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Tag Archives: 24 Hours of Le Mans

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

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

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

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

Patrick Pilet (#91):

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

Nick Tandy (#91):

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

Marco Holzer (#92):

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

Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):

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

Richard Lietz (#92):

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

Patrick Long (#77):

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

SOURCE:

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

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Porsche – Our return: The right accessories for returning to Le Mans

Porsche Driver’s Selection – Factory Team Collection and Racing Collection

Porsche Factory Team 1969

Porsche Factory Team 1969

Stuttgart. The time has come: On June 14th, 2014, Porsche will return to the starting line by entering the most prestigious Le Mans discipline after an absence of 16 years – the LMP1 Prototype class.

With 16 overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, no other car manufacturer has ever been so successful. In honour of Porsche returning to the world’s most famous endurance race, Porsche Driver’s Selection is introducing the historic Factory Team Collection and the Racing Collection.

Vic Elford and Kurt Ahrens jr 1970

Vic Elford and Kurt Ahrens jr 1970

The Factory Team Collection consists of three replica jackets as worn by the Porsche factory team between 1968 and 1970. The green factory driver jacket, the red factory mechanic jacket and the wine-red factory team jacket recreate the originals down to the last detail. At the time, the original jackets were only produced in very small quantities and were passed down from driver to driver, making them even more sought-after. In order to create the replicas, the original jackets were borrowed from former drivers and crew members and lovingly recreated over a development period of two years. This year’s Le Mans race will be the first time these one-of-a-kind replicas will go on sale.

Factory Driver Jacket

Factory Driver Jacket

The three jackets contain a pass holder in the right-hand breast pocket. This pass holder is attached via an elasticated string and was used by the crew to gain access to the paddock or pits.

Porsche Factory Team 1968

Porsche Factory Team 1968

The retro look is completed by a genuine replica of the stitched Porsche crest from the 1960s on the breast pocket of each jacket. The green factory driver jacket was worn by drivers such as Richard Attwood, Hans Herrmann, Jo Siffert or Brian Redman.

The lightly padded jacket is equipped with a zip fastening that the drivers could undo swiftly in order to get ready for the race. In addition to the Porsche crest on the breast pocket, the jacket features a genuine reproduction of the stitched Porsche lettering from the 1960s on the back.

Factory Driver Jacket

Factory Driver Jacket

The red factory mechanic jacket is a replica of the jackets worn by the pit crew. Just like the driver jacket, this lightly padded quilted jacket is equipped with a zip fastening that allowed the mechanics to quickly get ready for the pit stop. The factory mechanic jacket also features both the Porsche crest and a genuine reproduction of the stitched Porsche lettering from the 1960s on the back.

7 porsche factory team 1969

The wine-red factory team jacket boasts two large pockets and a windbreak that lines the inside of the sleeves. The hood on the lightly padded quilted jacket is located on the inside of the collar and can be taken out when required.

Factory Mechanic Jacket

Factory Mechanic Jacket

To further mark Porsche’s return to Le Mans, the Racing Collection has been designed using inspiration from the newly developed LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid racing car. The hand-crafted 1:8 scale model of the Porsche 919 Hybrid is fully exclusive and accurate down to every detail. Strictly limited to 100 units, this resin model features the signatures of this year’s Porsche factory drivers. The high-quality design is presented on a wooden base in an acrylic display case (69 x 36 x 26 cm) with a limited-edition plaque. At first, the model can be pre-ordered during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and can subsequently be pre-ordered in Porsche Centres.

Model Car Porsche 919 Hybrid

Model Car Porsche 919 Hybrid

Limited to 2014 units, another highlight of the collection is the Racing Chronograph, featuring a satin-finished housing made from hardened aluminium. A stainless steel clasp engraved with “Our Return” and an engraving of the limited edition number on the reverse make this watch an exclusive accessory both on and off the race track.

Racing Chronograph

Racing Chronograph

For true collectors, there is also the high-quality 919 Hybrid model car, made from resin using a scale of 1:43 and based on the promotional Porsche 919 Hybrid shown in March 2014 in Geneva. Completing the Racing Collection are a unisex windbreaker, a polo shirt for women and men, a baseball cap and an umbrella.

Racing Chronograph

Racing Chronograph

Both collections will be on sale during the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Completing the Racing Collection are a unisex windbreaker, a polo shirt for women and men, a baseball cap and an umbrella.

Unisex Windbreaker

Unisex Windbreaker

Unisex Windbreaker

Unisex Windbreaker

Polo Shirt Women

Polo Shirt Women

Polo Shirt Women

Polo Shirt Women

Polo Shirt Men

Polo Shirt Men

Polo Shirt Men

Polo Shirt Men

Baseball Cap

Baseball Cap

7 umbrella

The Racing Collection is available worldwide in all Porsche Centres and online at http://www.porsche.com/shop; the Factory Team Collection will be available from September.

Not all products are universally available.

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Source:  Communication Porsche AG

 

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

Interactive journey through time into the history of Porsche Motorsport

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

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

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

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

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

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

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

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

Source: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS: Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the LMP1-Porsche, World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans

Stuttgart. The first two drivers to contest the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 hour race are confirmed.

Le Mans overall winners Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) will take the wheel of the new LMP1 vehicle from Weissach in the 2014 season.

Already this year the two Porsche works drivers Bernhard and Dumas will commence testing the new Le Mans racer.

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas

“Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are regarded as some of the fastest and most experienced sports car pilots in the world. I’m very pleased that we have these two men contesting the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours for us from 2014”, says Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board – Research and Development at Porsche AG.

“I particularly appreciate about the two is their competence as test drivers. For this reason the pair is already closely integrated in the development program of our new car and will embark on an intensive test schedule from the middle of this year”, says Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project.

 

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Timo Bernhard comes from Porsche’s own junior development programme. In 1999, Porsche recognised the talent of the then 18-year-old and coached him in the Porsche Junior Team to become a professional race driver.

In 2002, Bernhard was signed on as a works driver and since then has notched up victories and championship titles all over the world. In 2010 he was voted “Race Driver of the Year” by Germany’s automobile club ADAC for his outstanding achievements. Bernhard is the only race driver to have clinched overall victory at all four of the most famous sports car classics.

He won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010, in 2003 the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2004, and a total of five times at the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring – another record.

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Romain Dumas joined the circle of Porsche factory drivers in 2004. Previously he attracted attention in the Formula 3, Formula 3000, at international GT races as well as the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.

He is one of the most experienced pilots at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All together, Dumas has contested his favourite race at La Sarthe twelve times. With Timo Bernhard, he scored overall victory there in 2010 at the wheel of an Audi. Together, the pair also celebrated huge successes in the U.S. in the RS Spyder sports prototype.

In 2007 and 2008, the two Porsche works drivers convincingly clinched the title in the American Le Mans Series. Bernhard shared the cockpit with Dumas at four of his five wins at the Nürburgring 24 hour race. Moreover, in 2010 Dumas celebrated overall victory in Spa at the wheel of a Porsche 911.

Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project

Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Result

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE: Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Endurance Championship

Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
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