Tag Archives: Head of Porsche Motorsport
Porsche 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR are coming to the “ring” FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, Nürburgring Test Drives
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
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.
Porsche keen to repeat last year’s GT victory, Sports Car World Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France
Stuttgart. It was a debut made to order: At its first ever outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year, the Porsche 911 RSR brought home a double victory. At the 82nd edition of the world’s most famous long distance race, contested on the Circuit des 24 Heures on 14/15 June, Porsche Team Manthey will again field a pair of 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. Taking up the challenge alongside the factory squad, Porsche customer teams from Europe and America again contest the GTE-Am class, which Porsche also won last year. The classic event in provincial France, where Porsche is chronicled as the most successful manufacturer with 16 overall victories, is regarded as the highlight of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC).
First contested in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the toughest automobile race in the world and represents the greatest challenge motorsport has to offer. What makes this classic so unique is also the 13.65 kilometre “Circuit des 24 Heures”, one of the oldest and fastest race tracks in the world with 38 corners and the legendary five-kilometre long Mulsanne straight. Almost 75 percent of a lap is driven at full throttle.
Double points are awarded for round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC at Le Mans. Tackling the GTE-Pro class in the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR are Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). Sharing the #92 cockpit are their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and last year’s winner Richard Lietz (Austria). Customer teams take on the GTE-Am class with a pair of 911 RSR: For the Dempsey Racing-Proton outfit, Patrick Dempsey (USA) and Joe Foster (USA) join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA). Christian Ried (Germany), Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) compete for Proton Competition. The customer squads IMSA Performance Matmut and Prospeed Competition each bring two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in last year’s spec to the start. IMSA Performance Matmut has contracted an all-French driver line-up with Erik Maris, Jean Marc Merlin and Eric Hélary as well as Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo and David Hallyday. Taking on the challenge for Prospeed Competition are Cooper MacNeil (USA), Bret Curtis (USA) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) as well as Frenchmen Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR which Porsche has campaigned in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship since 2013 is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut last year the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach scored a brilliant double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the 911 RSR received improvements in many areas. In addition to winning the WEC season opener at Silverstone, this racer has also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring. Through the balance of performance ruling, the 911 RSR for Le Mans must now weigh 25 kilograms more than last year’s contender, with the restrictors reduced from 29.6 to 29.3 millimetres.
Free practice on the Circuit des 24 Heures is held on Wednesday, 11 June, from 16.00 to 20.00 hrs, followed by the first qualifying session from 22.00 hrs to midnight. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Thursday, 12 June, from 19.00 to 21.00 hrs and from 22.00 hrs to midnight. The start flag for the 24 hour pursuit drops on Saturday, 14 June, at 15.00 hours. The 56-strong field is sent on its way by ex-Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.
Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the complete race live. The last two hours of free practice as well as the three qualifying sessions and the warm-up are also televised live. Also aired during the week are various programmes highlighting the world’s most famous long distance race with news, interviews, portraits and background reports. Detailed TV information is available on http://www.eurosport.com.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:
“Le Mans is the highlight of the year. For our teams and drivers this race represents an exceptional challenge – and we’re feeling highly motivated and very well prepared. After our double victory at the season-opener in Silverstone, our car now has to carry 25 extra kilograms of ballast and the diameter of the two restrictors is now 0.3 millimetres smaller than last year’s. When considering the additional changes made, as against 2013, at one or the other competitor one has to question to what extent is the Balance of Performance actually balanced. We feel it is a matter of utmost urgency in the spirit of the sport to find a regulation for the classification of vehicles where you don’t have to fear being punished for a good performance, like what happened to us after Silverstone. Nevertheless, we’ll work extremely hard to do a good job at Le Mans – just like last year.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91):
“I’ve raced at Le Mans since 2002 and it’s a fantastic feeling to be back again this year. It’s the season highlight for me. This race has a very special atmosphere and it’s always incredibly demanding. More than anything I enjoy the extremely fast corners, they’re the most fun. Last year we came second behind our teammates and I wouldn’t mind at all if we switch positions this year.”
Patrick Pilet (#91):
“Le Mans is a very special race, especially for me as a Frenchman. It’s always an incredible feeling to go racing on such an extreme circuit in front of so many fans. Aside from the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans is the greatest race on Earth. We are well prepared and our 911 RSR is a strong contender, especially on the long straights. It would be fantastic if we could turn this into a win. We were so close last year.”
Nick Tandy (#91):
“Ever since I began racing for Porsche at Le Mans in 2010 it has been my goal to secure a podium spot here. You only get this chance once a year and I’ll do everything within my power to make it happen. For a race driver, Le Mans is a magical place. Even when you arrive in the paddock you get a sense of the great history. And the Circuit des 24 Heures is something very special with its unique combination of race track and normal country roads. It’s an honour for me to drive again for Porsche at Le Mans this year.”
Marco Holzer (#92):
“At my first race in Le Mans in 2010 we managed to achieve a podium finish with third place. When I think back to the cheering crowds at the award ceremony it still sends shivers down my spine. I’d very much like to experience this feeling again and our chances don’t look too bad. We have a great car and a strong team behind us. But in Le Mans you can’t afford to make one mistake. You have to be totally focussed otherwise you can forget it.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):
“As a Frenchman you simply have to race at Le Mans. And you want to win. Your family is watching at the track, your friends are there supporting you. This makes it hugely motivating to achieve everything you’ve set out to do. As a child I dreamed of Porsche. I launched my racing career with Porsche. If I could now win Le Mans with Porsche, well that would just be the best thing in the world. But first we have to face 24 gruelling hours where pretty much anything can happen.”
Richard Lietz (#92):
“I have many wonderful memories of Le Mans, especially my wins in 2007, 2010 and 2013. It’s the greatest race in the world. I love it. If I couldn’t be here as a driver, I’d buy a ticket and watch the race as a spectator. Earlier, only victory in Le Mans counted. Since 2013, it has become part of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship which means that if you can’t win then you have to make sure you bring home as many points as possible. The connection between Porsche and Le Mans is pure racing fascination. Getting the chance to compete at Le Mans for Porsche, the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race, is motivation enough. You automatically do your absolute best to win.”
Patrick Long (#77):
“Le Mans is always a huge challenge. Everyone wants to win, regardless of the category they’re contesting. I’m really looking forward to racing with Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster and helping the whole team to fulfil their dreams at Le Mans. Last year we narrowly missed out on a podium spot. This time we’re determined to make it.”
Communication Porsche AG
Porsche with the 919 Hybrid before the start in Le Mans, Preview of the 24 hours of Le Mans, LMP1 (3rd race of the WEC)
Stuttgart. After an absence of 16 years, Porsche will once again compete in the top category of what is certainly the world’s toughest car race, which starts at 3:00 pm on June 14, 2014. Porsche is fielding its most innovative prototypes at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
The two Porsche 919 Hybrid cars with start numbers 14 and 20 will be driven by two trios of drivers: Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand), Mark Webber (Australia).
These six world-class drivers have between them a total of 37 appearances at Le Mans. Despite being a record holder at Le Mans with 16 overall victories, this year the sports car manufacturer has no experience to benefit from. For the first year of the LMP1 project the target is to get one of the fast Porsche 919 Hybrids to the finish line at the marathon.
Quotes before the race:
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1:
“Porsche is facing the biggest moment of the LMP1 project – its first start in the top category at Le Mans in 16 years. Whatever the results, we have successfully completed a lot of stages to get here. Above all, we have established a strong, innovative engineering team in the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach. The new know-how generated in-house by the great efforts of all those involved is something that no one can take away from Porsche. The pole position in Spa showed that the Porsche 919 Hybrid is fast, and, as newcomers, we earned respect for this achievement. I am very proud of this young team, which is as competent in its technology as it is in its drivers. I wish each individual the best of luck and success in this marathon.”
Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1:
“The challenge of developing a car for Le Mans was always to build a fast yet durable car. The constraints of the new race regulations have made this task even more difficult, but fascinating as well. Even in areas that were routine for the competition, we had no experience whatsoever. Nonetheless, we chose the boldest solution for our drive concept, because it offered the best future potential. In the pre-testing period, the aerodynamics that were once again modified to achieve lower air drag for the Le Mans event proved themselves, as did advanced developments that enhanced durability. The Porsche 919 Hybrid is our first LMP1 race car design. It is fast – but not all of its potential has been realised yet; that is the reality.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1:
“The operating task for a Le Mans team is enormous. We had to build an organisation with new personnel from the ground up. They are all excellent people. But even a hundred top soloists must first learn to play together as an orchestra. Responsibilities, communication, procedures, manual tasks – everything must mesh together perfectly. We have only competed in two races so far: in Silverstone and in Spa-Francorchamps. Everything went remarkably well. Our training was intensive. The team will have carried out 1,573 pit stops up to race week at Le Mans. We have also tested at night. Nonetheless, we have not yet experienced the stresses of a 24-hour race as a team. Everyone is looking forward to this challenge.”
Drivers, starting number 14:
Romain Dumas – 36, France.
(13 races: overall victory 2010, 3rd place overall 2007, class victory GTE 2013, 2nd place GT class 2001 and 2002, 3rd place GT class 2004)
“Le Mans is the most famous and toughest race in the world, and it is even more special for me as a Frenchman. I have been driving here since 2001, and I also lived here. In 2010 I won the race; I would love to repeat that one day – together with Porsche. So many people have been anticipating this return to LMP1 by Porsche. It makes me very proud to be one of the six drivers here. I have wanted to be with Porsche ever since my father put me in a 962 as a child. My favourite part of the track is the Porsche bends. Not because of their name, but because they are so quick and difficult. When you race down the Hunaudières at 330 km/h at night – all by yourself in your own world – you live a dream. You see and smell what is happening around the track. But you have to remain focused. We want to get to the finish line.”
Neel Jani – 30, Switzerland.
(5 races since 2009)
“Le Mans is living motorsport history. That is more true of Porsche than with any other brand. To be part of the return to the top class after 16 years is a dream come true for me. Most racing car drivers would agree. It is a great honour, but also a tremendous responsibility. My best result at Le Mans was in 2012 when I finished fourth with a privateer team. I knew I could only improve on that result in a good factory team. Now I have reached that point. But, regardless of which class or which car, this race stirs up an emotional feeling. I will never forget my first time racing at night; it was awesome. Yet, it is important to block out all of that and concentrate on doing your best – for yourself and your team-mates. We want to be competitive in our first year.”
Marc Lieb – 33, Germany.
(8 races: class victory GTE 2013, class victory GT2 2010, class victory GT 2005, 2nd place GT class 2003)
“Porsche took me on board in 2000 when my bank account was empty and the prospects for my Formula racing career had almost run out. It means a lot to me to now be part of a return to the top class, especially since we have this incredible technology that our engineers have created for the 919 Hybrid. Starting in the LMP1 class changes your perspective entirely compared to racing in the GT categories. You look less in the rear-view mirror and more at the cars out front that you are going to lap. Radio contact with the pit crew is also much more intensive to achieve efficient energy usage. The racing is incredibly tough for everyone involved. Whenever I won class victories, the most enjoyable thing for me was to look down from the podium and gaze at the tired but happy faces of the mechanics.”
Drivers, starting number 20:
Timo Bernhard – 33, Germany.
(7 races: overall victory 2010, class victory GT 2002, 2nd place GTE class 2013, 2nd place GT2 2005)
“In my first start for Porsche in 2002, Le Mans was stunning. And people always asked me: When will you return to the top league. I was involved with the building of the LMP1 team right from the start, and in 2013 I drove at the roll-out, then did testing and development work. The entire time I had the big goal in mind; I can hardly express how much I am ready for it now. The week leading up to the race will still be intensive, right up to the starting ceremony. I always found it satisfying to be the starting driver, and to finally close the door after all the pre-race show was over. And then at some point on this long circuit you find a very special rhythm. Especially at night when everything gets even faster, and when it might drizzle or rain … It is indescribable; there is a certain magic to it.”
Brendon Hartley – 24, New Zealand.
(2 races since 2012)
“For me, Le Mans is my whole passion. I have the feeling that racing here fulfils the entire reason I climbed into a kart for the first time at six years of age. To now start as a Porsche factory driver, for the greatest sports car icon is like a dream. And then there is this special project with technology that never existed before. Hybrid systems, all-wheel drive, intuitive operating systems – the Porsche 919 is fantastic. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I have been chosen to sit in this car. I especially like Le Mans at night; that is the best. The lights fly past you, and everything feels a lot faster. You nearly get tunnel vision – that is when the cockpit is the perfect place for me. I also have a sporting score to settle at Le Mans.”
Mark Webber – 37, Australia.
(participated 1998 and 1999 at Le Mans but not in the race; 9 Formula-1 victories)
“To return to Le Mans is emotionally very special for me. Le Mans stands for endurance, trial of man and machine, an incredibly long day, often with changing conditions and, above all, there is the teamwork. Naturally, I want to leave here with happier memories than previously, which should not be too difficult. And, of course, I want to win this race sometime. We have a fast car with fantastic technology. I also like the seating position, tucked behind the windscreen, and I am looking forward to the night-time driving at Le Mans. The team is still very young, but the bonding in the team has been very quick. If we were to come up with a good result in our first year that would be a massive statement for Porsche as a brand.”
Facts and figures:
• With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the record holder at Le Mans.
• The first Porsche overall victory dates back to 1970 (Hans Herrmann/Richard Attwood in a 917 KH Coupé), and the last victory to date was on June 7, 1998 (Laurent Aiello/Allan McNish/Stéphane Ortelli in a Porsche GT1).
• According to the official archives, 812 Porsche cars have raced at Le Mans, and that too is a record.
• The fastest qualifying lap was driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck in 1985 in a Porsche 962 C (average speed 251.815 km/h). That record will likely stand for eternity, since chicanes installed in 1990 now break up the long Hunaudières straight.
• The longest race distance was covered by Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller in 2010 in their overall victory for Audi, a total of 5,410.713 km (397 laps, average speed 225.45 km/h).
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid car numbers 20 and 14 stand for the year of the return.
• In qualifying (Wednesday and Thursday until midnight), every driver must run at least five laps in the dark. While WEC rules call for averaging the two fastest laps of two drivers (i.e. the mean of four lap times), the classic Le Mans method is to simply take the fastest lap driven with the car.
• The Le Mans night is one of the shortest of the year: the sun sets on Saturday at 9:55 pm, and it rises again on Sunday at 5:53 am.
• In normal racing mode (without any safety car periods), the Porsche 919 Hybrid must refuel every 13 to 14 laps.
• Refuelling and wheel changing may only be made sequentially, not at the same time. Only two mechanics may work simultaneously when wheel changing. That takes a lot longer than in Formula One, for example.
• Drivers are normally only changed when new tyres are needed.
• Two fuel tank fills with one set of Michelin tyres are the absolute minimum; three should be standard, and sometimes it might even be possible to do four – an open issue and a tremendous challenge for the drivers.
• During the race, no driver may drive for more than four hours within a six-hour period. No driver may drive for more than 14 of the 24 hours.
• Due to the length of the circuit, there are three safety cars at Le Mans.
• The equipment taken to the track – in addition to the two race cars – includes a spare chassis, six engines, five front gearboxes, five rear gearboxes, six front wings and six rear wings, 80 rims, over 100 radios and headsets.
• The amount of electrical energy that a driver can use for what is known as boosting is limited. The Porsche 919 Hybrid may consume exactly 1.67 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity on each 13.629 km long lap.
• In 2013, the Le Mans victor completed 348 laps. Over this distance, the 919 Hybrid would generate and utilise 581.2 kilowatt hours (kWh) from its energy recovery systems – an amount of electrical power that would light a 60-Watt incandescent light bulb for a full 9,687 hours. Or expressed differently: this amount of energy would power the new Volkswagen e-Golf, which is currently the most energy-efficient electric car in the compact class, over 4,576 kilometres – enough to drive one-way across the USA from New York to Los Angeles.
• All in all, there is even more honour and glory to be won at Le Mans: twice as many points are awarded than in the other seven races for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) that are each six hours long.
• In the WEC standings, the Porsche team with 36 points is currently behind Toyota (84) and ahead of Audi (28) after two of eight races.
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid was designed and built at the Development Centre of Porsche AG in Weissach. 230 team members work there.
• The core team of Porsche for LMP1 racing at the race circuit in Le Mans consists of 86 team members (engineers, mechanics, team management). Add to that personnel from communication and marketing, sponsoring and driver support.
• For Le Mans week, supplies include well over 1,000 team shirts and other clothing.
• The shopping list for food and refreshments for the team and the media hospitality area include: 50 boxes of salad, 50 kg of strawberries, 300 melons, 1.2 metric tonnes of meat, 500 kg of fish, 600 kg of noodles, 2,000 eggs and 1,100 loaves of bread.
• While most of the team members catch some sleep during the night of the race whenever they have time and space, the drivers have beds in containers located behind the pit. It is impossible to get a quiet rest, sleep from exhaustion is more likely.
• The organiser, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), expects over 250,000 spectators at the race.
Schedule of the Porsche LMP1 team:
The technical inspection of the 56 racing cars, which are subdivided into four classes, is done on the Sunday before the race, June 8, at the Place de la République. A public event in the middle of the city. The scrutineers examine the cars, and the 168 drivers must present their paperwork. The Porsche LMP1 team is scheduled for this inspection on Sunday between 3:15 pm and 4:15 pm. The last teams will complete this technical part of the administration by 6:00 pm on Monday.
Tuesday, June 10:
2:00-2:30 pm Porsche team photo (LMP1) at start/finish line
2:30-3:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
5:00-6:30 pm Autograph session, pit lane
Wednesday, June 11:
2:30-3:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
4:00-8:00 pm Free practice
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying
Thursday, June 12:
3:30-4:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
7:00-9:00 pm Qualifying
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying
Friday, June 13:
10:00 am – 8:00 pm Pit walk
1:00-2:00 pm Porsche press conference in the large guest hospitality area
5:30-7:30 pm Driver parade in the downtown area
Saturday, June 14:
2:22 pm Beginning of race start ceremony
3:00 pm Start of race
• Live communication from the box on Twitter @PorscheRaces.
• You can experience the race from an in-vehicle perspective and track the vehicles by GPS and live timing at http://www.porsche.com/mission2014.
Product and Technology Communication
Porsche 919 Hybrid arrives at the Sarthe, Sports Car WEC, Pre-race test Le Mans 24-Hours/France – LMP1
Stuttgart. At the official pre-race test for the 24-hour race, the Porsche 919 Hybrid did its first laps in Le Mans on Sunday.
During the morning session the Porsche Team covered 90 laps with the two innovative prototypes on the 13.629 kilometre track. In the afternoon the distance achieved was 103 laps.
Because about nine kilometres of the legendary circuit are on public roads, normally it is impossible to test at the “Circuit de la Sarthe”.
Inside and around the paddock the infrastructure for the huge Porsche works entry on 14th/15th June is coming together – be it engineers’ offices, container buildings for the drivers to rest in or spare parts logistics and storage. The aerodynamic package of the Porsche 919 Hybrid had been modified for the high-speed track. The test programme went according to plan.
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1:
“This has been a very productive day. We travelled to Le Mans with a long to-do list and managed to tick off every single topic without experiencing any unpleasant surprises. Both cars ran trouble-free and all the drivers were on duty. With the number 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid we focused on tyre evaluation in the morning, while the number 20 car was busy with mechanical and aerodynamic set-up work. In the afternoon the job lists for the cars were swapped. Race control did several simulations, which have been good drills for our team and drivers too. For example safety car periods and the so called ‘slow zones’ were practiced. We now have a lot of data to study.
Today was a very good preparation for the drivers, engineers and mechanics – actually for everybody in the team. We would never have made it this far without our development department in Weissach – therefore thank you very much to all our colleagues at home.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #14
“In the morning I was only able to do a few clear laps before the safety car came out. But in the afternoon it was much better, and we learnt a lot. Our car still tends to understeer and we will keep working on this for the race week. But both cars ran trouble-free, and that was our number one target.“
“Overall it was a positive day, but we still have work to do. In the morning I found it quite difficult. The track was extremely dirty and we had to calibrate the hybrid system. But it was our car that was doing the most laps in the morning session. In the afternoon I was doing set-up work and I think we have found a good direction.“
“It was great fun to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid on this track. In the morning we were testing tyres and I have been quite happy with the results. In the afternoon we switched to set-up work and did a good long run. The car became quicker and quicker, which obviously is promising. “
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #20
“All went according to plan – even if others were on top of the time sheets. We did our fastest lap in the middle of a long run. We found a baseline set-up very quickly this morning. The car feels good, so I’m quite confident. This test is the only opportunity to drive here and we made the most of it. We will stay focussed and will turn the newly collected data into solutions. For example, we want to use the potential of the tyres better over the long runs.”
“It was a great start for me here on this fantastic race track. We had no problems with either car and were able to try a lot of interesting things. We are improving in tyre management on long runs as well, and it was a good day for us.“
“I was really looking forward to taking the car round here for the first time. I always enjoyed this track and the long lap. To come here with the Porsche 919 Hybrid is a big day for all of us and it ran smoothly. First thing in the morning I got my ten rookie laps out of the way, which are mandatory at the pre-race test when you haven’t raced here for a while. We then quickly were able to start working on the balance and set-up of the car. We are constantly improving and again we learnt a lot.”
Source: Product and Technology Communication, Porsche AG
Porsche teams conduct successful Le Mans test, Sports Car WEC, test day Le Mans 24 Hours, France, GT
Stuttgart. At the traditional test day on the Circuit des 24 Heures on Sunday, teams and drivers entered the last and decisive preparation phase leading up to the Le Mans 24 Hours. The legendary long distance classic will be run on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Championship (WEC). Porsche Team Manthey’s two Porsche 911 RSR, which scored a double class win at their first Le Mans outing last year in the GTE Pro class, concluded a testing programme without any technical problems in dry and partly sunny conditions.
The three Porsche customer outfits Dempsey Racing-Proton, IMSA Performance Matmut, and Prospeed Competition, also used the test day to set up their cars for the challenging 13.629 kilometre circuit. They are contesting the GTE Am class. The Le Mans 24 Hours runs for the 82nd time this year and is regarded as the highlight of the season.
Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France), and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) took the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR through its paces. Their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France), and Richard Lietz (Austria), who celebrated his third Le Mans victory last year, shared driving duties in the second 911 with starting number 92 run by the Porsche Team Manthey squad. The team entrust the two factory-911 to the same driver line-ups for the race.
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:
“Basically our drivers are happy with the handling of the 911 RSR. Now we’ll focus on preparing for the race. Unfortunately Joerg Bergmeister had to make a brief excursion into the gravel trap and slightly damaged the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR when he avoided another car. It didn’t make sense to do the repairs here. We’ll take a good look at it when we get home, after all, we want to drive this car in a fortnight at the 24 hour race. I don’t think all the manufacturers laid their cards on the table today, so as to avoid risking being penalised. It would have been better to find a regulation where you don’t have to be afraid of being punished for a good performance, like what happened after our double victory at the season-opener at Silverstone. The current situation doesn’t do a season highlight like the 24 Hours of Le Mans justice.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91):
“Basically a test day is to gain as much information as possible. Unfortunately I missed the braking point in the Ford curve and actually wanted to drive straight ahead through the gravel trap to avoid hitting the kerbs at the edge. But the car took off, flew far and landed hard. For this reason, the afternoon session fell flat.”
Patrick Pilet (#91):
“It’s always wonderful to be back in Le Mans. It’s my all-time favourite track. And today I immediately felt great here. Our car has a great set-up and I’m certain that we’ll tackle the race well prepared.”
Nick Tandy (#91):
“This test in particular is always a good chance to see how the car handles on this rather unique track. Towards the end of the morning session we began to change certain things on the set-up. It’s important on such a day to make the best use of the little time you have. I’m sure we’ve done this today.”
Marco Holzer (#92):
“I didn’t contest Le Mans last year so it felt great to turn some laps on this fantastic circuit again. This morning we had a lot of dirt on the track which gave very little grip, but over the course of the day the conditions improved. Today it was all about exploring how our tyres behave on this very special circuit and how the grip level changes. We managed to do what we had planned and we can now head to the race feeling quite confident.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):
“We tried out several things on the car, but the many safety car phases, which were intended as a practice for the race, made this somewhat difficult. Still, this test day was a good preparation for the race. We learned a lot and I hope that we can use what we’ve learned in two weeks.”
Richard Lietz (#92):
“The test day ran well and we made the best use out of it. First and foremost it was about seeing how the tyres and the car worked together on a circuit that at times runs on a normal country road. I feel we’ve made progress and I’m looking forward to the race.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is contested on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC on the Circuit 24 Heures in Le Mans/France. Double points towards the championship are awarded for drivers, teams and manufacturers.