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Porsche teams among the front-runners in both GT classes, Sports Car WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

 

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Stuttgart. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, the fight for victory in the strongly-represented GT classes is looking promising for Porsche teams after the first third of the race. In the GTE-Pro class, the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92 was running third at its Le Mans debut shortly before midnight.

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The sister 911 RSR with the starting number 91, also run by Porsche AG Team Manthey, is sitting in fourth. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Dempsey Del Piero-Proton leads the GTE-Am class.

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On the Circuit des 24 Heures, 56 vehicles took off at 15.00 hours into the 81st running of the world’s most famous long distance race. In the very first race hour, with a long caution period due to an accident, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) moved up into second place in the number 92 Porsche 911 RSR.

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After one and a half hours he even seized the lead until the first pit stop. He and his teammates Romain Dumas (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) were locked in battle with the Aston Martin for the front spot.

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In the second 911 RSR with the starting number 91, Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) made up three places, only to lose more than one minute through a safety car phase. Nevertheless, after nine hours of racing, he and his teammates Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) are still within striking distance of the front-runners.

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In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR are in the lead just after midnight.

Trailing the leading 911 fielded by the customer team Dempsey Del Piero-Proton with an all-American driver line-up of Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long as well as Joe Foster, are Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda in the 911 GT3 RSR run by Proton Competition. Running third are the Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret competing for the IMSA Performance Matmut squad.

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Driver quotes
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

“Unfortunately we’ve had some real bad luck, I had just overtaken two Ferrari when the safety car was deployed right in front of me. We lost of lot of time because of this, I’m guessing a minute twenty. Then there was an incident in the pit lane with a Ferrari which shunted me towards the wall. And then my right rear tyre lost air. So it’s not going exactly as we had hoped, but one thing’s for sure – we certainly have the speed.”

Patrick Pilet (# 91): “I drove alone for quite some time so I didn’t have to battle against any other cars. It wasn’t exactly the most exciting stint of my career, but our Porsche is the epitome of reliability.”

Marc Lieb (# 92): “My start was good and the car is running smoothly. I had an interesting fight with the two Aston Martins and that was fantastic.”

Richard Lietz (# 92): “I drove a triple stint – that was a very long time in the car. We took a bit of a risk with the tyres. In the Porsche curves I had to drive straight ahead to avoid an accident with a prototype. It’s pretty wild out there, especially now at night.”

Romain Dumas (# 92): “We have to fight really hard to match the pace of the Aston Martin. Right now we are lacking that very last bit, but we’re trying to compensate as best we can. So far it’s looking pretty good.”

Wolf Henzler (#67): “At first the conditions were difficult. There were wet patches here and there. In one lap a corner was dry, in the next it was wet – or vice versa: That makes you extremely cautious when braking and you realize that you could have actually driven it much faster. Everything is running smoothly for us at the moment, we’re fast. At one point we were even leading but then we got a flat tyre on the straight before the Indianapolis corner – at something like 200 kph. The car came sideways but luckily I managed to get it under control. Unfortunately it cost us a lot of time.”

Emmanuel Collard (#75): “During my first stint the changing weather made the track conditions very difficult. It started to rain again but we kept driving on slicks. This was not without risk.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76): “To contest my first 24 hour race in Le Mans of all places is an unbelievable experience. It wasn’t easy with all the traffic on the track, I had to be extremely careful. Our car is running beautifully, no problems here.”

Patrick Long (#77): “We have a very fast car with a perfect set-up. This morning we made some major changes to the set-up and it paid off. Directly after my first pit stop the tyre lost air and I had to come back into the pits. This cost us a lot of time. Still, we’re very relaxed. We know that our car is good enough to run with the leaders.”

Patrick Dempsey (#77): “My first stint was okay. I didn’t want to make a mistake so I didn’t push too hard. The constantly changing track conditions made the whole thing rather entertaining, but also tough. I’m definitely having a great time. The Porsche is fantastic to drive.”

Christian Ried (#88): “That was so funny on the track. It was really hard to adjust to the changing conditions. The main thing was to keep the car on the circuit and not do anything stupid.”

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Positions after 9 hours
GTE-Pro class
1. Bell/Makowiecki/Senna (GB/F/BRA), Aston Martin, 125 laps
2. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 125
3. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 125
4. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 124
5. Fisichella/Bruni/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 123

GTE-AM class
1. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 121 laps
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 121
3. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 121
4. Perazzini/Case/O’Young (I/I/CDN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 121
6. Collard/Perrod/Crubile (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 119
7. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 119

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SOURCE:

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

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

 

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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

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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PORSCHE PRESS RELEASE: World Endurance Championship, rd 4 Silverstone/Great Britain

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

Press Release

25/08/2012

 

World Endurance Championship, round 4 in Silverstone/Great Britain

 

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR sets best time in qualifying lotto


Richard Lietz, Team Felbermayr-Proton

 

Stuttgart. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was the fastest GT sports car in the gripping qualifying for round four of World Endurance Championship in Silverstone. On the storied British circuit, which was slowly drying up after heavy rain, Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) clinched his first pole of the year for Porsche in the GTE Pro class in the very last lap against strong opposition from Ferrari and Aston Martin.

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

Contesting Sunday’s race for the Felbermayr-Proton team, he shares driving duties with his works driver teammate Marc Lieb (Germany), with whom he has already won the race in Spa-Francorchamps this season.

Richard Lietz, Team Felbermayr-Proton

“Everything came together perfectly,” said Richard Lietz. “We were already running at the front with wet tyres but I noticed that we could go faster with slicks on the drying track.

On my last lap I was held up slightly, but the conditions were then so good that it was still enough to set pole. I’m thrilled that we’ve found our former speed. We had to wait a long time for this. We’re learning more and more about the car with each session.”

Marc Lieb, Team Felbermayr-Proton,

Marc Lieb said, “Richard’s qualifying was brilliant. The whole thing was a gamble really. But he came into the pits at exactly the right time to have slicks fitted.

And then he crossed the finish line just a second before the end of the qualifying session so that he was able to turn another lap on the drying track. And he used it well. I’m very pleased that we managed to find a set-up for our car for a fast lap. Now we just have to work on consistency.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

In the GTE Am class, Paolo Ruberti (Italy) drove the second quickest qualifying time. He shares driving duties for the race in last year’s 911 fielded by Felbermayr-Proton with his compatriot Gianluca Roda as well as team owner Christian Ried (Germany).

Paolo Ruberti, Team Felbermayr-Proton

“In my last quick lap, the car in front of me spun on a wet patch. I had to brake and began to slide,” said Paulo Ruberti. “I lost a good two seconds because of this. I could have been pole-sitter.”

 

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

The six hour race in Silverstone starts on Sunday, 26 August, at midday local time (13.00 hours CEST).

Eurosport 2 broadcasts live from 15.00 hrs CEST to 17.15 hrs CEST, with Eurosport also televising the final phase of the race live from 17.45 hrs CEST to 19.00 hrs CEST.

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

Qualifying result

GTE Pro class
1. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:09.564 minutes
2. Walker/Cocker (GB/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.454 seconds
3. Fisichella/Bruni (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia + 0.917
4. Fernandez/Mücke/Turner (MEX/D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 4.586
5. Bertolini/Beretta (I/MC), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 5.589

GTE Am class
1. Hall/Goethe (GB/D), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:12.625 minutes
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.340 seconds
3. Perazzini/Cioci/Griffin (I/I/IRL), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 3.866
4. Krohn/Jönsson/Rugolo (USA/S/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 4.183
5. Camathias/Palttala/Daniels (CH/SF/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 4.841

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This is the World Endurance Championship
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles race in the new World Endurance Championship. 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:  World Endurance Championship Porsche AG Media  Press Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 

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Joerg Bergmeister sets fifth quickest qualifying time American Le Mans Series, rd 5 Mosport, Canada

Joerg Bergmeister sets fifth quickest qualifying time

American Le Mans Series, round 5 in Mosport, Canada

Stuttgart. In the qualifying for the Grand Prix of Mosport, round five of the American Le Mans Series, Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) posted the fifth quickest time in the well supported GT class.

At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, the four-time Mosport winner drove only four laps on the challenging course in the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport International Raceway close to Toronto.

“Our car handles well, but the Corvettes in particular were faster on the straights,” said Joerg Bergmeister, who recently claimed the first victory of the season for Porsche with his works driver teammate Patrick Long (USA).

In the two free practices, he drove the quickest time in both sessions, but in the fight for pole position he couldn’t do any better.

 

 

“After four laps we decided to stop our session and to save our tyres for the race. Our race set-up is good and we will try to bring home a podium result with a good strategy and perfect pit stops.”


At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Paul Miller Racing, Sascha Maassen (Germany) claimed the seventh spot ahead of Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany),

who netted the eighth quickest time with the 911 of Falken Tire.

Team owner Seth Neiman (USA) planted the second Flying Lizard Porsche on the eleventh spot. Underlining just how competitive the GT class of the American Le Mans Series is in Mosport is the fact that four different manufacturers, Chevrolet, BMW, Ferrari and Porsche, are in the top five in qualifying.

The race in Mosport takes off on Sunday, 22 July, at midday local time (18.00 hrs CEST) and is broadcast in the internet live on http://www.americanlemans.com.

Result Qualifying 

GT class
1. Jan Magnussen (DK), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:15.478 minutes
2. Oliver Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.304 seconds
3. Bill Auberlen (USA), BMW E92 M3, + 0.533
4. Johannes van Overbeek (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.711
5. Jörg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.734
6. Dirk Müller (D), BMW E92 M3, + 0.920
7. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.485
8. Wolf Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.582
11. Seth Neiman (USA), Porsche 911 GT34 RSR, + 5.132

GTC class
1. Damien Faulkner (IRL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:21.615 minutes

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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  
Communication Porsche AG / Motorsportpress

 

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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

Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long

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.

Patrick Long, Jörg Bergmeister

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.

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

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..

Jörg Bergmeister

“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

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.

Bryan Sellers

At the flag, he and Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) finished in seventh place.

Wolf Henzler

Directly behind him came the 911 fielded by Paul Miller Racing with Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA)

Sascha Maassen

Bryce Miller

as well as the second Flying Lizard Porsche with Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and team owner Seth Neiman (USA).

Seth Neiman

Marco Holzer

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. 

Result
GT class
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

GTC class
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

Points’ standings 
GT class
Drivers
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

Manufacturers
1. Chevrolet, 78 points
2. BMW, 68
3. Porsche, 59
4. Ferrari, 55

Teams
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 slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 

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