Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 2: 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic
Stuttgart. The Sebring 12 Hours is the oldest and toughest sports car race in the USA. Three Porsche 911 RSR will tackle the GTLM class at the 63rd running of the prestigious classic contested on the Sebring International Raceway on 21 March.
For the Porsche North America works team and the Falken Tire customer squad, eight works drivers will do their utmost to repeat Porsche’s win from last year on the airfield circuit in the heart of Florida, which is notorious for its bumpy surface. With 18 overall victories and 67 class wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Sebring 12 hour race.
Last year’s winners Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) as well as Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) share driving duties in the number 912 vehicle.
Tackling the race for the Falken Tire customer outfit are the Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), reinforced by Bryan Sellers (USA). Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA) contests the GTD class at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT America fielded by Muehlner Motorsports.
The Porsche vehicles
The Porsche 911 GT America, built specifically for the GTD class of the 2014-inaugurated Tudor United SportsCar Championship, features a four-litre, six-cylinder engine and also produces 470 hp. The vehicle is an improved version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the most successful and widely-produced race car in the world.
Comments before the race
Patrick Pilet (#911): “Sebring is a very special race on a very special circuit. It’s always a hard fight for victory and the avid fans give the whole event a fantastic ambience.”
Nick Tandy (#911): “It’s always a highlight to compete in Sebring, regardless in which series you compete for the rest of the year. On this storied track you truly breathe sports car history and that fascinates me.”
Richard Lietz (#911): “Sebring is a race that throws extremes at you. You can’t afford to make the slightest error – if you do you have no chance.”
Earl Bamber (#912): “It didn’t go so well for us at Daytona, so now I’m hoping we can make up lost ground in the championship at Sebring.”
Jörg Bergmeister (#912): “Sebring is a real classic. To drive at the limit on this bumpy track takes everything from a driver. But it’s always huge fun.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#912): “At Daytona we weren’t able to really underline the potential of the 911 RSR over the whole distance. Now I’m hoping we can do this in Sebring and fight for victory.”
Wolf Henzler (#17): “Last year Sebring was the first race with the 911 RSR for my Falken Tire team. Since then we’ve won Petit Le Mans and now I reckon our chances for victory in Sebring look good as well.”
Patrick Long (#17): “Even though I’m concentrating on my WEC campaign with Patrick Dempsey, I’m looking forward to the chance of supporting Wolf and Bryan in Sebring.”
This is the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), P (Prototype) and PC (Prototype Challenge). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT America contesting the GTD class.
Tag Archives: Bryan Sellers
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Joerg Bergmeister crowns 100th race with 1st win of the season,American Le Mans Series, rd 4 Lime Rock, USA
Joerg Bergmeister crowns 100th race with first win of the season
Stuttgart. A perfect anniversary for Joerg Bergmeister: At his 100th race in the American Le Mans Series, the Porsche works driver scored the first win of the season for Porsche. With his works driver teammate, Patrick Long (USA), he won the fiercely-competitive GT class in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports at round four of the racing series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars. This marks his 35th victory in the American Le Mans Series and his sixth in Lime Rock.
The race on the short 2.478 kilometre circuit in the picturesque countryside of the US state of Connecticut, two and a half hours’ drive from New York City, was not for the faint-hearted. Fans watching from the grass banks along the track witnessed a varied race with tough battles for positions, particularly in the GT class, the heart of the American Le Mans Series.
At the halfway point in the race, Patrick Long moved to the front of the strong field and handed the # 45 silver and red 911 to Joerg Bergmeister as the leader after 100 laps. Bergmeister rejoined the race in third on the narrow circuit after a pit stop, snatched the lead back after several laps and fended off all attacks to the flag. At times the first four GT vehicles were running within a mere second..
“We’ve waited a long time for this win. Now we’re all off to Manhattan to celebrate,” said Joerg Bergmeister after his anniversary race.
“We made several mistakes this season, for example our pit stop in Laguna Seca, but mostly it was just bad luck that prevented us from securing podium results. Today, everything ran smoothly, from the performance of the drivers to the pit stop strategy. The Porsche is fantastic. We are still learning about setting up the RSR but today we took a giant step forward.”
Patrick Long said, “We really earned this victory. It’s a great achievement to beat such a strong GT field. Thanks to the new aero kit we have more grip and a better performance compared to last year.”
Early on in the race, Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Bryan Sellers (USA) also led the very strong GT field for a time, only to have tyre damage in the 35th lap throw him far back down the field.
At the flag, he and Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) finished in seventh place.
Directly behind him came the 911 fielded by Paul Miller Racing with Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA)
as well as the second Flying Lizard Porsche with Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and team owner Seth Neiman (USA).
In qualifying, Marco Holzer had set the second fastest time, but the stewards of the meeting banned the Porsche to start from the back of the field due to a ride height that was too low.
Round five of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 21 July in Mosport/Canada.
1. Bergmeister/Long (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 160 laps
2. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 160
3. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 160
4. Sharp/van Overbeek (USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 160
5. Hand/D. Müller (USA/D), BMW E92 M3, 159
6. Auberlen/J. Müller (USA/D), BMW E92 M3, 159
7. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 158
8. Maassen/Miller (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 157
9. Holzer/Neiman /D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 157
1. Keen/MacNeil (USA/USA)), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 151 laps
2. LeSaffre/Faulkner (USA/IRL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 151
3. Welch/LeSaffre (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 150
1. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Chevrolet, 72 laps
2. Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Chevrolet, 64
3. Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, BMW, 60
4. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 39
5. Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ferrari, 39
6. Bill Auberlen/Jörg Müller, BMW, 36
7. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 25
9. Sascha Maassen, Bryce Miller, Porsche, 23
10. Seth Neiman, Porsche, 20
11. Marco Holzer, Porsche, 15
1. Chevrolet, 78 points
2. BMW, 68
3. Porsche, 59
4. Ferrari, 55
1. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 78 points
2. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 65
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 44
5. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 25
6. Paul Miller Racing, Porsche, 23
This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The field is divided into five classes that start together but are classified separately:
GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers traditionally receives the most support: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series like the 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 a 900 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.
Source: American Le Mans Series – Porsche AG Media Press Database