aston Martin V., + 0.382 seconds
3. Gerber/Griffin/Cioci (ZAF/IRL/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.238
6. Narac/Bourret/Tandy (F/F/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.860

The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

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SOURCE:  World Endurance Championship   Porsche AG Media Press Database   https://presse.porsche.de.

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Nick Tandy wins Porsche Cup as the best private driver in the world

Nick Tandy Winner Porsche Cup, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche Chairman of the Supervisory Board


Nick Tandy Winner Porsche Cup, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Stuttgart. After his first full season in international GT racing, Nick Tandy (28) from Great Britain can celebrate winning the Porsche Cup as the best private driver in the world.

On the occasion of the Night of Champions on 8 December in the R&D Centre at Weissach, Nick Tandy received the Porsche Cup from Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG. Additionally, Tandy was awarded a new Porsche 911 Carrera S.

911 Carrera S Coupé

 Tandy was awarded a new 911 Carrera S Coupé

During the past season the Briton scored a total of 7,510 points. Second-placed Raymond Narac is the recipient of 30,000 Euro, Paolo Ruberti’s third place comes with a purse of 25,000 Euro.

Nick Tandy (GB)Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland - 09 Hockenheimring 2011

Nick Tandy (GB)
Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland – 09 Hockenheimring 2011

 

The Porsche Cup is endowed with a total value of 253,000 Euro. In the competition initiated by Ferry Porsche, drivers earned points in 18 Grand Touring and prototype race series worldwide as well as at selected long distance races. Professional race driver and part-time farmer Nick Tandy headed into 2012 as the reigning champion of the Carrera Cup Deutschland driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the experienced Manthey Racing team in the International GT Open. Sharing the cockpit with works driver Marco Holzer, Tandy won five races.
In the ADAC GT Masters, Tandy competed for the Geyer & Weinig EDV – Schütz Motorsport squad at the wheel of a 911 GT3 R. Here, Tandy and his teammate Christian Engelhart scored four victories. For the Brit, the season concluded with seventh place in the drivers’ classification.

2012 ALMS - Petit Le Mans

Tandy earned further points towards the Porsche Cup competing for Flying Lizard Motorsports and TRG in the ALMS.

2012 ALMS - Petit Le MansPorsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Seth Neiman, Nick Tandy

2012 ALMS – Petit Le Mans
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Seth Neiman, Nick Tandy

2012 ALMS - Petit Le MansPorsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Seth Neiman, Nick Tandy

2012 ALMS – Petit Le Mans
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Seth Neiman, Nick Tandy

In the British GT Championship, he manned the cockpit of a Team Motorbase fielded 911 GT3 R at selected rounds. After John Fitzpatrick (1972, 1974, 1980) and Tim Sugden (2005), Nick Tandy is the third Briton to be honoured with the Porsche Cup, which has been awarded by Porsche since 1970.

International GT Open, Barcelona, Marco Holzer (GER), Olaf Manthey (GER), Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Marco Holzer (GER), Olaf Manthey (GER), Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Manthey-Racing, Marco Holzer (GER), Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Manthey-Racing, Marco Holzer (GER), Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Manthey-Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Marco Holzer (GER), Nick Tandy (GBR)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Manthey-Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Marco Holzer (GER), Nick Tandy (GBR)

With a margin of just 170 points, Frenchman Raymond Narac (45) finished the race for the Porsche Cup in second place. The founder and owner of the successful IMSA Performance Matmut team contested three major championships as team principal and driver.

International GT Open, Barcelona, IMSA Performance Matmut, Patrick Pilet (FRA), Raymond Narac (FRA)

International GT Open, Barcelona, IMSA Performance Matmut, Patrick Pilet (FRA), Raymond Narac (FRA)

In the European Le Mans Series, Narac defended the championship title in the GTE Am class driving a 911 GT3 RSR in last year’s spec.

International GT Open, Barcelona, Raymond Narac (FRA)

International GT Open, Barcelona, Raymond Narac (FRA)

 

Joining forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet, Narac periodically held the lead in the International GT Open driver’s standings and concluded the season in the hotly-contested championship in sixth. In the World Endurance Championship, Narac scored a class win and second place in Le Mans.
After securing second in last year’s Porsche Cup, Paolo Ruberti again climbs the “podium” in third. The 37-year-old Italian secured this success predominantly in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Driving Felbermayr-Proton’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Ruberti won the GT Am class at the Sebring 12 Hours and the 6 hour race in Bahrain.

Ruberti secured additional points thanks to a victory and a second place in the Italian GT Championship.

SOURCE: Porsche Motorsport  Porsche AG Media Press Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche congratulates Peter Falk on 80th birthday, Porsche Race Manager turns 80 November 27th

Le Mans 1987: Roland Kussmaul, 961-race driver Kees Nierop and Peter Falk (from left to right)

Stuttgart. Former Porsche engineer and race manager Peter Falk will be marking his 80th birthday on 27 November 2012. Peter Falk was a Porsche AG employee for more than three decades.

Not only did he play a vital role in the development of many legendary sports and racing cars such as the Porsche 917, as racing director he was also primarily responsible for the greatest successes of the Porsche 956/962 in the Group C Sports Car category.

Porsche congratulates Peter Falk on 80th birthday.
60 Jahre Porsche Sportwagen am 26. Mai 2008 © Dirk Michael Deckbar | mail@deckbar.de | +49 30 257 99 535 |

In 1959 Peter Falk began his career with Porsche as a young road testing engineer in the vehicle testing department. There he not only played a crucial role in the development of the original 911, he was also behind the wheel for the first race of the brand-new Porsche 911, taking a very respectable fifth overall at the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally with co-driver Herbert Linge.

In the following years, many race car types from the 906 all the way to the 917 were designed under his responsibility as the head of pre-series and race car development with which Porsche established itself among the leaders in international motor racing.

Rallye Monte-Carlo, 1965: Porsche Race Driver Herbert Linge (right) and Peter Falk (left) with the Porsche 911 2.0 Coupé.

From 1973 to 1981 Peter Falk was the head of road testing for series development of the 911, 924 and 928 models. His special areas of expertise were bodywork and transmissions as well as track testing and endurance tests.

As the head of racing development and racing director, starting in 1982 Peter Falk was responsible for the highly successful era of Group C 956 and 962 sports-prototype racing cars. With seven overall Le Mans wins and eleven world championship titles, this racing car project proved to be the most successful in company history. Two overall victories at the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1984 and 1986 were additional high points in his career.

Peter Falk, 1968.

As the head of chassis development, from 1989 until his retirement in 1993 Peter Falk was responsible for many successful vehicle projects. He thus had a key role in the development of the 911 derivative 993 as well as advance development of the 911 derivative 996 and Porsche Boxster. Peter Falk also remained very active in the motoring world after his retirement. In addition to his work as a participant in and organizer of classic car rallies, Peter Falk is high in demand as an interview partner on automotive topics.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Porsche Museum

 

 

 

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RACE REPORT: Porsche pilots narrowly miss podium at season final ALMS rd 10 Braselton, USA

American Le Mans Series, round 10 in Braselton, USA

Porsche pilots narrowly miss podium at season final

Stuttgart. At the Petit Le Mans, the final round of the American Le Mans Series season on the storied Road Atlanta circuit, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France) narrowly missed out on a podium placing after becoming faultlessly entangled in an accident.

But despite an additional stop-and-go penalty, they finished the 1,000 mile race on the challenging course in the U.S. state of Georgia fifth in the GT class at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.


“I tried to overtake a Ferrari and was right up next to him when he suddenly turned in and forced me onto the grass,” said Joerg Bergmeister.

“I don’t understand why it should have been my fault and why I was punished for it. But the race director decided it should be so and therefore ruined our race.”

“To lose the vice-championship in this manner is of course bitter,” said Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “The teams and drivers battled hard but it simply wasn’t enough.”

Patrick Pilet added, “We put in a super fight for the podium but toward the end the car became very difficult to drive.”

Patrick Long, who won in Lime Rock this season and came second at three races with Joerg Bergmeister, is now looking ahead to the next season.

“At the last six races we earned the most points of anyone. That makes me very optimistic for the future. We could easily have brought home a podium result today. The penalty handed to Joerg cost us the victory. The whole team then tried everything and used a great strategy to keep us in contention, but after the accident the car was no longer fast enough. Still, it was a good season for us.”


In the 911 GT3 RSR entry of Falken Tire, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany)

and his teammates Bryan Sellers (USA)

and Martin Ragginger (Austria) scored sixth place.

“We can be pleased with this result today,” said Henzler. “Our pit stops were good, we came in at exactly the right time, but we just couldn’t hold the pace of the front-runner. Falken will now use the winter break to develop the tyres further and I’m certain that we will have made great strides forward at the season-opener in Sebring next year.”

Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany), who drove the second Flying Lizard Porsche

with Seth Neiman (USA)

and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), took the flag in seventh and said,

“Our pace was good in the race, much better than in qualifying. After an off which cost us a lot of time we managed to fight our way up again. My first full season in the American Le Mans Series was a great experience, not least because of the pole position in Elkhart Lake.”

Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) supported regular pilots Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) in the cockpit of Paul Miller Racing’s 911 GT3 RSR. He commented on the team’s tenth position,

“Several times we had to pit earlier to change the tyres and that cost us time. So for us it was all about getting the car to the finish line in one piece. The work with the team was a really interesting experience for me.”

At his debut in the American Le Mans Series, Kuba Giermaziak (Poland), who normally contests the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, clinched victory in the GTC class. He won withHenrique Cisneros (Mexico) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

The Petit Le Mans was also the season final of the European Le Mans Series.

In the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad, Frenchmen Nicolas Armindo, Raymond Narac and Anthony Pons won the GTE Am class and secured overall victory in the European counterpart to the American Le Mans Series.

Porsche’s Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen commented,

“To contest a ten hour race without making any mistakes in the fight for the title is no easy feat. You can only congratulate the team on this performance.”

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Result
GT class
1. Sharp/van Overbeek/Vilander (USA/USA/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 375 laps
2. Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor (DK/E/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 375
3. J. Müller/Auberlen/Summerton (D/USA/USA), BMW E92 M3, 374
4. D. Müller/Alzen/Summerton (D/D/USA), BMW E92 M3, 373
5. Bergmeister/Long/Pilet (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 373
6. Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger (D/USA/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 372
7. Holzer/Neiman/Tandy (D/USA/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 369
10. Maassen/Miller/Lietz (D/USA/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 367

GTC class
1. Giermaziak/Farnbacher/Cisneros (PL/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 356
2. di Gulda/Pumpelly/Canache (VEN/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 351
3. Collard/Gutierrez/Hedlund (F/MEX/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 351

Points’ standings
GT class
Drivers
1. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Chevrolet, 146 points
2. Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ferrari, 123
3. Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Chevrolet, 121
4. Dirk Müller, BMW, 112
5. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 111
6. Bill Auberlen, Jörg Müller, BMW, 107
7. Joey Hand, BMW, 91
8. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 81
9. Sascha Maassen, Bryce Miller, Porsche, 55
10. Seth Neiman, Porsche, 53
12. Marco Holzer, Porsche, 46

Manufacturers
1. Chevrolet, 187 points
2. BMW, 155
3. Porsche, 153
4. Ferrari, 149

Teams
1. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 187 points
2. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 150
3. Extreme Speed Motorsports, Ferrari, 125
4. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 122
5. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 81
6. Paul Miller Racing, Porsche, 55

The 2013 ALMS calendar

The 2013 race calendar of the American Le Mans Series which was announced on Friday includes the following races:

16 March: Sebring/Florida

20 April: Long Beach/California

18 May: Laguna Seca/ California

06 July: Lime Rock/Connecticut

21 July: Bowmanville/Canada

11 August: Road America/Wisconsin

31 August: Baltimore/Maryland

21 September: Austin/Texas

05 October: Alton/Virginia

19 October: Road Atlanta/Georgia

This is the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The field is divided into five classes that start together but are classified separately:
GT class:

American Le Mans Series

American Le Mans Series (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This most popular class among car manufacturers traditionally receives the most support: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).

GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series like the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and a 900 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

SOURCE:  American Le Mans Series Porsche AG Media Press Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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