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Porsche Motorsport around the world – Newsletter 4 – 2011

Stuttgart. The Motorsport Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world.

Development of an LMP1 sports prototype: Porsche returns to Le Mans Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the race car developed from scratch is planned for 2014.

With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The last overall victory went to the Porsche 911 GT1 in the year 1998.

Porsche 911 GT1

Nürburgring 24 Hours: Porsche triumphs and sets new distance record Dramatic 24 hour sprint:

At the 39th running of the classic on the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife (25/26 June), works drivers Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas as well as Lucas Luhr took the lead with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR after 7:25 hours ahead of strong competition from Audi, BMW und Mercedes.

(l. – r.): Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

The quartet fended off rivals to the flag and set a distance record of 3,958.968 kilometres. For Porsche and the Manthey Racing squad, this marked the fifth victory at the “Ring” in the last six years – the same for Timo Bernhard.

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey: Jörg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Patrick Long

For the innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid the weekend ran less smoothly. Works drivers Joerg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer and Patrick Long led the field after four hours in front of 220,000 spectators, but spent a lot of time in the pits with a broken flange on the differential to finish 23rd.

Le Mans Series/Intercontinental Le Mans Cup: Fourth after tough struggle Works drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz brought the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton home in fourth as the best Porsche at the third round of the LMS (3 July, 4th ILMC race) in Imola.

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

After being the innocent victims of two accidents in the first two races, this result was the best for the title defenders in the GTE Pro category.

Nicolas Armindo (l), Raymond Narac (r)
P1, GTE-Am, Le Mans Series Imola

Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac were delighted with victory number two in the GTE Am class with their 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut.

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

Porsche Carrera World Cup: René Rast wins the greatest Porsche race of all time Rain, the world’s most difficult circuit and a field hailing from 25 countries: The Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nordschleife, contested prior to the 24 hour race, was not for the faint-hearted.

René Rast (D)
Porsche Carrera World Cup – Nürburgring 2011

After six hours and about 150 kilometres, René Rast celebrated overall victory at the greatest Porsche race in history. In the class for 911 GT3 Cup vehicles from 2007 to 2009, Timo Rumpfkeil won.

For the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and many national Carrera Cups the race counted towards their respective championships. René Rast took home maximum points for the Supercup.

Former champion Tim Harvey was the quickest in the Carrera Cup Great Britain (13th overall). Kévin Estre won the Carrera Cup France (6th overall), Alessandro Balzan was the best Italian (12th overall) and Johan Kristoffersson the best driver from the Carrera Cup Scandinavia (25th overall).

Grand-Am: Andrew Davis and Leh Keen at the front at half-way mark After the seventh of twelve Grand-Am races, Andrew Davis and Leh Keen rank second in the GT driver’s classification. At the six hour race in Watkins Glen (4 June) the duo won their class in a Brumos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with none other than racing legend Hurley Haywood calling the tactical shots. On the last June weekend (27 June), Davis and Keen clinched sixth in Road America.

French GT Championship: Dream weekend for Porsche teams With a double win for Patrick Bornhauser/Laurent Groppi in Larbre Compétition’s 911 GT3 R ahead of Anthony Beltoise/Laurent Pasquali in the GT3 R of Pro GT by Almeras, the fourth race weekend took off in Val de Vienne (25/26 June).

Porsche 911 GT3 R: Anthony Beltoise, Laurent Pasquali
GT Championship France, Val de Vienne

A one-two-three at race two with Beltoise/Pasquali in front of Bornhauser/Groppi and Laurent Cazenave/Jean-Claude Police in the sister Almeras-Porsche made the weekend perfect for Porsche.

Italian GT Championship: Autorlando pilot battles for points’ lead After a win and a second place at the third race weekend at the Autodromo dell Umbria near Magione (19 June), Autorlando pilot Ruberti lies a close second in the GT drivers’ classification. Ruberti shared the cockpit in Magione with his regular teammate Mario Cordoni.

Belcar Endurance Championship: Tactical brilliance yields win for Prospeed A courageous tyre choice and a perfect performance from drivers Marc Goossens and Maxime Soulet yielded the Prospeed Competition team their second win of the season at round three in Spa (18 June).

The squad sent the 911 GT3 R into the three-hour race on slicks, whilst the competition opted for rain tyres. With ten laps to go, Prospeed again made the right choice with slicks and won by more than a minute. Goossens/Soulet currently lead the driver’s classification.

British GT Championship: Victory for Trackspeed-Porsche at Brands Hatch Tim Bridgman and Gregor Fisken are the victors of the spectacular third race in Brands Hatch (19 June). A rain shower after the first half hour provided thrills and spills amongst the 30-strong field.

Bridgman and Fisken brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Trackspeed home in first after two hours. Reigning champion David Ashburn was forced into retirement with a fire in the rear left wheel arch of his Porsche.

Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds: Jeff Zwart clocks record time in 911 GT2 RS At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, American Jeff Zwart set a record time for street homologated sports cars at the famous Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds in Colorado (26 June).

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

In the 620 hp 911, he broke the old record on the 20 kilometre track which leads over 156 corners from an altitude of 2,860 up to 4,600 metres, by 24 seconds.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

Zwart had collected the 911 GT3 RS himself from Porsche Motorsport in California and drove the 1,770 kilometres to the start.

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Six races, six different winners Sean Edwards from Great Britain won the sixth round of the season on the rain-soaked, extremely difficult Norisring in Nuremberg (3 July) to extend his points’ lead ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Round five of the series run at the Porsche Carrera World Cup (25 June) went to Nicolas Armindo, with the Frenchman finishing fifth out of 98 starters.

Carrera Cup Japan: Hideto Yasuoka unstoppable At the fourth and fifth race of the Carrera Cup Japan on the extremely demanding Fuji International Speedway (11/12 June), Hideto Yasuoka again proved unbeatable in his class with two pole-to-flag wins.

(l.-r.): Akira Fujita, Hideto Yasuoka, Michael Green
Porsche Carrera Cup Japan, Fuji International Speedway

The talented youngster driving for the Garmin Porsche team has yet to be beaten in 2011. Akira Fujita secured second place twice.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama: Macneil and Cisneros win in Montreal Cooper Macneil (Alex Job Racing) celebrated his first victory in the Platinum Cup class after a rainy fifth round on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve run as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal (11 June), with points’ leader Henrique Cisneros retiring after a journey off the track. Gold Cup class honours went to Eduardo Cisneros after a hefty duel with the 15-year-old front-runner Madison Snow.

GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil: Rosset and Junior continue on-going duel With fading brakes, points’ leader Ricardo Rosset managed to salvage his victory at the first race in Interlagos (18 June), fending off an attack from second-placed Constantino Junior. Victory at the second race on the same day went to Junior, who had taken up the race from seventh on the grid as per the regulations. In the drivers’ classification, Rosset sits ten points ahead of Junior. The Challenge race for older 911 GT3 Cup was won by Fernando Barci.

Race notes: Pole-sitters Manuel Giao and Miguel Angel de Castro win round three of the Spanish GT Championship (19 June) on the Circuito de Albacete in the 911 GT3 RSR of the Drivex squad. +++ Gianluca Roda and Fabio Babini defend their GTS class lead at the fifth and sixth race of the International GT Open in Spa (25/26 June) with a Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Autorlando Sport.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

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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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