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Category Archives: Porsche head of motorsport Hartmut Kristen

Porsche teams conduct successful Le Mans test, Sports Car WEC, test day Le Mans 24 Hours, France, GT

 

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

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

Stuttgart. At the traditional test day on the Circuit des 24 Heures on Sunday, teams and drivers entered the last and decisive preparation phase leading up to the Le Mans 24 Hours. The legendary long distance classic will be run on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Championship (WEC). Porsche Team Manthey’s two Porsche 911 RSR, which scored a double class win at their first Le Mans outing last year in the GTE Pro class, concluded a testing programme without any technical problems in dry and partly sunny conditions.

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

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

The three Porsche customer outfits Dempsey Racing-Proton, IMSA Performance Matmut, and Prospeed Competition, also used the test day to set up their cars for the challenging 13.629 kilometre circuit. They are contesting the GTE Am class. The Le Mans 24 Hours runs for the 82nd time this year and is regarded as the highlight of the season.

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 factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France), and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) took the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR through its paces. Their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France), and Richard Lietz (Austria), who celebrated his third Le Mans victory last year, shared driving duties in the second 911 with starting number 92 run by the Porsche Team Manthey squad. The team entrust the two factory-911 to the same driver line-ups for the race.

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

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

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“Basically our drivers are happy with the handling of the 911 RSR. Now we’ll focus on preparing for the race. Unfortunately Joerg Bergmeister had to make a brief excursion into the gravel trap and slightly damaged the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR when he avoided another car. It didn’t make sense to do the repairs here. We’ll take a good look at it when we get home, after all, we want to drive this car in a fortnight at the 24 hour race. I don’t think all the manufacturers laid their cards on the table today, so as to avoid risking being penalised. It would have been better to find a regulation where you don’t have to be afraid of being punished for a good performance, like what happened after our double victory at the season-opener at Silverstone. The current situation doesn’t do a season highlight like the 24 Hours of Le Mans justice.”

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

“Basically a test day is to gain as much information as possible. Unfortunately I missed the braking point in the Ford curve and actually wanted to drive straight ahead through the gravel trap to avoid hitting the kerbs at the edge. But the car took off, flew far and landed hard. For this reason, the afternoon session fell flat.”

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: (l-r) Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz, Frederic Makowiecki

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: (l-r) Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz, Frederic Makowiecki

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“It’s always wonderful to be back in Le Mans. It’s my all-time favourite track. And today I immediately felt great here. Our car has a great set-up and I’m certain that we’ll tackle the race well prepared.”

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

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

Nick Tandy (#91):

“This test in particular is always a good chance to see how the car handles on this rather unique track. Towards the end of the morning session we began to change certain things on the set-up. It’s important on such a day to make the best use of the little time you have. I’m sure we’ve done this today.”

Porsche Team Manthey: Marco Holzer

Porsche Team Manthey: Marco Holzer

Marco Holzer (#92):

“I didn’t contest Le Mans last year so it felt great to turn some laps on this fantastic circuit again. This morning we had a lot of dirt on the track which gave very little grip, but over the course of the day the conditions improved. Today it was all about exploring how our tyres behave on this very special circuit and how the grip level changes. We managed to do what we had planned and we can now head to the race feeling quite confident.”

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

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

Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):

“We tried out several things on the car, but the many safety car phases, which were intended as a practice for the race, made this somewhat difficult. Still, this test day was a good preparation for the race. We learned a lot and I hope that we can use what we’ve learned in two weeks.”

Porsche Team Manthey: Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Olaf Manthey

Porsche Team Manthey: Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Olaf Manthey

Richard Lietz (#92):

“The test day ran well and we made the best use out of it. First and foremost it was about seeing how the tyres and the car worked together on a circuit that at times runs on a normal country road. I feel we’ve made progress and I’m looking forward to the race.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is contested on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC on the Circuit 24 Heures in Le Mans/France. Double points towards the championship are awarded for drivers, teams and manufacturers.

Dempsey racing Proton: Patrick Dempsey

Dempsey racing Proton: Patrick Dempsey

Dempsey racing Proton: Patrick Dempsey

Dempsey racing Proton: Patrick Dempsey

Dempsey racing Proton: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster

Dempsey racing Proton: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster

Source: Communication Porsche AG, Motorsport Press

 

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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 Factory Drivers Named for 2014 Porsche North America 911 RSR Entries

2012 ALMS - Petit Le Mans

Patrick Long

Patrick Long, Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy , Michael Christensen Named as Season-Long TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Drivers; Patrick Pilet, Joerg Bergmeister to Join CORE autosport-prepared 911 Racers for 2014 Rolex 24

Stuttgart/AtlantaPorsche AG and Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) have announced the factory drivers who will compete for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the PORSCHE NORTH AMERICA CORE autosport-prepared Porsche 911 RSR GT-Le Mans class entries.

Nick Tandy

Nick Tandy

Car no. 911 will be driven by Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria), while car no. 912 will compete with Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) at the helm, with two additional Porsche factory drivers – Patrick Pilet (France) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) – joining the teams for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Jörg Bergmeister

Joerg Bergmeister

 

The no. 911Tandy/Lietz/Pilet Porsche and the no. 912 Long/Christensen/Bergmeister entry will make their on-track debut at the ROAR Before the Rolex 24, January 3 – 5, 2014. The effort will utilize the new Porsche 911 RSR, the same as the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans LM GTE-Pro class-winning entries.

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

 Patrick Pilet

The headquarters for the program will be at Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) in Santa Ana, Calif. CORE autosport, Rock Hill, South Carolina, will act as the competition partner for the program.

Richard Lietz

Richard Lietz

There is a wealth of endurance racing championship experience with this driver lineup, with Lietz scoring class wins at both the Rolex 24 (2012) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2010, 2013); and Patrick Long winning his class at the Rolex 24 (2009), 12 Hours of Sebring (2005), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004, 2007), and Petit Le Mans (2005, 2006, 2007).

Michael Christensen, Porsche JuniorMichael Christensen, Porsche Junior

Christensen, in his first year as a Porsche Junior in 2013, finished sixth in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series season standings with one event win in addition to the Rookie of the Year title.  Tandy finished the 2013 American Le Mans Series with a flare by co-driving the Team Falken Tire Porsche to the GT class victory at Petit Le Mans.  As for the Rolex 24 third driver additions, Bergmeister and Pilet are endurance veterans as well. Bergmeister has won the Rolex 24 (2002, 2003, 2009), 12 Hours of Sebring (2004, 2005, 2008), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004), and Petit Le Mans 2003 – 2007).  Pilet, a former Porsche Carrera Cup France champion, has a win at the 24 Hours of Dubai to his credit.

The 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona will take place January 25 – 26, 2014.

The 2014 Porsche 911 RSR

The new 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR. The new 911 RSR featured a win in its very first 24 Hours of Le Mans appearance in 2013. As with the production vehicle, the wheelbase grew by about four inches.    A new development from Porsche Motorsport is the lightweight racing gearbox with the six forward gears selectable via paddles on the steering wheel. The 470 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine was taken from the predecessor and optimized for 2014.

One of the development priorities of the new 911 RSR was finding a better weight distribution balance. The center of gravity is also significantly lower than that of its predecessor. Carbon fiber played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear aero components, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and center console are constructed from the very light and strong material. Moreover, all windows are made of particularly thin and light polycarbonate. Also contributing to the weight reduction is the lithium-ion battery now available on many GT road-legal models.

The look of the new 911 RSR is dominated by the flared aero components and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With a new air ducting, the radiator is now centrally-located in the front and even more effective than in the previous model. At the same time, the cockpit air-conditioning became more efficient. The quick-change concept of the body parts was specially adapted for endurance racing, allowing for easier maintenance and shorter repair times. The front end, front lid and rear panel are fitted with quick release systems and can be replaced within seconds.

Low positioned static cornering lights provide improved vision and enhanced safety during the night. The reflective labeling and anti-glare lighting of the control elements in the cockpit help ensure optimal legibility in the dark. The arrangement of the switches on the new steering wheel and the pilot-oriented center console were designed in co-operation with the ten Porsche works drivers. All works drivers took part in the design of the 911 RSR contributing their vast experience in GT racing.

In order to keep the engineers in the pits up-to-date with all relevant vehicle data, the live telemetry transmits more than 200 different measurements straight to the pit wall stand via an antenna on the roof. Additionally, all data is stored on a memory card onboard the vehicle.

Source:   / Porsche

CORE autosport

483 Lakeshore Parkway

Rock Hill, SC 29730

Phone: 803-325-9321
Fax: 803-324-4804

 

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VIDEO: Porsche LMP1 Regulations and Technology

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.

The LMP1 Regulations and Technology

The LMP1 Regulations and Technology

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.

 

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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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Porsche 918 Spyder tops global debut with a Nürburgring lap record in 6.57 minutes

Super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive takes the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6.57 minutes

918 Spyder tops global debut with a Nürburgring lap record

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Stuttgart. As the first vehicle to boast global road homologation, the Porsche 918 Spyder* has conquered the 20.6-kilometre lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of exactly six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous record.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, had the following to say:

l.- r.: Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member of the Executive for Research and Development, Walter Röhrl, twice holder of the rally world championship

l.- r.: Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member of the Executive for Research and Development, Walter Röhrl, twice holder of the rally world championship

“We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word.”

As is always the case with Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in the line of super sportscars. It is currently making its global début at the International Motor Show (IAA). With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. By taking the Nürburgring record, the sportscar is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche’s pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles.

Dr. Frank Walliser, Overall 918 Spyder Project Manager

Dr. Frank Walliser, Overall 918 Spyder Project Manager

“The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible” says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. “The lap time on the Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sportscar. Posting a time of 6.57 minutes, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team and at Porsche as a whole is rightly proud.”

The record, which was previously held for four years, was even broken during the first attempt in the test drive on the morning of September 4.

All three drivers – Former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap driving the two 918 Spyder models used, and posted lap times of less than seven minutes on numerous occasions.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Ultimately, it was Marc Lieb who posted the absolute best time of 6.57 minutes, driving at an average speed of 179.5 km/h, as measured by Wige Solutions. Marcus Schurig, editor-in-chief of sportscar magazine “sport auto”, was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

The two sportscars, which deliver an output of 887 bhp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional “Weissach package” to increase the driving dynamics, and lead out on the standard Michelin tyres developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

* 918 Spyder: combined fuel consumption: 3.3–3.0 l/100 km; combined energy consumption: 12.5–13.0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 79–70 g/km

Source:
Communication Porsche AG
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Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber to contest Le Mans for Porsche, World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours

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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.”

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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).

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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

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Porsche 911 RSR triumphs with double victory in Le Mans, Sports Car WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Stuttgart . At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Porsche has further extended its record with class wins number 99 and 100 and opened a new chapter in the history of the world’s most famous long distance race. On the Circuit des 24 Heures, the new Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) won the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class against strong opposition from Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari and Viper.

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In the second 911 RSR, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) made the double victory for the race car from Weissach perfect.

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In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the customer team IMSA Performance Matmut clinched victory with Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl-Vernay and Christophe Bourret.

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The 81st running of the long distance classic took place in changeable weather with constant showers and under the most difficult conditions. All the greater was the relief after the maiden win of the new Porsche 911 RSR.

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At the finish line, the Porsche AG Team Manthey squad stood united at the pit wall to give their heroes the glorious reception they deserved.

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Amidst them stood Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, CEO Matthias Müller as well as Board Members Wolfgang Hatz (Research and Development) and Bernhard Maier (Sales and Marketing) who had witnessed most of the race firsthand round-the-clock in the Porsche pits.

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Already in the hour after the start, the 911 RSR made up positions at just its third outing in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, which yielded double points at Le Mans as the third round.

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With fast lap times and utmost reliability, the 911 with the starting number 92 in particular fought for victory right from the start.

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The pit stops were predominantly just routine: Refuel, tyres, driver change – then back out on the track.

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Both works-run Porsche completed the entire distance without the slightest technical problem, apart from a rear light that had to be replaced on the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR after being nudged by a competitor.

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The second racer fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey was thrown back in the field shortly after the start when the safety car was deployed right in front of Joerg Bergmeister which cost the Porsche factory pilot almost two minutes.

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While some competitors struggled on the difficult and partly wet circuit, the 911 RSR made it safely through the night without any problems and underlined the intention to clinch its maiden victory with consistently fast lap times.

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Even when torrential rain fell a good hour before the finish and its pursuers launched a final attack, Richard Lietz remained unfazed at the wheel of the number 91 car. In the final race hours, the number 91 vehicle also gained ground and slipped into second place ahead of the Aston Martin and Ferrari. The Porsche works drivers did not let this superb double victory slip out of their hands.

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In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at times ran at the front. At the flag, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret and Jean-Karl Vernay, who receives support from Porsche in his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign this season, brought home the victory.

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Especially for Jean-Karl Vernay, the winner of the 2012 International Cup Scholarship, a dream came true.

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Porsche race driver Patrick Dempsey, one of an all-American driver trio helming the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton 911 GT3 RSR with Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster, also held the lead at times.

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However, after he was blamelessly shunted off the circuit by a sports prototype he had to bury his dream of winning his first Le Mans outing with Porsche.

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The Le Mans race was overshadowed by the death of Denmark’s Allan Simonsen. In the fourth race lap, the Aston Martin pilot crashed into the barriers in the fast Tertre Rouge corner and died from his serious injuries shortly afterwards in the Circuit des 24 Heures Medical Centre.

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Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG:

“With the 99th and 100th class win and the double victory of the new 911 RSR, this Le Mans 24 hour race was a magnificent success for Porsche. I very much congratulate all those who have contributed. Our joy, however, is also mixed with sadness and shock at the death of Allan Simonsen. We have not only lost a passionate racer, but also a good friend of the Porsche motorsport family. He contested his first Le Mans 24 Hours in 2007 with a Porsche. With our works driver Marc Lieb in 2005, he contested two races of the Le Mans Endurance Series in a Porsche as well. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family as well as the Aston Martin squad and his teammates at this difficult time.”

Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG:

“Those were very gripping 24 hours and a race with action we’ve all certainly experienced rarely. It was exciting from the first to the last minute. In the end luck was on our side. Aston Martin was a tremendous opponent. At this time our thoughts should be with the fatally injured Allan Simonsen. For motorsport and for Aston Martin it is a great tragedy. Nevertheless, Porsche has once again shown that it is the manufacturer to beat in GT racing. This makes us optimistic for 2014.”

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

“I am incredibly proud of what the entire team has done here. A double victory in the Pro class and even a win thanks to our customer team, you can’t ask for more than that.”

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“In the 50th anniversary of the 911 and 15 years since the last time a works team competed here Le Mans it’s the best result you can imagine. And I don’t just mean the performance of our Pro teams. Our customer squads have performed brilliantly. We couldn’t have done better. The race was thrilling for the spectators and it was nerve wracking but the result after all that was well worth it.”

Olaf Manthey, team principal of Porsche AG Team Manthey:

“I’m still speechless about our success. After the penultimate safety car phase I was not feeling particularly optimistic. I still can’t believe this victory. In 1999 I was with Porsche for the first time in Le Mans and we won then too. Now I returned after 15 years and did it again. Dear God, however, has written a screenplay that almost ruined by nerves.”

Marc Lieb (#92):

“It’s a fairytale. To win Le Mans at our first attempt with a new RSR is something we never expected in our wildest dreams. I’m incredibly proud of my teammates and the entire crew that turned the 911 RSR into a winning car at Le Mans in such a short time.”

Richard Lietz (#92):

“Even in my last stint when everything came to a head for us I didn’t feel any great pressure. But right from the start I had the death of a colleague in my head, and the battle for tenths of seconds and positions became secondary. I believe there wouldn’t be many drivers who could really concentrate, I’ve never experienced so many safety car phases in Le Mans. We were lucky with the rain today but we needed luck too under such difficult conditions. As far as our performance and the car goes we are delighted and proud, but our thoughts are somewhere else.”

Romain Dumas (#92):

“This race was packed with suspense and emotion right from the start. It began with Allan Simonsen’s tragic accident, and in the end we were lucky with the rain which helped us considerably. However, we had a lot of frustration with the safety car at the beginning. This success is of course great for Porsche and the 50th anniversary of the 911.”

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

“I had very mixed feelings after Allan’s fatal accident. First and second place is obviously a dream result which we had not anticipated before the race considering the superiority of Aston Martin. We had a fabulous car, but also a bit of bad luck. But we were always up with the play, second place is a very good consolation.”

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“It is a day to be proud and happy, but also sad. Due to the circumstances we’ll all need a couple of weeks to let it sink in. Right now we are all thinking of Allan and that’s why this success is not exactly the wonderful moment it was actually supposed to be for me. We came here with a new car, we worked incredibly hard together and fought together with Porsche for this result.”

Timo Bernhard (#91):

“It was a very moving, difficult race with constantly changing weather conditions. We had hoped for a podium result, so the double victory is just fantastic especially for me since this was my last race with the 911 RSR. From the outset we were really fast, but lost two minutes early on through the safety car and we spent the rest of the race trying to catch up. In the end we all had that necessary luck and I congratulate my teammates on their victory. That was a truly great day for the entire team.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76):

“Porsche supports me this season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Here in Le Mans I wanted to prove that they were right putting their trust in me. I think I succeeded. I had a great weekend.”

Patrick Long (#77):

“I wanted so much to climb the podium with Patrick and Joe. Even a victory would have been possible. The car was so unbelievably good, but it wasn’t our race. Today is a great day for Porsche. Double victory in Le Mans with the new 911 RSR – it’s almost impossible to believe. My congratulations to all those in Weissach who contributed to it.”

Patrick Dempsey (#76):

“Patrick Long did a fantastic job. He drove so well, so fast. I’m pleased to have him in the team. He is so incredibly inspiring. Porsche gave us a very good car. We were so close to the podium. It is an unbelievable experience to be in Le Mans with Porsche. I’m very proud to have been a part of this great project.”

Round four of the sports car World Endurance Championship takes place on 1 September in Sao Paulo/Brazil.

Race result
GTE-Pro class
1. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 315 laps
2. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 315
3. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 314
4. Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor (DK/E/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 312
5. Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander (MC/J/SF), Ferrari 458 Italia, 312
6. Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 311

GTE-Am class
1. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 306 laps
2. Perazzini/Case/O’Young (I/I/CDN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 305
3. Gerber/Griffin/Cioci (ZA/IRL/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 305
4. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 305
7. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 300
8. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 300
9. Collard/Perrod/Crubile (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 298

Please note: Photo material from the Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC is available for accredited journalists from the Porsche Press Database under the internet address http://presse.porsche.de. On this website you can also activate the Porsche Motorsport SMS Info Service to receive the latest news and information from race tracks around the world via text messages. On the internet address http://presse.porsche.de/motorsport journalists have access to the new digital Porsche Motorsport Media Guide 2013.

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SOURCE: Porsche AG Communication Porsche AG

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Porsche wins both GT classes in Le Mans, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Porsche won the fiercely-competitive GT classes. This is the class victories number 99 and 100 for Porsche at the world’s most famous long distance race.

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

The new Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) won the GTE-Pro class.

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 three races this was the first victory for the race car from Weissach. With the second 911 RSR, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) made the double victory for Porsche perfect.

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

In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad with Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret scored victory.

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

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

SOURCE: Porsche AG

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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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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

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First qualifying in Le Mans for Porsche 911 RSR, Sports Car WEC round 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. Porsche AG Team Manthey used the first qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours on Wednesday primarily to work on the set-up of the new Porsche 911 RSR for its first outing at the world’s most famous long distance race.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey Marc Lieb, RicharM13_1331

The 911 RSR with the starting number 92, shared by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), performed impressively in free practice by setting the best time in the GTE-Pro class, and went on to post the fifth quickest time during the first qualifying held in the night.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet, Timo Bernhard - M13_1364

At the wheel of the second 911 RSR with the starting number 91, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) were clocked as seventh fastest.

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The best Porsche in the GTE-Am class was the 911 GT3 RSR run by Proton Competition on second place. Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti share the cockpit.

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The IMSA Performance Matmut 911 with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) clinched the third quickest time.

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In the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Proton squad, the all-American line-up of Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey,

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Dempsey Dell Piero Proton: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Patrick Long

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Dempsey Dell Piero Proton: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Patrick Long

Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster secured the seventh spot.

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Quotes after the first qualifying

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

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“My main priority was to turn my mandatory laps. I was driving on used tyres and everything went really smoothly. As a driver you’re never really satisfied but I think that as far as the race is concerned we are on the right track.”

Patrick Pilet (# 91):

Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard

Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard

“The balance of the car was okay. On the fastest lap I encountered a lot of traffic which cost me some time. For tomorrow we have to keep working on the balance.”

Timo Bernhard (# 91):

“Today wasn’t really a labour-intensive day. In free practice I turned three laps before the session was red-flagged. When I wanted to climb in the car for my last qualifying stint the red flag came out again and after that it was no longer possible to do anything. Now I hope that I get to drive a bit longer tomorrow.”

Marc Lieb (# 92):

Marc Lieb, Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“The qualifying was quite good. I went out on used tyres and that worked well. I’m happy with the car’s balance. Of course we have to tweak the set-up but I think that we’ll manage that before the race. Compared to Spa and Silverstone we’ve made great strides.”

Richard Lietz (# 92):

(l.-r.): Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb

(l.-r.): Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb

“My first lap was really good, but I spun in the second. Luckily nothing happened and I then had no problems on the second set of tyres.”

Romain Dumas (# 92):

Romain Dumas

Romain Dumas

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to drive during qualifying. I drove a couple of laps in free practice during the afternoon. It was great fun to be out on this track in a GT car.”

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Wolf Henzler (#67):

 

“Today was my first time with the car on new tyres. The balance is still not quite perfect. I hope that we can attack it again tomorrow.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76):

“We have made progress in all areas since the last race in Spa. On the straights we are still a little slower but we are closing in on our competitors. I’m getting to know the circuit better with every lap I drive.”

Patrick Long (#77):

“I initially went out on used tyres to get a feel for the car. When I then tried to go for a good qualifying time with soft tyres the yellow flag came out at the first corner. Afterwards I only had time to turn the required mandatory laps for the night qualifying.”

Patrick Dempsey (#77):

Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Dell Piero-Proton

Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Dell Piero-Proton

“I’m very pleased to compete in Le Mans with Porsche. This is really a fantastic experience. Of course there are still some things that need improving but it’s been quite a long time since I’ve driven laps at night on this difficult track. The Porsche is great fun to drive. I’ve learned a lot and I’m feeling confident that we’ll improve even more until the race.”

Paolo Ruberti (#88):

(l.-r.): Gianluca Roda, Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti

(l.-r.): Gianluca Roda, Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti

“I was almost a second quicker than in free practice. In the first chicane I was a little too quick and I lost the rear. Luckily I didn’t hit anything.”

Result 1st qualifying
GTE-Pro class
1. Bell/Makowiecki/Senna (GB/F/BRA), Aston Martin, 3:55.658 minutes
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:55.909
3. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 3:56.004
5. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.457
7. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.573

1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 3:58.661 minutes
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:59.246
3. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:00.053
5. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:01.713
7. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.378

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

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SOURCE:  Communication Porsche AG Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche pilots hope for improvement in the World Endurance Championship, rd 2 at Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium

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

Stuttgart. In the qualifying for the six hour race of Spa-Francorchamps, round two of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars on the storied circuit in the Ardennes,

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

Porsche works pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) planted their Porsche 911 RSR on the sixth grid spot in the GTE-Pro class. For Saturday’s race, they share the cockpit of the number 91 car with Timo Bernhard (Germany).

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Richard Lietz, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Richard Lietz, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Their works driver colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) take up the race one position behind them. The third driver in the 470 hp # 92 GT racer is Richard Lietz (Austria). Porsche AG Team Manthey field both Porsche 911 RSR.
M13_0478
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.

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

Joerg Bergmeister (#91)

“I made a small mistake in my second lap. Otherwise I could have gone a little faster. But I still pitted so that I didn’t wear the tyres too much for Patrick.”

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“The car ran very steadily and that’s good for the race. We’re not too far back and I hope that we can do even better tomorrow.”

Romain Dumas (#92):

“That qualifying wasn’t perfect. But I’m sure we’ll look better in the race.”

 

Marc Lieb (#92):

“Our car performed better than in practice so that’s a small step in the right direction. Let’s see what tomorrow’s race brings.”

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Qualifying result
GTE-Pro class
1. Makowiecki/Bell/Senna (F/GB/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:19.811 minutes
2. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.042 seconds
3. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.278
4. Turner/Mücke/Dumbreck (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.296
5. DallaLana/Stanaway/Lamy (CAN/NZ/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.430
6. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.432
7. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.049

GTE-Am class
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:21.265 minutes
2. Potolicchio/Aguas/Malucelli (I/P/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.030 seconds
3. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.284
4. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.480
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.425
7. Narac/Vernay (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.156

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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.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database Photo

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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Porsche Juniors 2013: The most intensive youth development ever

P01_0305_cymk

Stuttgart. Never before has Porsche supported so many young drivers at one time. Four Porsche Juniors will tackle Porsche’s brand trophy series in 2013.

Now that they have chosen the teams with which they will compete, the four talented young racers enter the critical phase of preparation for the 2013 season.

Austria’s Klaus Bachler (21) contests the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which starts on 12 May in Barcelona, with FÖRCH Racing.

Klaus Bachler (A), Porsche Junior

Klaus Bachler (A), Porsche Junior

Michael Christensen (22) from Denmark drives for the new French Supercup team DAMS, last year’s champions of the GP2 Series.

Michael Christensen, Porsche Junior

Michael Christensen, Porsche Junior

In the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland which kicks off in Hockenheim on 4 May, Spaniard Alex Riberas Bou (19) competes for Attempto Racing,

Alex Riberas Bou (ESP), Porsche Junior

Alex Riberas Bou (ESP), Porsche Junior

with American Connor de Phillippi (20) driving for FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport.

Connor de Phillippi (USA), Porsche Junior

Connor de Phillippi (USA), Porsche Junior

For Klaus Bachler and Michael Christensen, 2013 marks their second year as Porsche Juniors. Last year the pair contested the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and promptly demonstrated their ability: Michael Christensen celebrated his first victory at the season final in Hockenheim, whilst Klaus Bachler scored a podium spot at his home race on the Red Bull Ring. In the international Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup run as support for the Formula 1 races they are now eager to forge ahead with their successes.

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

Porsche’s Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen is convinced that they will succeed in this with the new 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that was developed parallel to the recently presented 911 GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show. “They have huge potential and are following the path that we had in mind for our junior support programme.”

As a thank you for their strong performance in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, the juniors are not only promoted to the top series of Porsche’s brand championships. With support from Porsche, they also contested the famed 24 Hours at Daytona/Florida in January which proved to be not just a fantastic new experience for the pair but also gave them an added motivation.

 

“This is a big vote of confidence from Porsche. I will again work hard to live up to these expectations,” says Michael Christensen. And for Klaus Bachler, “it’s a dream come true. I’ve learned a great deal in the Carrera Cup and I’m now looking forward to using what I have learned in the Supercup.”

The duo joined the Porsche works drivers at a training camp in Tenerife to build up the fitness levels required for the demands of a long racing season.

Alex Riberas Bou and Connor de Phillippi tackle their first season as Porsche Juniors. In a tough, two-tiered selection process where factors like fitness, mental strength and technical understanding as well working with engineers, and simulated qualifying laps were taken into account, in Potsdam and Vallelunga the two outshone other talented youngsters from all over the world.

“I’m very proud to be chosen by Porsche, especially when I see how the careers of many successful Porsche works drivers began as junior drivers,” says Alex Riberas Bou.

Connor de Phillippi, who like Alex Riberas Bou has driven single-seaters until now, is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of last year’s spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

“It’ll undoubtedly be a huge challenge.”

Porsche takes on a large proportion of the four juniors’ budget for the season and also assigns them Sascha Maassen as a junior coach. The successful professional racer from Germany won the American Le Mans Series three times with sports prototypes and GT race cars and celebrated class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Sebring 12 hour race. Moreover, he has a great deal of experience as a talent scout, coach and driving instructor.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland
Source: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG

Motorsport Press

 

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Le Mans 24 Hours / World Endurance Championship – Confirmed Porsche entry for Le Mans

24h Le Mans

24h Le Mans

Organizer confirms Porsche entry for Le Mans

Stuttgart. Porsche AG fields two new 911 RSR based on the 991 model generation at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and in the World Endurance Championship.

Entry for the newly developed vehicles sporting the starting numbers 91 and 92 was confirmed for the GTE class by the organisers ACO and FIA today in Paris.

The factory squad “Porsche AG Team Manthey” will run both 911 RSR race cars.

Contesting the event in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR are Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

Marc Lieb

Marc Lieb

Richard Lietz

Richard Lietz

The pair has already shared a cockpit in last year’s WEC. At the first two rounds of the season in Silverstone (14 April) and Spa (4 May) as well as at the Le Mans 24 hour race (22 June) they will receive reinforcement from their works driver colleague Romain Dumas (France).

Works drivers also pilot the number 91 sister car: Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) teams up with Patrick Pilet (France). In Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans the duo are joined by Timo Bernhard (Germany).

Jörg Bergmeister

Jörg Bergmeister

Patrick Pilet

Patrick Pilet

Timo Bernhard

Timo Bernhard

Additionally, the customer teams IMSA Performance Matmut and Felbermayr Proton have received a starting place in the WEC and at Le Mans, fielding the predecessor model Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE-Am category.

At the wheel of the IMSA Matmut 911, Raymond Narac (France) shares driving duties with Jean-Karl Vernay (France) who contests the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with backing from Porsche AG this year. Vernay is the reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup France.

Jean-Karl Vernay

Jean-Karl Vernay

The customer team Dempsey Racing-Proton is also delighted with its acceptance to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey, who is known especially for his role as “McDreamy” in the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, already contested the Le Mans race in 2009 and now climbs back into the cockpit.

Patrick DempseyALMS LAGUNA SECA 2012.USAGE:  Dempsey Racing web site and press material only..Photo:  ©2012 Rick Dole.904.806.0362.radole@earthlink.net

Patrick Dempsey
ALMS LAGUNA SECA 2012.USAGE: Dempsey Racing web site and press material only..Photo: ©2012 Rick Dole.904.806.0362.radole@earthlink.net

“We are very much looking forward to returning to Le Mans with a works team from Porsche for the first time since 1998,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen.

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

“The new 911 RSR performed well in earlier tests and is already proving extremely reliable on the track. Between them, our six pilots have scored eight class wins in Le Mans and have a great deal of experience with different 911 race cars.

And our customer teams in the GTE-Am class are also well prepared for the 2013 season.”

SOURCE:  Porsche Motorsport  – Porsche AG Media Press Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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IMPORTANT PORSCHE ANNOUNCEMENT: Porsche Motorsport Development Activity to Transition to Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (type 991) Starting in 2013

Porsche Motorsport Development Activity to Transition to Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (type 991) Starting in 2013

 

Stuttgart, Germany/Santa Ana, Calif. – October 26 –With a new race car based on the new, seventh-generation Porsche 911 (type 991) street car on the horizon, Porsche Motorsport has announced it will wind down its development program for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) – a very successful venture which began in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2005.

Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche Motorsport worldwide, in making the announcement, explained that the current 911 race car will reach the end of its product cycle, and, while support will continue for customer teams, further new component development will be discontinued in favor of resources devoted to the all-new car.

“Just like our recent Porsche RS Spyder program, we must appreciate the success of our race cars during their product cycle, but move on to new models when it is time to do so. The venerable Porsche 911 GT3 RSR has provided our Porsche customer teams with numerous wins and championships, and will remain competitive in 2013.

Porsche will support the customer teams which continue to race that car, but the time has come and we now must focus our research and engineering development efforts on its successor,” said Mr. Kristen.

“The new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is slated to make its North American debut in 2014,” said Kristen. 

In North America, the development partner helping to design, engineer and implement improvements in the current 911 RSR race car has been Flying Lizard Motorsports in the GT class of the ALMS. This partnership now is discontinued.

Jens Walther, president of Porsche Motorsport North America, was quick to point out that customer teams still wishing to run the current 911 race car will be able to continue to do so in the American Le Mans Series with full at-the track engineering and parts support.

PMNA shop service from Porsche will also continue in 2013.

“We will be at the track with our usual support for 2013, and some of our  current customer teams have already committed to run the 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) next year. Each of the current teams will be announcing their plans as we get closer to the ALMS Winter Test in February,” he said. 

Walther also pointed out that the Flying Lizards have been a terrific development partner since they took on the role with Porsche Motorsport in2007.

“Team owner Seth Neiman and his entire Flying Lizard Motorsports organization have helped both Porsche Motorsport and all our customer teams around the world by being our development partner in the U.S. Together we have won multiple championships in the ALMS.

The team has assisted in testing everything from new engines and transmissions to the latest aero package we introduced earlier this year – all to improve the car for everyone. Inthe midst of all that, they won three straight ALMS GT championships in the most competitive class in sports car racing.

We thank Seth and his team for that service, and hope their racing plans going forward continue to includePorsche,” Walther said.

“It’s impressive how the 911 GT3 RSR has developed from year to year. The lap times alone are astounding, because despite the restrictions imposed on us again and again by the regulations, the car just got faster every year,” says Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister, who has celebrated the majority of his successes at the wheel of the 911 GT3 RSR.

Flying Lizard Statement on Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Transition Announcement

October 26, 2012 – Sonoma, CA – Seth Neiman, Flying Lizard team principal said:

FLYING LIZARDS MOTORSPORTS TEAM

“I and the entire Flying Lizard family would like to thank Porsche for their support and partnership over the last nine years.

Together we have worked hard and have learned to rely on each other in critical moments, of which there have been many throughout our 100 races and multiple GT championships. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Hartmut Kristen, Jens Walther, Uwe Brettel, Alwin Springer, Roland Kussmaul, Hans-Georg Breuer and many others at Porsche get our special thanks, along with the numerous Porsche employees and affiliates in Germany, Atlanta and Southern California who have been an integral part of our team, and with whom we have become close friends.Flying Lizard remains committed to sports car racing, and we look forward to announcing details of our 2013 racing program later this year.”

More updates here  as they come in….stay tuned.

Source: Porsche Cars North America  and Flying Lizards Motorsports

 

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Porsche secures vice-championship with 2nd place at Road Atlanta Petit Le Mans-ALMS Rd 9

American Le Mans Series, round 9 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 6 in Road Atlanta, USA

Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France)

Stuttgart. A strong season finale for Porsche in the American Le Mans Series: At the thrilling 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France) snatched second place in a heart-stopping final.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France)

At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, the trio were a mere six seconds shy of a GT class victory after more than nine and a half hours packed with tough fights for positions and many changes at the lead. Their second position secured the vice-championship for Porsche in the race series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA)

”Patrick Long added:

“We stuck to our plan and kept out of any trouble so that we could attack in the last ten laps. This plan worked.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver  Patrick Pilet (France)

“It was a fantastic experience to contest the Petit Le Mans for Flying Lizard Motorsports,” said Patrick Pilet.

“Over the course of the race the balance of our car became better and better and towards the end it was virtually perfect. I’m totally happy.

On the time-honoured circuit in the US state of Georgia, Joerg Bergmeister again showed nerves of steel, waiting until the penultimate lap before making his decisive move on the BMW in front of him.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany)

“In my last stint I speculated that I would be able to snatch the BMW,” said the five-time Road Atlanta winner.

“I used the traffic after the safety car phase, took a risk and overtook him on the outside through Turn six. I’m pleased that I secured the decisive points to win the tyre manufacturers’ classification for Michelin.”

His teammates Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet had laid the foundation for this success with their faultless performances.

Another decisive factor in this good result aside from the strong performance of the drivers was the perfect work of the pit crew.

“The entire Flying Lizard squad did a tremendous job. Every single pit stop was incredible,” commented Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

“Through their excellent effort, the team compensated very well for the handicap from the Balance of Performance measures that were again in place here. In a sensational push at the end, Joerg Bergmeister secured second place and this gave our partner Michelin the tyre manufacturers’ title. Well done to all those who contributed to this success.”

Rounding off the excellent team result for Porsche at the 1,000 mile classic was Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammates Bryan Sellers (USA) and Martin Ragginger (Austria).

Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammate Martin Ragginger (Austria)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger

Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Falken Tire, they brought home fifth place.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger

“I’m very pleased with this,” said Wolf Henzler, winner of the races in Mid-Ohio and Baltimore together with Bryan Sellers.

“We drove a controlled race and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. I can look back on a good season with two victories to our credit. That was more than we had expected.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Darren Law, Seth Neiman

Factory pilot colleague Marco Holzer (Germany) and his American teammates Seth Neiman und Darren Law saw the flag in eighth place in the second Flying-Lizard Porsche.

Darren Law

Victory in the GTC class went to Porsche Supercup pilots Jeroen and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Netherlands) together with American Tim Pappas, who won the title.

Petit Le Mans, which counts as a round of the GTE Am class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, brought no luck for Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria):

Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria)

With the Proton Competition-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR he lay in the lead, but had to retire after 163 laps with a damaged drive system.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition: Richard Lietz, Christian Ried, Mark Bullitt

Statistics: 9th and final race in Road Atlanta, Georgia

Result GT class
1. Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer (I/I/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 367 laps
2. Bergmeister/Long/Pilet (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 367
3. Werner/Auberlen/Farfus (D/USA/BRA), BMW M3 GT, 367
4. Magnussen/Gavin/Westbrook (DK/GB/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 366
5. Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger (D/USA/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 365
6. Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher (USA/USA/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 365
8. Holzer/Neiman/Law (D/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 361
11. Maassen/Miller/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 357

Result GTC class
1. J./S. Bleekemolen/Pappas (NL/NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 346 laps
2. Sweedler/Keen/Wong (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 346
3. Pumpelly/Ende/Ludwig (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 345

Final standings GT class
Drivers
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 161 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 135
3. Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 129
4. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 102
5. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 97
6. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 83

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 180 points
2. Porsche, 162
3. Chevrolet, 139
4. Ferrari, 127

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 180 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 139
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 115
4. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 97

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Facts and Figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race.

GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers is traditionally extremely well supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series (e.g. 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 an 825 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

As part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the GTE Am class is also contested in Road Atlanta. The difference to the GT class: Vehicles in the 2010 technical specification may be entered and the rules stipulate that only one professional race driver per vehicle is permitted.

All classes start together but are classified separately. This ensures racing that is exciting and constantly changing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are awarded only for placings in each class.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

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Porsche returns to Le Mans in 2014,Development program confirmed for LMP1 sports prototype

Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the completely new developed race car is planned for the year 2014. With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans

Porsche 911 GT1

With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The most recent win was in 1998 with the Porsche 911 GT1.

Porsche 911 GT1

“Motorsport was always an essential part of the Porsche brand,” emphasizes

Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG

Porsche 911 GT1

“So for us it was only a matter of time before we returned as a factory to the top league of racing. Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivaled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.”

Porsche 911 GT1

With the RS Spyder sports prototype that was run with great success from 2006 to 2008 by the factory-backed Penske Racing team in the USA and to 2010 by several customer teams worldwide, Porsche has set the benchmark recently in the LMP2 category.

Porsche RS Spyder

“With the RS Spyder we proved that our motorsport engineers in Weissach are at the forefront,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

Porsche RS Spyder, 24h Le Mans 2009

Porsche RS Spyder, 24h Le Mans 2009

Porsche RS Spyder, 24h Le Mans 2009

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

Porsche RS Spyder

“For instance, we were the first to run a high-revving race engine with direct fuel injection, DFI, setting new standards in performance and efficiency. Recently, with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, we adopted a completely new drive technology for racing purposes and achieved a considerable reduction in consumption.”

Porsche RS Spyder

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, is already prepared for one of the most challenging development programmes in the company’s history.

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

“We’re looking forward to the task of developing new technologies and to continue on with the success of the Porsche RS Spyder. After the conclusion of our works-supported sports prototype programme in the American Le Mans Series we have kept up with the latest technological advances. Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”

Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood claimed the first overall victory for Porsche in 1970 with the legendary 917 short-tail.

    Porsche 917 Kurzheck Coupé
    Porsche 917 Kurzheck Coupé

The 16th and by now last overall win was secured by Laurent Aiello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 with the 911 GT1. In the years 2008 and 2009, the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype won the title in the LMP2 category.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Please find the official trailer at www.porsche.com/lemans.
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Porsche pilots keen to improve ranking in the championship – 6 Hr race Imola/Italien – Le Mans Series on 3 July

Le Mans Series, round 3 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 4 in Imola/Italien

Porsche pilots keen to improve ranking in the championship

Stuttgart. For the first time, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola hosts a round of the Le Mans Series on 3 July.

As one of the six Porsche teams contesting the GTE Pro sports car class, title defenders Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) are determined to climb to the top of the podium.

Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria)

The Porsche factory pilots contest the race, which is also classified as a round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Felbermayr-Proton team.

The race

The six hour race in Imola is new on the calendar of the Le Mans Series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

The circuit

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari is situated between Bologna and Ravenna and is mostly known by race fans for its famous corners like Tamburello, Rivazza and Acque Minerali. On the 4.933 kilometre Formula 1 circuit, the Grand Prix of San Marino was contested until 2006.

The Porsche drivers

Aside from the title defenders Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz, three other Porsche works drivers contest the GTE Pro class with the latest Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Wolf Henzler (Germany) shares driving duties with Patrick Pilet (France) for the IMSA Performance Matmut team,

Patrick Pilet (France) and Wolf Henzler (Germany)

with Marco Holzer (Germany) driving for ProSpeed Competition. His team mate is Belgian Marc Goossens.

Marco Holzer (Germany) and Marc Goossens.

Three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the 2010 specification start in the GTE Am class, where only one professional race driver is permitted per car.

In the Proton Competition cockpit is Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA),

Patrick Long (USA)

as well as Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda (Italy)

Gianluca Roda (Italy)

and team owner Christian Ried (Germany).

Christian Ried (Germany)

The 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut is manned by Frenchmen Raymond Narac and Nicolas Armindo, the overall winner of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.

At the wheel of the sister 911 GT3 RSR of Felbermayr-Proton, Horst Felbermayr Junioris confirmed as a driver.

Quotes before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport:

“It’s no secret that we’re very unhappy about the imbalance through the Balance of Performance. Particularly for the Proton team, preparing for the Imola race was very tough because they had to get two cars running after they were virtually destroyed in Le Mans. You can only have the greatest respect for the team’s efforts and the will to fight.”

Marc Lieb:

“We haven’t started the season as we had imagined. So that makes us even more determined to try to make the most of our chances in Imola. We are eager to show that we are in a position to fight at the top. With a good set-up and the right strategy we should manage this.”

Richard Lietz:

“With 50 competitors it’ll be very tight, but maybe we can use that to our advantage. In any case, we’re going to attack and try to get ahead. It’ll certainly be six very interesting hours.”

Wolf Henzler:

“After the first two races didn’t go so well for us we’re hoping to finally make a breakthrough in Imola and bring home a good result. We’re aiming for the podium. The team is incredibly motivated and working hard. It’s time that these efforts were rewarded with a good result.”

Marco Holzer:

“I can’t wait for the Imola race. I’ve never driven there before, only tested. Imola is a gorgeous circuit. For us the focus is on doing our best, bringing home points and improving our position in the championship.”

Patrick Pilet:

“I know this track and it’s not easy. The long straights make it necessary to find a good set-up compromise between high speed and decent handling.”

Patrick Long:

“To drive in Imola straight after the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring is an extremely interesting challenge. I’m looking forward to it and hope to assist my team mates to secure a good result and as many points as possible.”

The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

The most successful GT race car of 2010 competes this season with some improvements. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine has increased to 455 hp (335 kW). Priority in the further developments was given predominantly to the newly-designed aerodynamics at the front and rear.

The schedule

The six hour race takes off on Sunday, 3 July, at midday. The qualifying session for the GTE classes takes place on Saturday from 13.55 to 14.15 hours.

TV tip

Eurosport 2 broadcasts the beginning of the race on Sunday from 12.00 to 13.00 hours and the final two hours live.

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: Slightly 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 750 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.

LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 825 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 the title in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

SOURCE: Porsche Press Media Database 

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