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American Le Mans Series, rd 1 in Sebring, USA – Green light for new World Endurance Championship

World Endurance Championship / American Le Mans Series, round 1 in Sebring, USA

Stuttgart. With the qualifying session for the tradition-steeped twelve hour race on the Sebring International Raceway in Florida/USA, both the new World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series took off into the new season. The long distance classic, at which the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR makes its race debut, marks the only time that the two series run together.

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In the GTE Pro class of the World Endurance Championship, Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) planted his Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on the fifth grid spot.

At the wheel of the second Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, Paolo Ruberti (Italy) posted fourth in the GTE Am class.

“My lap was perfect and our car feels very good,” said Richard Lietz.

“Still, the gap is too big. We’ll be analysing this and trying to close that gap as quickly as possible.”

In the American Le Mans Series, Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) also posted the fifth best time in the GT class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.

“That was a decent lap,” he said, “but it was all that was possible today.” His works driver colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) clocked the eighth quickest time in Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

“We have to get more familiar with our new car,” he said. “It handles the bumps extremely well, but we still experienced way too much oversteer.”

Sascha Maassen (Germany) posted the new 911 run by Paul Miller Racing on ninth and commented,

“We turned our fastest lap of the weekend during qualifying and that’s exactly how it should be. But we’re still in the process of familiarising ourselves with the tyres of the new car. And there’s a great deal of potential there.”

Several pilots from the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup are using the GTC class, which they contest with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, to gain experience in international long distance racing.

The seasoned Supercup and Carrera Cup pilot Sean Edwards (Great Britain) clinched pole position with Damien Faulkner (Ireland) posting second. Reigning Supercup rookie champion Kévin Estre (France) put his 911 on position five.

Nicki Thiim (Denmark), who contests the world’s fastest international one-brand series for the 2012 season, qualified on sixth.

“That was an exciting qualifying. We are all very close,” said Sean Edwards.

“My team has done a great job in preparing the 911. Last year an accident before the qualifying prevented us from competing in the race. Now we’re back with a vengeance.”

The race starts on Saturday, 17 March, at 10.30 hrs local time (15.30 hrs CET) and is broadcast live on http://www.alms.com.

Qualifying result

World Endurance Championshi
GTE Pro class
1. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:58.427 minutes
2. Jaime Melo (BRA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.286 seconds
3. Olivier Beretta (MC), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.611
4. Stefan Mücke (D), Aston Martin Vantage, + 1.697
5. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.779

GTE Am class
1. Dominik Farnbacher (D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:00.258 minutes
2. Niclas Jonsson (S), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.745 seconds
3. Pedro Lamy (P), Chevrolet Corvette, + 1.456
4. Paolo Ruberti (I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.603

American Le Mans Series
GT class
1. Jan Magnussen (DK), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:58.996 minutes
2. Oliver Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.011 seconds
3. Joey Hand (USA), BMW M3, + 1.031
4. Johannes van Overbeek (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.098
5. Jörg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.123
8. Wolf Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.636
9. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 3.154
10. Seth Neiman (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 8.358

GTC class
1. Sean Edwards (GB), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:06.674 minutes
2. Damien Faulkner (IRL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, +0.023 seconds
3. Leh Keen (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.037

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 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.

This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. At the season-opener in Sebring, 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: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 

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VIDEO: Porsche plans return to Le Mans in 2014 – 24hr at the limit

“Motorsport was always an essential part of the Porsche brand,” emphasises Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG. “So for us it was only a matter of time before we returned as a factory to the top league of racing. Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivalled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.”

Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG

With the RS Spyder sports prototype that was run with great success from 2006 to 2008 by the factory-backed Penske Racing team in the USA and to 2010 by several customer teams worldwide, Porsche has set the benchmark recently in the LMP2 category.

“With the RS Spyder we proved that our motorsport engineers in Weissach are at the forefront,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “For instance, we were the first to run a high-revving race engine with direct fuel injection, DFI, setting new standards in performance and efficiency. Recently, with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, we adopted a completely new drive technology for racing purposes and achieved a considerable reduction in consumption.”

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, is already prepared for one of the most challenging development programmes in the company’s history.

“We’re looking forward to the task of developing new technologies and to continue on with the success of the Porsche RS Spyder. After the conclusion of our works-supported sports prototype programme in the American Le Mans Series we have kept up with the latest technological advances. Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”

Held every year since 1923, the legendary 24-hour race at Le Mans draws an annual crowd of more than 200,000 spectators to the French region of La Sarthe.

Around the world, this long-distance motor racing classic is viewed as one of the greatest challenges for man and machine. For Porsche, Le Mans is not only the place of famous victories and the ultimate proving ground. It is also their spiritual home.

Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood claimed the first overall victory for Porsche in 1970 with the legendary 917 short-tail. The 16th and by now last overall win was secured by Laurent Aiello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 with the 911 GT1. In the years 2008 and 2009, the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype won the title in the LMP2 category.

16 overall victories. Countless records. That’s Porsche Motorsport in Le Mans. For more than 60 years: the fastest race cars. The toughest drivers. And now: the best scenes.

Le Mans 24hr at the limit

More information to start the web special: http://www.porsche.com/microsite/lemans/international.aspx

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SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

 

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Porsche mourns Jaroslav Juhan-one of the 1st Porsche Factory Racers

Jaroslav Juhan at Buenos Aires 1000km, 1954

Stuttgart. The Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG is mourning the death of former factory racer on 28 Died September 2011 Jaroslav “Jerry” Juhan at the age of 89.

In the fifties, he was instrumental in making the Porsche brand known in the South American continent.

Juhan (far right) with teammates Herbert Linge, Herrmann and Porsche motorsport boss Huschke von Hanstein.

Former Porsche factory driver Jaroslav Juhan has died. Juhan, born in Prague in 1921, started his career as an importer of Italian cars and buses.He left his homeland in 1951 for the Republic of Guatemala, where he became the official importer of Porsche sports cars – and to publicize his business, he raced the vehicles he was selling.

Juhan won the Guatemalan 1953 Carrera de Pacifico in a 356 1500 Super. In a 550 Spyder, he led the 1.6-litre class of the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico later that year, though he had to retire on the seventh section due to a technical defect.

Jaroslav Juhan at Buenos Aires 1000km, 1954

Nonetheless, his performance was good enough to win him a works drive the following year: dueling with Hans Herrmann, then regarded as Porsche’s top driver, he finished just seconds behind to take second place in their class and fourth place overall behind two of the far more powerful Ferraris. The second picture above shows Juhan (far right) with teammates Herbert Linge, Herrmann and Porsche motorsport boss Huschke von Hanstein.

Later in 1954, Juhan won the 1000km race from Buenos Aires, taking fourth place overall in 1955, he scored a sixth place at Le Mans with teammate Helm Glöckler, and a fourth place in class in Buenos Aires (bottom picture). However, he always regarded himself as an amateur.

Juhan left Guatemala in 1961 due to its unstable political situation and settled in Switzerland, where  he drove a Porsche 928 S4 on-road well into his old age.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database Public Relations
Porsche Museum
Astrid Boettinger

 

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Porsche returns to Le Mans in 2014,Development program confirmed for LMP1 sports prototype

Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the completely new developed race car is planned for the year 2014. With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans

Porsche 911 GT1

With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The most recent win was in 1998 with the Porsche 911 GT1.

Porsche 911 GT1

“Motorsport was always an essential part of the Porsche brand,” emphasizes

Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG

Porsche 911 GT1

“So for us it was only a matter of time before we returned as a factory to the top league of racing. Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivaled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.”

Porsche 911 GT1

With the RS Spyder sports prototype that was run with great success from 2006 to 2008 by the factory-backed Penske Racing team in the USA and to 2010 by several customer teams worldwide, Porsche has set the benchmark recently in the LMP2 category.

Porsche RS Spyder

“With the RS Spyder we proved that our motorsport engineers in Weissach are at the forefront,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

Porsche RS Spyder, 24h Le Mans 2009

Porsche RS Spyder, 24h Le Mans 2009

Porsche RS Spyder, 24h Le Mans 2009

Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG

Porsche RS Spyder

“For instance, we were the first to run a high-revving race engine with direct fuel injection, DFI, setting new standards in performance and efficiency. Recently, with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, we adopted a completely new drive technology for racing purposes and achieved a considerable reduction in consumption.”

Porsche RS Spyder

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, is already prepared for one of the most challenging development programmes in the company’s history.

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

“We’re looking forward to the task of developing new technologies and to continue on with the success of the Porsche RS Spyder. After the conclusion of our works-supported sports prototype programme in the American Le Mans Series we have kept up with the latest technological advances. Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”

Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood claimed the first overall victory for Porsche in 1970 with the legendary 917 short-tail.

    Porsche 917 Kurzheck Coupé
    Porsche 917 Kurzheck Coupé

The 16th and by now last overall win was secured by Laurent Aiello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 with the 911 GT1. In the years 2008 and 2009, the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype won the title in the LMP2 category.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Please find the official trailer at www.porsche.com/lemans.
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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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Dr. Wolfgang Porsche: “Such a success is only possible as a team” – Nürburgring 24 hour race

Nürburgring 24 hour race


Dr. Wolfgang Porsche:

“Such a success is only possible as a team”

Stuttgart. With a triumph for Porsche, the Nürburgring 24 hour race came to an end.

After 156 laps on the legendary Nordschleife, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) together with Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) won with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Manthey Racing.

For Porsche and Manthey Racing, this marks the fifth victory together in the last six years at the long distance classic in Germany’s Eifel region and for Porsche the eleventh overall victory at this race.

Quotes after the race

Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG:

“I’m overwhelmed. Such a success is only possible as a team. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this. Today, I’m especially proud because we are small but great and successful.”

Matthias Müller, CEO of the Executive Board at Porsche AG:

“This is the first time I’ve been to a 24 hour race for Porsche and I certainly hadn’t anticipated it being so emotional. It was a very great weekend for the Porsche enterprise. All the employees at the track have proven what Porsche Intelligent Performance really stands for. Thank you to all the drivers – not only to the winning troupe, but particularly to the squad in the Hybrid-Porsche. All those drivers put in an excellent effort, as well. And thanks to all those people who worked behind the scenes.”

Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG:

Wolfgang Hatz, Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung

“I’m proud to be part of such a troupe. What we saw this weekend was an immense team effort. The winning squad virtually just refuelled and changed tyres. I promise that we will continue keeping the revs high in motorsport. There are wonderful things ahead of us. I’m looking forward to the future.”

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche-Sportchef

“Congratulations to the crew from Manthey Racing and our staff from Weissach. They did a brilliant job and contributed greatly to our success. I’m very pleased that, after all the wrangling in the run-up, there was a clean, sporting decision on the track. Also decisive for our win was that the 911 GT3 RSR was one hundred percent reliable and we had to put in one fuel stop less than the competition. You would expect this from a Porsche. Of course, our drivers also deserve a huge compliment. Once again, they all conducted themselves faultlessly. That also applies to the quartet in the 911 GT3 R Hybrid that wasn’t able to bring home the success it deserved because of two mechanical problems and an accident. As far as pure power is concerned and with its efficiency, the car has performed as we had expected with its innovative drive concept. It’s a great shame that the results don’t reflect this.”

Marc Lieb (No. 18, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Manthey Racing):

Marc Lieb

“Winning this year is one of the most emotional moments of my career. We really didn’t expect to conquer here. After the difficult practices, we pulled ourselves together and said, ‘Let’s give our all’. We didn’t make any mistakes and the entire team put in a superb effort. It’s simply fantastic.”

Timo Bernhard (No. 18, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Manthey Racing):

Timo Bernhard

“The fifth victory at this race is something very special, especially because this year was particularly difficult. We had no other choice than to attack from the first moment. At the end of the day, everything went perfectly. My special thanks goes to our team boss Olaf Manthey. He lives for this race like no other and puts his whole heart into it year after year.”

Romain Dumas (No. 18, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Manthey Racing):

Romain Dumas

“My fourth win at this race was the hardest. The competition this year was tougher than ever before. We all had to give one hundred percent. We took up the race from 18th on the grid and made the most out of it. I got a fright at one point during the night when a BMW and I touched. I was really afraid that the car was damaged, because right at that point I had no radio contact and I couldn’t ask if I should come in to the pits. So I listened to the car and noticed that everything was okay. Now it’s time to celebrate.”

Lucas Luhr (No. 18, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Manthey Racing):

Lucas Luhr

“Our plan was to go all out during the night to get ahead. That worked. We simply had to keep the pressure on from the first to the last moment, because the competition was fierce. During one of my stints there was a slight shunt on the front left, but we taped it up and kept driving. I feel we deserved this win.”

Joerg Bergmeister (No. 9, Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey):

Joerg Bergmeister

“It was certainly one of the most difficult races of my career. The power performance and above all the efficiency of the car were great, even better than last year. It’s also so much fun to drive thanks to the Hybrid-boost. I hope we can continue working like this. And one day luck will be on our side.”

Richard Lietz (No. 9, Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey):

Richard Lietz

“The performance of our car was super, all the drivers did a great job and our mechanics put in a mammoth effort. It’s a shame that these efforts weren’t rewarded. But I’m very pleased that our squad decided to pull out all stops and get to the finish line. We owed this to our mechanics and the Porsche fans on the ‘Ring.”

Marco Holzer (No. 9, Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey):

Marco Holzer

“I reckon I was driving one of the best cars in the entire field. We always clocked good lap times. We lost the chance to win through the mechanical problems and an accident. The effort our mechanics made is something I’ve never seen before. And that’s why our goal was to never give up as long as the wheels kept turning. In this regard it’s a small consolation that we crossed the finish line after 24 hours and that we showed the Porsche fans at the track that we never give up.”

Patrick Long (No. 9, Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey):

Patrick Long

“After the flange broke we were out of the top 100 contenders but worked our way up to 28th. For me, not giving up fits in with the Porsche philosophy. I wholeheartedly congratulate our colleagues in the 911 GT3 RSR. Reliability and faultless driving was the key.”

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media database

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Porsche’s magnificent triumph at the Nordschleife 24-Hour Race Nürburgring

Nürburgring 24 hour race


Stuttgart. It was one of the most exciting and dramatic 24 hour races at the Nürburgring.

And it finished with a triumph for Porsche: In front of 220,000 spectators lining the legendary Nordschleife, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) as well as Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) won the 39th running of the long distance classic in the Eifel with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and relegated their strong opponents from BMW, Mercedes and Audi to finish down the field.


For Porsche and the Porsche Team Manthey, this marked the fifth victory at the traditional race in the last six years – likewise for Timo Bernhard.

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – the world’s most successful GT race car of the last years – the Porsche quartet snatched the lead on Saturday at 23.25 hours and held on to it to the flag.

What followed were 16 hours and 35 minutes at the head of the field, 108 consistently fast and faultless laps under immense pressure on one of the toughest race tracks on earth – this speaks volumes about the reliability of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and for the skill of the pilots. The new distance record set with a total of 156 laps and 3,958.968 kilometres underlines the superb effort of the winners and their team.

“We already knew before the start that we could only win if we worked together as a team, from the drivers through to the mechanics. And this worked very well for the entire time,” Timo Bernhard said. Indeed, aside from the usual tensions on the track, there was just one truly critical situation – strangely enough in the pits.

 

Lucas Luhr: “During a pit stop the petrol pump didn’t work. Fuel simply didn’t come out. So we had to push our car back to another pump and in doing so lost almost a minute.”

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid also gave an impressive performance, even though its second start at the 24 hour classic did not yield the anticipated top result.

Fielded by Porsche Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria), Marco Holzer (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), the innovative race car with its ground-breaking drive concept finished an impressive 28th after a breathtaking chase through the field, 17 laps behind the winner.

Showing its true potential, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid moved into the lead on Saturday about four hours after the start. But a broken flange in the differential sent it into the pits for repairs, which cost six laps to the leader. But the trouble wasn’t to stop there: After a good seven hours, the same problem struck again necessitating a second unplanned pit stop. This time repairs took 40 minutes. With a ten-lap gap to the front-runners, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid rejoined the race in position 105. Clocking lap times which were sometimes faster than those at the front, it ploughed through the field to rank 23rd.

However, on Sunday morning the vehicle’s charge was interrupted yet again: While lapping a slower competitor, Patrick Long was nudged and spun at high speed in the Flugplatz passage. In the pits, however, no damages to the vehicle were found.

Manned by Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) as well as Peter Dumbreck (Great Britain), Martin Ragginger (Austria) and Sebastian Asch (Germany), the Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Falken Motorsports took up the race on intermediate tyres. This proved to be a good decision. Wolf Henzler made up several places before pitting after two laps once the rain had stopped to change to slicks. An engine change in the first quarter of the race robbed the team of all chances for a better result. At the flag, the Falken quartet occupied 49th. The swift lap times that the 911 GT3 R yielded after the long repair phase were, in this case, a poor consolation.

“It was somewhat frustrating to drive such great times and yet be so far down the field,” said Wolf Henzler. “Still, considering these times, the mood in the team is good. It gives us a lot of motivation. Despite everything, we’re taking home a wealth of experience from the Nürburgring.”

After a trouble-free early phase under difficult conditions, the Porsche 911 GT3 R, which Manthey Racing ran parallel to the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, was taken out of the race after a good two hours. The team wanted to concentrate on just one car. A perfect strategy that was rewarded with victory. And as Timo Bernhard crossed the finish line with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the Eifel at last showed its true sunny colours.

Result Nürburgring 24 hour race

1. Lieb/Bernhard/Dumas/Luhr (D/D/F/CH), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 156 laps
2. Müller/Farfus/Alzen/Lamy (D/BRA/D/P), BMW M3 GT, +4:23.7 seconds
3. Basseng/Fässler/Piccini/Stippler (D/CH/I/D), Audi R8 LMS, – 1 lap
4. Stippler/Hennerici/Haase/Winkelhock (D/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, – 1
5. Ekström/Scheider/Werner/Abt (S/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, – 2
6. Heyer/Jäger/Bleekemolen/Seyffarth (D/D/NL/D), Mercedes-Benz SLS, – 3
7. Arnold/Margaritis/Brück/Frankenhout (D/D/D/NL), Mercedes-Benz SLS, – 3
8. Farnbacher/Simonsen/Seefried/Melo (D/MC/D/I), Ferrari F 458, – 4
9. Abbelen/Schmitz/Kentenich/T. Bergmeister (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, – 4
10. Weiss/Kainz/Jacobs/Krumbach (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, – 5
28. J. Bergmeister/Lietz/Holzer/Long (D/A/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, – 17
49. Henzler/Ragginger/Dumbreck/Asch (D/A/GB/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, – 24

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media database

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