Category Archives: Neel Jani
Porsche 919 Hybrid arrives at the Sarthe, Sports Car WEC, Pre-race test Le Mans 24-Hours/France – LMP1
Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Stuttgart. The Porsche Team enjoyed two intensive days of testing with the newly developed 919 Hybrid, entered in the top class of Le Mans Prototypes, during the official Prologue of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Paul Ricard.
It was the first time the Porsche Team had shared a test with the whole WEC field and was able to get a first impression about the differences in speed between the various classes.
On the 5.791 kilometre long track the difference between the overall fastest lap of the LMP1 car (1:41.289 minutes, Porsche 919 Hybrid, Brendon Hartley) and the slowest GT car was around 20 seconds. The team had another first a few days earlier on the same track when it took part in a private test with two cars.
In total both driver line-ups – Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb (car no. 14) and Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber (car no. 20) – completed 614 laps (3,556 kilometres) on Friday and Saturday. They practiced countless driver changes and worked together with the Porsche Team’s engineers to further improve the car’s set-up.
Team principal Andreas Seidl:
“The Prologue was an excellently run test by the WEC organisation and we were able to complete our programme. After concentrating on long distance racing during our private test, when we covered two six hour race distances, we have now also tested our qualifying performance. We made good progress in all areas – be it team-work, performance or reliability. But we know very well that we cannot catch up overnight with the advantage our competition has in terms of experience, and we have quite a lot of homework to do before the season’s opening race on 20th April in Silverstone.“
Off the track another important point has been clarified. The Porsche 919 Hybrid has finally been homologated for the six megajoule class. This classification defines the amount of recuperated electrical power which can be boosted per lap. At the same time, the megajoule class defines the amount of fuel which can be used per lap.
Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1:
“To decide on the best megajoule class requires a complex calculation. To put it simply, you can say we have designed our energy recovery systems as big and heavy as the overall car concept allowed. With the amount of energy we can recuperate this way, we fit well into the six megajoule class.“
Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, as well as Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development, gathered first hand information about the project’s progress at the track from Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
Romain Dumas (no. 14):
“We made huge progress. In my opinion, the Prologue was even better than we ourselves expected it to be beforehand. But the expectations from the outside world are enormous. It is impressive how we have been welcomed here. But we keep focussing on the next target: to finish the 6 Hours of Silverstone.“
Neel Jani (no. 14):
“Our development speed was as strong as the mistral wind on the long straights here at Paul Ricard. Overall our results are fine. We were able to solve problems and to discover new ones, which will be looked at now. The partnership with Romain and Marc fits. In terms of set-up, we work in the same direction.“
Marc Lieb (no. 14):
“In every regard it was a good test for the whole team. And it was also very important to gain first hand experience of the speed differences between the cars. In Silverstone this will be much more intensive: Paul Ricard is quite a long race track and during testing not all of the cars are running at the same time.“
Timo Bernhard (no. 20):
“To me this was the most important test of all. Certainly if I compare the state of the car now to the roll out last June, but more importantly regarding the team spirit and how we work together. Not least of all what you can tell from the test results is very good news for the fans, as all three LMP1 cars are so close together.”
Brendon Hartley (no. 20):
“Operating as a Porsche works driver for the first time and in the top class of Le Mans Prototypes was an impressive experience. Having topped the time sheets is certainly not the most important thing in our test programme, but personally for me it is the icing on the cake.“
Mark Webber (no. 20):
“This test here was a big milestone. To enter two cars for the first time was a tremendous amount of hard work for the crew on the operational side. Smooth running was a well-deserved award and a good tonic for the guys after a long week. Every day we run we find more areas to improve, which is very encouraging. The track lay-out at Paul Ricard seems to suit our car very well. I’m curious to find out how we can perform in Silverstone.“
One of the attachments is the press kit for Porsche’s return to top level motorsport, including technical details of the 919 Hybrid and driver portraits.
The attached video clip features current footage of the car on track and interviews from Paul Ricard and is royalty free for publishing.
Further news and comprehensive TV footage material will be available for download from Monday, 31st March, on the Porsche press database.
@PorscheRaces is the new Twitter channel of Porsche Motorsport. This brief messaging service informs you about upcoming Motorsport events by Porsche Motorsport, and during races it reports live from the pits about driver changes, weather conditions, tyre selections and background information.
Source: Porsche AG
Product and Technology Communication
2014 will see the introduction of completely new rules for the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
These rules will restore prototype sport to the status which has always been a hallmark of the highest class in long-distance motor racing: putting tomorrow’s technologies through their paces today in the toughest of motorsports tests.
Find out about the technical challenges in the new WEC regulations for the Porsche 919 Hybrid, our contestant for the 2014 24h of Le Mans in this video.
Works engagement with 919 hybrid and 911 RSR
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 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.
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).
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.”
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 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.
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.
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:
25.05. Monte Carlo/Monaco
06.07. Silverstone/Great Britain
12.10. Sochi/Russia (2 races)
SOURCE: Porsche AG
Communication Porsche AG
Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber to contest Le Mans for Porsche, World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours
Stuttgart. The Australian Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber has signed a contract with Porsche that extends over several years.
From the 2014 season he will compete in Porsche’s new LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC. The 36-year-old Australian has already raced at Le Mans twice. In 1998 he finished runner-up in the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a sports prototype. Over the course of his Formula 1 career from 2002 until today, Webber has achieved 36 podium places, nine race victories and has started from pole position eleven times.
“It’s an honor for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team.
Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” says Mark Webber.
“I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”
“I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 pilots of our time,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
“Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years.”
“I learned to appreciate Mark’s qualities when we were both involved in Formula 1,” says Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “He is one of the best pilots I could imagine for our team. I’m absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver onboard from 2014.”
Competing in the new LMP1 car alongside Mark Webber are the two long-standing Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) as well as the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani (Switzerland).
Bernhard and Dumas already joined forces in 2010 to bring home overall victory from the Le Mans 24 hour race. In the years 2007 and 2008, they secured the American Le Mans Series title at the wheel of the RS Spyder LMP2 sports prototype. Neel Jani has contested the LMP1 class since 2010.
SOURCE: Porsche AG Motorsport
Communication Porsche AG
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.
“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.”