Successful partnership to be continued
Tag Archives: American Le Mans Series
Patrick Dempsey contests races again with Porsche in 2014-15, Successful partnership to be continued
Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber to contest Le Mans for Porsche, World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours
Stuttgart. The Australian Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber has signed a contract with Porsche that extends over several years.
From the 2014 season he will compete in Porsche’s new LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC. The 36-year-old Australian has already raced at Le Mans twice. In 1998 he finished runner-up in the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a sports prototype. Over the course of his Formula 1 career from 2002 until today, Webber has achieved 36 podium places, nine race victories and has started from pole position eleven times.
“It’s an honor for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team.
Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” says Mark Webber.
“I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”
“I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 pilots of our time,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
“Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years.”
“I learned to appreciate Mark’s qualities when we were both involved in Formula 1,” says Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “He is one of the best pilots I could imagine for our team. I’m absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver onboard from 2014.”
Competing in the new LMP1 car alongside Mark Webber are the two long-standing Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) as well as the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani (Switzerland).
Bernhard and Dumas already joined forces in 2010 to bring home overall victory from the Le Mans 24 hour race. In the years 2007 and 2008, they secured the American Le Mans Series title at the wheel of the RS Spyder LMP2 sports prototype. Neel Jani has contested the LMP1 class since 2010.
SOURCE: Porsche AG Motorsport
Communication Porsche AG
Stuttgart. Another driver has been confirmed to contest the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The ex-Formula 1 test pilot Neel Jani (29) from Switzerland will join Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) for testing and from 2014 onwards will take the wheel of one of the two new LMP1 vehicles from Weissach.
Jani’s contract with Porsche extending over several years begins on 1st July. In addition to test driving the Porsche, the experienced sports car pilot will complete his planned race schedule for 2013 with the Rebellion team in the American Le Mans Series and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC.
Neel Jani began his career in the classical way at the age of 12 in karting and at age 16 went on to race single-seaters. In 2002 he concluded the European Formula Renault 2000 championship as runner-up.
The following season he clinched vice championship honours in the European Formula Renault V6 series. In 2003 and 2004 Jani was a Formula 1 test driver for Sauber and in 2005 he scored two GP2 victories. During the winter season of 2005/2006, he secured second overall for Switzerland in the global A1GP series and in 2006 was signed on as test and reserve driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team. In 2007 he switched to the American Champcar Series and clinched three podium places. For the 2007/2008 season he returned to the A1GP, took home the title after four victories and went on to secure yet another runner-up title the following year. In 2009 Jani contested the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time and finished twelfth in the LMP1 class. Since 2010, he has competed for the Rebellion Racing team.
“To compete for Porsche in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC and at the Le Mans 24 Hours is a dream come true,” says Neel Jani. “I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel for the first time and contributing my test driving experience.
Porsche is incomparable with any other marque in sports car racing and I’m proud to now be a part of the Porsche works team. My goal is to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and secure the WEC World Championship title with Porsche. I don’t just want to build on Porsche’s successful history, I want to add a new chapter.”
“Neel Jani is extremely talented and is currently one of the best sports car pilots altogether. I’m delighted that we can already confirm three drivers for the 2014 season of the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
“Neel fits very well into our Porsche motorsport family. He is incredibly fast, he has a wealth of experience in international long distance racing as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours and he’s a real team player,” adds Fritz Enzinger, Head of the LMP1 project.
SOURCE: Porsche AG
Communication Porsche AG
VIDEO: New member of the Porsche motorsport family, Patrick Dempsey plays star role in Porsche films
Stuttgart. Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) plays himself in the new motorsport film from Porsche. At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR the avid race driver contests the 24 Hours of Le Mans this coming weekend for the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton team.
The first of a series of films featuring Dempsey is available on Porsche’s Facebook page and on the Porsche YouTube channel.
“It’s nice to say that you are in the Porsche family,”
says Dempsey. “It’s an incredible family, a talented family with a lot of depth when it comes to technology, engineering and design.
It fills me with pride to now be a part of this family.”
The first movie is entitled “Porsche Motorsport: Growing the family with Patrick Dempsey” and was filmed at the American Le Mans Series race on the street circuit in Long Beach (USA).
In the GTC class, Dempsey contests the entire season of the U.S. race series with his teammates Andy Lally and Joe Foster in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Racing squad.
At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dempsey and Foster join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA).
SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG – Patrick Dempsey and Porsche Motorsport
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 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 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.
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.
SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Communication Porsche AG
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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.
Michael Christensen (22) from Denmark drives for the new French Supercup team DAMS, last year’s champions of the GP2 Series.
In the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland which kicks off in Hockenheim on 4 May, Spaniard Alex Riberas Bou (19) competes for Attempto Racing,
with American Connor de Phillippi (20) driving for FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport.
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.
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