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PORSCHE NEWS: Le Mans 24 Hours, race report: Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

Le Mans 24 Hours

Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

Stuttgart. Last year’s winners narrowly missed out on the podium at the 79th running of the long distance classic.

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

After 24 hours, the Felbermayr-Proton team with Porsche works drivers

Marc Lieb (Germany),

Richard Lietz (Austria)

and Wolf Henzler (Germany) received the flag as fourth in the GTE Pro sports car class.

The French IMSA Performance Matmut squad clinched fifth place ahead of Flying Lizard Motorsports from the USA.

The 911 of the Belgian ProSpeed Competition team crossed the finish line

at the Le Mans 24 Hours in eighth.

In the GTE Am class, where only one professional race driver is permitted per vehicle and only last year’s vehicles are eligible to race, the French Larbre Competition team celebrated second place with the 911 GT3 RSR.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Larbre Competition (l.-r.): Pascal Gibon, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Christophe Bourret

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“All of our teams took off into the race well prepared. Under the most difficult circumstances, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR proved to be enormously durable and reliable. Unfortunately our teams had to cope with two accidents. You could clearly see the performance differences that are a direct result of the current Balance of Performance ratings. Unfortunately the fastest 911 GT3 RSR were affected by the phenomenon that they couldn’t turn the number of laps per set of tyres that were calculated which meant some extra pit stops for tyre changes. Under these conditions we can be satisfied with the results – especially in the GTE Am class where our team claimed a spot on the podium. I congratulate all the teams, drivers and partners who have contributed to this good result.”

Like in 2010, the best-placed Porsche crew put in a brilliant drive with high reliability in all areas. Drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler drove an immaculate race that was punctuated by many accidents and safety car phases. Only in the early stages of the race, the team lost more than one lap, first at the red light on the exit of the pitlane, then due to tyre damage which also required repairs to the car body.

Other than that, the blue 911 GT3 RSR only came into the pits for tyre changes and refuelling. Under the leadership of team boss Christian Ried, the pit crew of the Felbermayr-Proton team again shone with very fast pit stops.

Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet (France) also lost time in the jam at the red light of the pitlane exit. Shortly before midnight, Pilet and his driver colleagues, team owner Raymond Narac and his French compatriot Nicolas Armindo were ranking eighth in the GTE Pro class.

With consistent lap times and a perfectly-running 911, the trio with the two seasoned Le Mans campaigners Pilet and Narac and the 24 hour rookie Armindo fought their way up to fifth place.

The pilots of Flying Lizard Motorsports can look back on a lively marathon.

In the opening phase of the race, the set-up was not perfect, and they also had to contend with tyre damage. For a while, works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) as well as Lucas Luhr (Germany) held a promising fourth place, only to fall back to eighth with technical problems.

After a difficult race, the trio were satisfied to finally bring home sixth place.

Fight to the finish – that was also the motto of the Belgian squad.

Works driver Marco Holzer (Germany), Belgium’s Marc Goossens and Jaap van Lagen from the Netherlands had all but worked their way nearly into the lead after the first third of the race but finally finished in eighth place after losing time with two minor repair stops.

The untiring mechanics of ProSpeed Competition received a very special honour:

They won the “Prix ESCRA”, an award that has been endowed for the 36th time to the best pit crew of the entire race.

In the GTE Am category, Larbre Competition were thrilled with second place in a 2010-spec 911 manned by the all-French line up of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon und Jean-Philippe Belloc.

Podium (l.-r.): Christophe Bourret, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Pascal Gibon

Two 911 GT3 RSR retired after accidents that were not their fault. One of those affected was the sister car of Felbermayr-Proton. Suffering tyre damage Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) flew from the track in the fast Indianapolis corner.

Al Faisal

Luckily, Al Faisal climbed out uninjured, but the Pro-911, which he shared with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Bryce Miller (USA), was so badly damaged that the team was unable to repair it.

Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition)

Contesting the GTE Am class, Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition) fell victim to an opponent at 8.00 a.m. when his 911 GT3 RSR was hit hard on the driver’s side.The Austrian was transported to hospital for a medical examination.

Result Le Mans 24 Hours
GTE Pro class
1. Garcia/Milner/Beretta (E/USA/MC), Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 314 laps
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/FIN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 314
3. Priaulx/Müller/Hand (GB/D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 313
4. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler (D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 312
5. Pilet/Narac/Armindo (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 311
6. Bergmeister/Long/Luhr (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 310
8. Holzer/Goossens/van Lagen (D/B/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 293

GTE Am class
1. Gardel/Canal/Bornhauser (CH/F/F), Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1, 302 laps
2. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 301

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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With grid line-up of 55 vehicles, the 24 Hours of Le Mans consists of two different sports car categories: sports prototypes and modified standard sports cars. The technical regulations of the European Le Mans Series (LMS) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) correspond to those of the 24 hour race. All race cars start together in Le Mans; there is an overall classification and a classification for individual classes.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media/Press Database
Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press

 

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PORSCHE NEWS: Qualifying at Le Mans 24 Hours

“We made the most out of what was possible”

Stuttgart. The first step is taken with success. Porsche customer teams from all over Europe and the USA have secured good grid positions after the qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports (l.-r.): Jörg Bergmeister, Lucas Luhr, Patrick Long, Seth Neiman, Spencer Pumpelly, Darren Law

The fastest Porsche driver, works pilot Marc Lieb (Germany), planted the Felbermayr 911 GT3 RSR on seventh in the GTE Pro class. Lieb competes for last year’s winning team with works drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). Four other 2011-spec 911 GT3 RSR take up the race in the GTE Pro category. In the GTE Am class, three 911 GT3 RSR from last year take off into the 79th edition of the long distance classic on Saturday at 15.00 hours from positions two, three and four.

(l.-r.): Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Wolf Henzler

“We’re satisfied with our preparations and are feeling confident for the race,” said two-time Le Mans winner Marc Lieb. “In the practice sessions, we managed to find a good set-up for our 911 for the challenges of this marathon and the very special, highly demanding race track.”

Richard Lietz, who has also notched up two wins at the world’s toughest automobile race, added:

“The handling of our 911 GT3 RSR is neutral and comfortable. This means that the car tends neither towards oversteer nor understeer. This works in favour of Marc, Wolf and I because our driving styles are similar.”

  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton

The crew of the #75 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR also finished the qualifying without problems. Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) clinched the ninth grid spot for the ProSpeed Competition squad.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Prospeed Competition (l.-r.): Marc Goossens, Jaap van Lagen, Marco Holzer

(l.-r.): Jaap van Lagen, Marco Holzer, Marc Goossens

“Today we worked on our race set-up,” said Holzer. “Yes, we were faster yesterday but our car was rather twitchy, and that wouldn’t have been optimal over the race distance. There are a couple of damn fast corners here in Le Mans so you need a car that you can trust. And now we have that car.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Prospeed Competition: Marc Goossens, Marco Holzer, Jaap van Lagen

Joining forces with the 22-year-old is Le Mans veteran Marc Goossens (Bel-gium) as well as Le Mans rookie Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands).

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

A damaged damper and an accident threw the schedule of the Flying Lizard Motorsports into disarray.

“Because of the faulty shock absorber we worked in the wrong direction for a long time during yesterday’s practice session,” explained Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany). “Then we lost time when a competitor spun and I couldn’t avoid him. The repairs were extensive. We decided to forget about turning an extra qualifying lap and instead we concentrated totally on finding a set-up.”

(l.-r.): Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Lucas Luhr

Bergmeister takes up the marathon on Saturday with his works driver colleague Patrick Long (USA)

Lucas Luhr

and Germany’s Lucas Luhr from 12th position in the GTE Pro class.

 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Nick Tandy, Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Bryce Miller

Grid position 14 went to Nick Tandy in the second 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton. The Briton currently leads the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup series as well as the German Carrera Cup, but this marks his first race in Le Mans. His teammates are Abdulaziz Al Faisal from Saudi Arabia and Bryce Miller from the USA.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut (l.-r.): Patrick Pilet, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

The French IMSA Performance Matmut squad had counted on a better grid position than 16th. Still, after team owner Raymond Narac’s accident during the first free practice, Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet, Narac and Le Mans newcomer Nicolas Armindo (all France) could only begin their set-up work this afternoon and therefore lag be-hind.

  (l.-r.): Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo, Patrick Pilet

In the GTE Am sports car class, Austrian Horst Felbermayr Junior qualified the 911 GT3 RSR of Proton Competition on second place. His teammates are Horst Felber-mayr Senior and team owner Christian Ried (Germany).

(l.-r.): Horst Felbermayr Sr., Christian Ried, Horst Felbermayr Jr.

Position three was snatched by Larbre Competition’s

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Larbre Competition (l.-r.): Pascal Gibon, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Christophe Bourret

all French line-up of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc.

(l.-r.): Pascal Gibon, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Christophe Bourret

Grid spot four in the GTE Am class went to Americans Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Spencer Pumpelly from the Flying Lizard Motorsports team.

(l.-r.): Spencer Pumpelly, Seth Neiman, Darren Law

Porsche’s head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, praised the teams’ professional preparations for the race.

“They all worked hard to find an optimal set-up. Taking the Balance of Performance into account, the teams made the most out of what was possible.”

The race gets the green light at 15.00 hours on Saturday, 11th June. Television stations Eurosport and Eurosport 2 broadcast the race alternately around the clock with 15 hours of live coverage shown on the main station, Eurosport.

Result Qualifying GTE Pro
1. Farfus/Müller/Werner (BR/D/D), BMW M3 GT, 3:57.592 minutes
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/FIN), Ferrari 458 Italia, + 0.448 seconds
3. Priaulx/Müller/Hand (GB/D/USA), BMW M3 GT, + 0.834
4. Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook (GB/DK/GB), Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, + 1,927
7. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler (D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.070
9. Holzer/Goossens/van Lagen (D/B/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.370
12. Bergmeister/Long/Luhr (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 3.432
14. Tandy/Al Faisal/Miller (GB/SAU/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR + 4.160
16. Pilet/Narac/Armindo (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 4.956

Result Qualifying GTE Am
1. Perazzini/Cioci/Breslin (I/I/D), Ferrari F430, 4:21.015 minutes
2. Ried/Felbermayr Jr./Felbermayr Sen. (D/A/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.250 seconds
3. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.366
4. Neiman/Law/Pumpelly (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.636

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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With a grid line-up of 55 vehicles, the 24 Hours of Le Mans consists of two different sports car categories: sports prototypes and modified standard sports cars. The technical regulations of the European Le Mans Series (LMS) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) correspond to those of the 24 hour race. All race cars start to-gether in Le Mans; there is an overall classification and a classification for individual classes.

The four classes in Le Mans:
GTE Pro class: The most popular class of car manufacturers (formerly run as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified 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. More-over, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle must have one professional driver at the most.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes of around 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.

SOURCE: Porsche Database https://presse.porsche.de.

Photo Credits: Porsche AG and from Flying Lizards Motorsports Photographer Bob Chapman, Autosport Image

Porsche AG  – Public Relations and Media
Porsche AG  – Motor and Sports Press

 

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PORSCHE: Le Mans 24 Hours – Strong contingent of Porsche customer teams with eight 911 GT3 RSR

Strong contingent of Porsche customer teams with eight 911 GT3 RSR

Stuttgart. Five teams, eight vehicles, 24 pilots: Porsche customer teams from Europe and the USA are particularly well represented at the 79th running of the long distance classic in Le Mans on 11/12 June.

At the toughest automobile race in the world they field a total of eight Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the two sports car classes: GTE Pro and GTE Am. All Porsche works drivers compete – including last year’s winning trio, Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). With 16 overall and 98 class victories, Porsche is by far the most successful make in Le Mans.

The race

Run for the first time in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has become a legend. It is considered the toughest automobile race in the world. With 55 sports cars, the start alone guarantees goose bumps. Tens of thousands of fans flock to the town square of Le Mans to see the technical scrutineering. And for the traditional drivers’ parade which leads from the track to the city centre in the Sarthe region on Friday afternoon, enthusiastic fans line the streets.

The circuit

The 13.629 kilometre “Circuit des 24 Heures” is one of the world’s oldest and fastest race tracks. With around 75 percent of a lap taken at full throttle, the circuit is regarded as a serious test for the reliability of man and machine.

The world fame of the track is thanks not least to the legendary Hunaudières straight, where top speeds of up to 400 kph were reached before it was tamed by two chicanes in 1990. Also the ultra-swift passage with the Porsche curves demands everything from race drivers.

Porsche’s successes

Exactly 60 years ago, the maiden outing of a race car from Zuffenhausen marked the beginning of the unprecedented success story of Porsche in Le Mans. Even in the early years, typical Porsche virtues – like lightweight construction, aerodynamics and reliability – played a prominent role in the many class wins. However, the path to the first overall win was rocky. In 1969, in the closest Le Mans finish in history, Porsche missed out on victory by a mere 75 metres or a good one second.

But the breakthrough in 1970 was all the more convincing. On 14 June, drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood celebrated the first overall victory with the legendary Porsche 917 short-tail, with two other Porsche teams making the triumph perfect with second and third place. Fifteen further overall wins followed – and last year,

  (l.-r.): Wolf Henzler, Michael Ried, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche factory pilots Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler clinched the 98th class win in the 911 GT3 RSR.

The Porsche drivers

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With the same line-up, last year’s winners return to the site of their success. For Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz, 2010 yielded their second class wins in Le Mans (after 2005 and 2007 respectively). Wolf Henzler climbed to the top of the podium for the first time. Title defender Felbermayr-Proton fields the 2011-version of the 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro class.

The American Flying Lizard Motorsports team competes with the punchy works driver pairing Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) at the wheel of a 911 in the Pro-category. Together, they claimed a Le Mans class win in 2004, with Patrick Long also achieving success in 2007. The multiple champions of the American Le Mans Series receive support from Lucas Luhr (Switzerland), who celebrated GT wins in Le Mans with Porsche in 2002 and 2003.

The French Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet shares driving duties with his compatriots Raymond Narac and Nicolas Armindo in the 911 GT3 RSR of IMSA Performance Matmut. Whilst team owner Narac has extensive experience in Le Mans, Armindo, as reigning champion of the Carrera Cup Deutschland, gives his debut at the endurance classic.

The youngest Porsche works driver, Marco Holzer (Germany), drives for the Belgian ProSpeed Competition team. The 22-year-old celebrated his Le Mans premiere in 2010 with a podium result. He shares the cockpit of the GTE Pro 911 with Marc Goossens (Belgium) and Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands).

At the wheel of the fifth 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro class, also fielded by Felbermayr-Proton, are Britain’s Nick Tandy – the current leader of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and the Carrera Cup Deutschland – as well as Bryce Miller (USA) and Abdulaziz Faisal (Saudi Arabia).

Racing in the GTE Am sports car category, in which only one professional race driver per vehicle is permitted, are three further 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR. Taking up the challenge for Flying Lizard Motorsports are Americans Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Spencer Pumpelly, for Proton Competition are team boss Christian Ried (Germany) as well as Austrians Horst Felbermayr Senior and Junior. And Frenchmen Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc race for Larbre Competition.

Two further Porsche works drivers again compete for Audi in the more powerful LMP1 class: Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) join forces with Audi works driver Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) and are eager to repeat their overall victory from last year.

Quotes before the race

Marc Lieb: “When you think of Le Mans you get goose bumps. It’s great to be racing with Richard and Wolf for our Felbermayr-Team again. Victory last year took a huge effort. Now the competition is even stronger. In our class alone, 18 cars from six well known manufacturers are fighting for victory. Even if the full throttle passage suits our car, the race will be a damn hard nut to crack.”

Richard Lietz: “With two Le Mans class wins under your belt of course you don’t mind travelling to the Sarthe. Le Mans for me is something special because you get action all week long. As a driver you can get really close to fans, you’re signing autographs practically non-stop.”

Joerg Bergmeister: “When you take a look at the names on the starter list you first have swallow hard. It’s going to be tough! We’re really well sorted this year with Flying Lizard. Last year we experienced bad luck in Le Mans. A podium place would be a great reward for the team.”

Patrick Long: “I love the challenges of this circuit, especially the fast, flowing corners. Now that’s great fun in a well set-up 911. I’m particularly looking forward to racing with Joerg this year. And Lucas Luhr fits in well with us. We’re a strong combination.”

Patrick Pilet: “We’ll be going all out, but we also want to enjoy the event. The circuit and the atmosphere are unique. For my driver colleagues and the team, our home race in Le Mans is of course the highlight of the season.”

Marco Holzer: “To stand on the top of the podium in Le Mans is incomparable. Below you thousands of people are swarming around the race track and cheering. It’s something you never forget. And it was even better that I did it as a rookie in 2010. My goal this year is to repeat this success.”

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “Our customer teams and we face even bigger challenges through the division into the two sports car classes GTE Pro and GTE Am because different vehicles are fielded: in the Pro class we have the 2011 version of the 911 GT3 RSR, in the Am class we have 911 race cars in the previous year’s spec. That the event organizer ACO has issued many special dispensations specific to models and that there is now the ‘balance of performance’ in Le Mans means for our customers in the GTE Pro category that there is no real equality of arms. Regardless of this, we and our teams will prepare ourselves well and we’ll turn to all the factors that we can influence.”

The schedule

Free practice is on Wednesday, 8 June, from 16.00 to 20.00 hours. Following on from that is the first qualifying session for the best grid spots from 22.00 hrs to midnight. The second and third qualifying sessions are scheduled for Thursday, 19.00 to 21.00 hrs and from 22.00 to 24.00 hrs. On Saturday, 11 June, the lights turn green at 15.00 hours signalling the start of the 24 hour chase.

TV tip

Eurosport broadcasts extensive coverage from Le Mans on its free-to-view station and the Pay-TV channel Eurosport 2. From Monday, 6 June, the latest preliminary reports and background stories will be televised daily on Eurosport under the title of “24 minutes before Le Mans”. The free practice, the final qualifying and the warm-up will also be shown. Around 15 hours of the race can be seen live on the main station.

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

With grid line-up of 55 vehicles, the 24 Hours of Le Mans consists of two different sports car categories: sports prototypes and modified standard sports cars. The technical regulations of the European Le Mans Series (LMS) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) correspond to those of the 24 hour race. All race cars start together in Le Mans; there is an overall classification and a classification for individual classes.

The four classes in Le Mans:

GTE Pro class: The most popular class of car manufacturers (formerly run as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified 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 550 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.

LMP2 class: Sports prototypes of around 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press
Oliver Hilger

 

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Le Mans Series / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 2 – six hour race starts on Saturday, 7 May 2011

Le Mans Series / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 2 in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Second grid row for Marc Lieb

Marc Lieb (Germany)

Stuttgart. In qualifying for the second round of the Le Mans Series in Spa-Francorchamps, Marc Lieb (Germany) secured the fourth grid spot in the GTE Pro sports car category.

Richard Lietz (Austria)

With this, last year’s winners Lieb and Richard Lietz (Austria) have clinched a good starting position for the 1,000 kilometre race on the challenging circuit in Belgium’s Ardennes region with the 2011 version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

In the GTE Am category, in which just one professional race driver may compete per vehicle, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo again clinched pole position in the 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR.

Marc Lieb (Germany)

“My lap was quite okay and, after the free practice, fourth on the grid is what we had expected,” said Lieb. “A half second gap to the pole-sitter is not a lot on a seven kilometre circuit. Tomorrow’s race will be tough. The opposition is strong and many. But we’ll go flat out and would like to finish on the podium.”

Teammate Lietz commented: “Compared to last year’s car, we didn’t manage to find the perfect set-up for the new 911. We simply don’t have the experience from the first round where through no fault of our own we retired due to the flawed start.”

Taking up tomorrow’s six-hour race from eighth on the grid are the two Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France).

Wolf Henzler (Germany)

The professionals from the French IMSA Performance Matmut team were also not particularly satisfied with the set-up of their 911 GT3 RSR. “We tried several things but they turned out to be in the wrong direction,” Henzler concluded. “We feel the same as Marc and Richard, the experience with the 2011 car is missing because of our retirement in Le Castellet. We’re hoping to make up some positions through a good strategy and consistent driving performance.”

Belgium’s race professional Marc Goossens qualified the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by ProSpeed Competition on the tenth grid spot. His teammate, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany), was pleased. “With 60 vehicles on this demanding circuit, the race is going to be challenging.”

Like in Le Castellet, Nicolas Armindo was delighted with his pole position in the GTE Am category. The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland shares the cockpit of the 911 GT3 RSR – on the technical basis of 2010 – with his compatriot, IMSA Performance team owner, Raymond Narac.

Austria’s Horst Felbermayr Junior posted the sixth fastest time in the GTE Am-911 run by Felbermayr-Proton. He joins forces with Bryce Miller from America. Team owner Christian Ried (Germany) takes up the race from ninth in the class with Nick Hommerson from the Netherlands.

Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard (Germany) was the fastest of the entire field at the wheel of the Audi R18 TDI. Bernhard shares driving duties in the sports prototype with Porsche factory pilot Romain Dumas (France) and former Porsche Junior Mike Rockenfeller.

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The six hour race starts on Saturday, 7 May, at 14.05 hours. Eurosport broadcasts the entire race live. Eurosport 2 televises the Spa round from 14.00 to 17.30 hours, with the free-to-view station showing the last two and a half hours live from 17.30 hrs.

Qualifying result
GTE Pro class
1. Jaime Melo (BR), Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:20.743 minutes
2. Robert Bell (GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.172 seconds
3. Giancarlo Fisichella (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.343
4. Marc Lieb (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.548
5. Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW M3, + 0.717
8. Wolf Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.212
10. Marc Goossens (B), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.896

GTE Am class
1. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:23.007 minutes
2. Marco Cioci (I), Ferrari F430, + 0.262 seconds
3. Phil Quaife (GB), Ferrari F430, + 0.478
6. Horst Felbermayr Jr. (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.592
9. Christian Ried (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 3.790

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 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.

LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 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.

IMAGES FROM: Porsche Press Database

SOURCE: PORSCHE AG

 

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