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Porsche Motorsport around the world – Newsletter 2 – 2012

Stuttgart. The Motorsport Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world.

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet 12h Sebring

Sebring 12 Hours: Successful start for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

The tradition-steeped race on the airfield circuit of Sebring (17 March) marked the start of the new World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series. In the WEC, works drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet clinched second place in the GTE Pro class for Felbermayr-Proton at the wheel of the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet 12h Sebring

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012
Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet 12h Sebring

In the amateur GTE Am category, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti made a faultless start to the season with a victory in last year’s 911 GT3 RSR. Bad luck, however, for the Porsche drivers in the ALMS: Flying Lizards Motorsports’ 911 GT3 RSR piloted by Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marco Holzer was rammed by a Ferrari in the formation lap. Bergmeister and his colleagues still managed to yield tenth place.

Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers and Martin Ragginger claimed ninth in the Falken Tire Porsche after an engine change.

Tribute: Hans Herrmann inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

The organisers of the Sebring 12 hour race pay tribute to the performances of extraordinary race drivers by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

In the lead up to this year’s race, Hans Herrmann received this very rare honor.

Legendary achievements: Hans Herrmann and Porsche - Source: Porsche AG

Legendary achievements: Hans Herrmann and Porsche - Source: Porsche AG

The former Porsche works driver, born 1928, won the Sebring classic twice, contributed to Porsche claiming the manufacturers’ world title in 1969 and 1970, and clinched the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans with Richard Attwood in 1970.

Convalescence: Works driver Timo Bernhard on the way to recovery

Timo Bernhard - Source: Porsche AG

Timo Bernhard - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche factory pilot Timo Bernhard has to take several weeks of time out. During testing with an Audi in Sebring (USA), he went off the track at high speed through no fault of his own and slammed backwards into the barrier. At hospital an injury to his cervical spine was diagnosed. An operation is not necessary. However, Bernhard has to remain in the USA for some time and is wearing a neck brace for support.

“I’ll take things easy so that I can get fit again quickly,” says the Porsche works driver. “My wife Katharina has joined me here in Florida and she’s helping me with the necessary check-up examinations. As soon as the doctors give me the clearance to fly, we’ll be back in Germany.”

Carrera Cup Asia: Tenth season features largest grid in history

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Porsche AG

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Porsche AG

With 27 competitors, the Carrera Cup Asia enters its tenth season with the largest grid line up in its history.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

In Shanghai and Singapore the Asian Carrera Cup runs as support to the Formula 1.

Carrera Cup Australia: Champion Craig Baird unbeatable in Melbourne

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Craig Baird Carrera Cup Australia

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012
Title: Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Craig Baird Carrera Cup Australia

Three races, three victories and the points lead. After a faultless weekend as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne (16/18 March), Craig Baird elbowed Alex Davison from the top of the points’ table. Davison had led the series after winning two races at the first weekend in Adelaide (3/4 March).

Todd Kelly of the Jack Daniel's Racing team March 03, 2012 Start Carrera Cup Australia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Todd Kelly of the Jack Daniel's Racing team March 03, 2012
Start Carrera Cup Australia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Ex-Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen gave an impressive performance at his guest drive in Melbourne yielding two fourth places. This marked the first time at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for the German. Next round: 4 to 6 May in Perth, WA.

During the Australian Grand Prix, round 2 of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia at the Albert Park, MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia, Thursday, March 15, 2012.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen - Round 2 of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Additional race on Saturday

Start Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland - 04 Lausitzring 2011 - Source: Porsche AG

Start
Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland - 04 Lausitzring 2011 - Source: Porsche AG

The German Carrera Cup takes off: In addition to the 80 kilometre race on Sunday, competitors in 2012 also contest a 60 kilometre sprint on Saturday. Also new this season is the B classification for amateurs as well as a rookie category for new-comers up to 25 years old. The price money increases by 100,000 Euro to now total more than half a million Euro. Nine race weekends with an event on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife as the highlight make up the calendar. The season kicks off on 28 April in Hockenheim.

Carrera Cup Japan: New junior driver – season highlight alongside Formula 1

Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Again in 2012, a talented young driver is given the chance to launch his career in the Carrera Cup Japan. 18-year-old Ryo Hirakawa competes with the support of Porsche Japan in a 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Garmin Team. Hirakawa comes from formula racing and contests his first GT season. He faces tough opposition from the likes of GT aces Igor Sushko and Shinichi Yamaji from the Japanese Super GT.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Garmin Team: Ryo Hirakawa Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Garmin Team: Ryo Hirakawa Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Two Porsche Centres join the series for the first time, with Excellence Motorsports running the 100th 911 GT3 Cup imported into Japan. Okayama hosts the first of eleven races on 1 April. Season highlight: The race as support to the Japan Grand Prix in Suzuka, 5/7 October.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Shinichi Yamaji Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Shinichi Yamaji Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Race notes: Record grids in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA

GT3 Cup Challenge USA - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

GT3 Cup Challenge USA - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

and the GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil with 39 and 37 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup respectively.

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012
Title: GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil

 

+++ After just the tenth of twelve races in the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East 2011/12, Abdulaziz Al Faisal from Saudi Arabia is the champion.

PORSCHE GT3 ROUNDS 7 AND 8 REEM CIRCUIT FEBRUARY 2012 - Season 2012 -Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Abdulaziz Al Faisal GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East - Source: Porsche AG

PORSCHE GT3 ROUNDS 7 AND 8 REEM CIRCUIT FEBRUARY 2012 - Season 2012 -Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Abdulaziz Al Faisal GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East - Source: Porsche AG

+++ Manthey Racing contracted Porsche works driver Marco Holzer for the International GT Open to race a new 911 GT3 RSR in the pan-European championship. His teammate is Britain’s Nick Tandy. The pair competes against their works driver colleague Patrick Pilet, who shares driving duties with Raymond Narac in a 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad.

SOURCE: Porsche Motorsport / Porsche AG Media  Press Database  

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in ALMS, American Le Mans Series

 

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Le Mans Series, rd 5 in Estoril/Portugal, race report: Porsche teams claim podium spots, win with championship

Richard Lietz (l), Marc Lieb (r)

Stuttgart. That was close. Just 0.183 seconds separated Porsche’s works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) in the 911 GT3 RSR from their first win of the season.

Patrick Pilet (l), Wolf Henzler (r)

At the final round of the Le Mans Series, the title defenders celebrated their best result of the year clinching second at Estoril in the GTE Pro sports car category. Factory pilots Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) were delighted with their best result of the season in third place. And there was wild elation in the GTE Am class in which just one professional driver may compete per vehicle.

Raymond Narac (l), Franck Rava (m), Nicolas Armindo (r)

Frenchmen Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac crowned their season with another victory with the 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR, and took home the drivers’ championship title.

Marc Lieb (r)

“It was a really great race,” said Marc Lieb. “As expected, there was a very close fight between us and Ferrari. Our 911 remained consistent over the entire six hours. Richard, the team and I gave our very best. We fought to the flag. During the last pit stop, Richard experienced a bit of bad luck when he encountered traffic. That cost us the decisive seconds and handed the lead to the Ferrari.”

Taking up the race from fourth, Richard Lietz managed to move into second position after almost an hour.

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

Lap for lap, Lieb and Lietz then reeled in the front-runner. It was Lietz who finally closed the gap during his second stint – and the Felbermayr-Proton pit crew played their hand in the success: Their eight-second faster pit stop catapulted Lieb into the lead with the 911 GT3 RSR. Trying to defend this, however, was no easy task. Lieb could fend off his pursuers, but not really shake them. The Felbermayr-Proton squad’s last pit stop also worked perfectly, but back on the track Lietz hit traffic – and the Ferrari snatched back the lead. Although Lietz stuck like glue to the bumper of the leader he wasn’t able to overtake on the narrow circuit.

“The last phase was sensational,” Richard Lietz said. “In the last lap we were panel to panel twice and touched several times. But there was no way I could pass without crossing the line of fairness. When you have victory in sight and are beaten by such a close margin, well, your joy over second place is somewhat overshadowed.”

After winning the drivers’ championship in the last two years, the pair finished the season in third.

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

For works drivers Wolf Henzler and Patrick Pilet, who contest the GTE-Pro class for the IMSA Performance Matmut team, the race was no less exciting. Start driver Pilet took an early lead before having to relinquish it after five laps. Suffering problems with the nut gun at two pit stops, the German/French duo fell back to third place. “Holding on to third took a huge effort,” said both Henzler and Pilet.

“We tried out all variations of set-up possibilities,” explained Henzler. “But we simply didn’t manage to find a decent balance. With fresh tyres we could easily hold the pace, but after a couple of laps the 911 become difficult to drive. And we lost a lot of time in the pits. This is something we have to work on.” Pilet added: “But this makes it all the more wonderful that, despite everything, we claimed out first podium result. We’re happy.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

For IMSA Performance Matmut, there were two reasons to celebrate at the finale. Aside from third place for the GTE Pro pilots, there were joyous celebrations over the race victory and win of the championship title in the GTE Am class. This marks the first international title for the team based in the northern French town of Rouen. The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Nicolas Armindo, and team owner and amateur racer Raymond Narac, yielded the brilliant balance of four wins from five races. As stipulated by the regulations, the pair competed with the 2010 version of the 911 GT3 RSR. The squad also secured the team championship title which serves as an entrance ticket to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012.

Nicolas Armindo

“I simply can’t express how happy I am,” said Armindo with a wide grin. “At the beginning of the season everything was new for me. But thanks to my team I quickly found my feet in this new environment and it didn’t take me long at all to get familiar with the 911 GT3 RSR. It makes me proud that in my first year of LMS I can contribute to bringing home the championship trophy for this warm and wonderful team.”

Christian Ried

Felbermayr-Proton team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and Austria’s Horst Felbermayr Junior were also pleased. The winners of the season-opener in Le Castellet concluded the year with a podium result in the GTE Am class.

Marc Goossens

For the third Porsche team contesting the GTE-Pro class with works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and Marc Goossens (Belgium), the race came to a premature end in lap one when an opponent crashed into the right front wheel of their ProSpeed Competition 911 – broke the steering gear and knocked them out of contention.

 

“It is such a shame that the season ends like this,” said Marco Holzer. “We’d qualified a decent fourth yesterday and thought our chances for second in the GTE Pro classification looked good. Unfortunately the overzealous move of a competitor robbed us of this chance. For our team, who had worked so incredibly hard, this was a particularly bitter conclusion to the year.”

 

Marco Holzer and Patrick Pilet

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Statistics: 5th of 5 rounds of the Le Mans Series in Estoril/Portugal

Result GTE Pro class
1. Bell/Walker (GB/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 209 laps
2. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 0.183 seconds behind
3. Henzler/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 207
4. Melo/Vilander (BR/FIN), Ferrari F458 Italia, 206
5. Hancock/Dolan (GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 204
6. Rodrigues/Ballay/Ayari (P/F/F), Ferrari F458 Italia, 197
7. Farnbacher/Simonsen (D/DK), Ferrari F458 Italia, 99

Result GTE Am class
1. Armindo/Narac (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 205 laps
2. Hummel/Christodoulou/Quaife (NL/GB/GB), Ferrari F430, 203
3. Ried/Felbermayr Jr. (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 202

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: 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 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle may have just one professional driver.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kg.
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. With four title wins in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010,

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

 

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Le Mans Series, rd 5 in Estoril/Portugal – 2nd grid row in the hands of Porsche teams

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Stuttgart. The Porsche works drivers start the final race of the Le Mans Series season from promising positions.

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

Posting grid position three, title defender Richard Lietz (Austria) clinched the best result of the season with the 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro sports car category.

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

On the fourth spot, Marco Holzer (Germany) takes up the six hour race alongside Lietz on the 4.182 kilometre former Grand Prix circuit of Estoril.

Marco Holzer (Germany)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, ProSpeed Competition, Marco Holzer, Marc Goossens

Patrick Pilet (France) rounds off the good result with position six on the grid. In the GTE Am class, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo again set pole position with the 2010-version of the 911 GT3 RSR.

Patrick Pilet (France)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Wolf Henzler (l), Patrick Pilet (r)

Wolf Henzler (l)

Frenchman Nicolas Armindo

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

“We gave our best and are really pleased with third on the grid,” said Lietz who last year secured the championship title in the sports car class with his Felbermayr-Proton teammate Marc Lieb (Germany). “My lap was good, third on the grid is the best result of the season by now. Above all, we’re thrilled that our times are so close to the leaders. Now let’s see what the race yields for us.”

After a difficult start to the season with two crashes that were not their fault, the luck of the title defenders finally turned recently in Silverstone with their first podium position.

After competing last year as a Porsche Junior, 23-year-old factory pilot Marco Holzer was delighted with his fourth grid spot.

“That was a great qualifying session,” commented Holzer, who joins forces for ProSpeed Competition with Belgium’s Marc Goossens.

“We missed out on the first free practice because we had to change something on our gearbox. Hence we were behind with our set-up work. But this makes our second row position even sweeter. In fact, we’ve never started so far up the front of the field this season. And we’re also hoping to further improve the handling of our 911 during the warm-up tomorrow and then the race should go well. The track is challenging but I really like it.”

The French factory pilot Patrick Pilet also seemed satisfied.

Patrick Pilet

“Sixth on the grid is okay,” stated Pilet, who shares driving duties for IMSA Performance Matmut with works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany).

“Our car was rather difficult to drive in the practice sessions, so we tried out something very new in the qualifying but that didn’t work. Now we have some things to sort out during the warm-up. And then comes the race that will undoubtedly be very exciting on this somewhat narrow circuit.”

Wolf Henzler

Nicolas Armindo secured another point in the fight for the championship with his fourth pole position of the season in the GTE Am class. In this category, only one professional driver is permitted per vehicle.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler

The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland drives with the team owner IMSA Performance Matmut, amateur racer Raymond Narac. In compliance with the regulations, the two Frenchmen compete with a 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Horst Felbermayr Jr. (l), Christian Ried (r)

The pair takes up the final round with an eleven point lead over their closest rival. Felbermayr-Proton’s team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria) head into tomorrow’s race from fourth in the GTE Am class.

Christian Ried (Germany)

Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria)

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Qualifying result
GTE Pro class
1. Rob Bell (GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:39.176 minutes
2. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.057 seconds
3. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.198
4. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.350
5. Dominik Farnbacher (D), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.573
6. Patrick Pilet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.788
7. Jamie Melo (BR), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.214

GTE Am class
1. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:40.014 minutes
2. Marco Cioci (I), Ferrari F430, + 0.544 seconds
3. Phil Quaife (GB), Ferrari F430, + 0.763
4. Christian Ried (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.093

The six hour race starts on Sunday, 25 September, at 13.00 hours local time (CEST 14.00 hours).

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: 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 four titles in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

Marc Lieb (r)

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database 

 

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Porsche Motorsport around the world – Newsletter 4 – 2011

Stuttgart. The Motorsport Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world.

Development of an LMP1 sports prototype: Porsche returns to Le Mans Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the race car developed from scratch is planned for 2014.

With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The last overall victory went to the Porsche 911 GT1 in the year 1998.

Porsche 911 GT1

Nürburgring 24 Hours: Porsche triumphs and sets new distance record Dramatic 24 hour sprint:

At the 39th running of the classic on the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife (25/26 June), works drivers Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas as well as Lucas Luhr took the lead with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR after 7:25 hours ahead of strong competition from Audi, BMW und Mercedes.

(l. – r.): Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

The quartet fended off rivals to the flag and set a distance record of 3,958.968 kilometres. For Porsche and the Manthey Racing squad, this marked the fifth victory at the “Ring” in the last six years – the same for Timo Bernhard.

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey: Jörg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Patrick Long

For the innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid the weekend ran less smoothly. Works drivers Joerg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer and Patrick Long led the field after four hours in front of 220,000 spectators, but spent a lot of time in the pits with a broken flange on the differential to finish 23rd.

Le Mans Series/Intercontinental Le Mans Cup: Fourth after tough struggle Works drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz brought the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton home in fourth as the best Porsche at the third round of the LMS (3 July, 4th ILMC race) in Imola.

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

After being the innocent victims of two accidents in the first two races, this result was the best for the title defenders in the GTE Pro category.

Nicolas Armindo (l), Raymond Narac (r)
P1, GTE-Am, Le Mans Series Imola

Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac were delighted with victory number two in the GTE Am class with their 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut.

IMSA Performance Matmut, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

Porsche Carrera World Cup: René Rast wins the greatest Porsche race of all time Rain, the world’s most difficult circuit and a field hailing from 25 countries: The Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nordschleife, contested prior to the 24 hour race, was not for the faint-hearted.

René Rast (D)
Porsche Carrera World Cup – Nürburgring 2011

After six hours and about 150 kilometres, René Rast celebrated overall victory at the greatest Porsche race in history. In the class for 911 GT3 Cup vehicles from 2007 to 2009, Timo Rumpfkeil won.

For the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and many national Carrera Cups the race counted towards their respective championships. René Rast took home maximum points for the Supercup.

Former champion Tim Harvey was the quickest in the Carrera Cup Great Britain (13th overall). Kévin Estre won the Carrera Cup France (6th overall), Alessandro Balzan was the best Italian (12th overall) and Johan Kristoffersson the best driver from the Carrera Cup Scandinavia (25th overall).

Grand-Am: Andrew Davis and Leh Keen at the front at half-way mark After the seventh of twelve Grand-Am races, Andrew Davis and Leh Keen rank second in the GT driver’s classification. At the six hour race in Watkins Glen (4 June) the duo won their class in a Brumos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with none other than racing legend Hurley Haywood calling the tactical shots. On the last June weekend (27 June), Davis and Keen clinched sixth in Road America.

French GT Championship: Dream weekend for Porsche teams With a double win for Patrick Bornhauser/Laurent Groppi in Larbre Compétition’s 911 GT3 R ahead of Anthony Beltoise/Laurent Pasquali in the GT3 R of Pro GT by Almeras, the fourth race weekend took off in Val de Vienne (25/26 June).

Porsche 911 GT3 R: Anthony Beltoise, Laurent Pasquali
GT Championship France, Val de Vienne

A one-two-three at race two with Beltoise/Pasquali in front of Bornhauser/Groppi and Laurent Cazenave/Jean-Claude Police in the sister Almeras-Porsche made the weekend perfect for Porsche.

Italian GT Championship: Autorlando pilot battles for points’ lead After a win and a second place at the third race weekend at the Autodromo dell Umbria near Magione (19 June), Autorlando pilot Ruberti lies a close second in the GT drivers’ classification. Ruberti shared the cockpit in Magione with his regular teammate Mario Cordoni.

Belcar Endurance Championship: Tactical brilliance yields win for Prospeed A courageous tyre choice and a perfect performance from drivers Marc Goossens and Maxime Soulet yielded the Prospeed Competition team their second win of the season at round three in Spa (18 June).

The squad sent the 911 GT3 R into the three-hour race on slicks, whilst the competition opted for rain tyres. With ten laps to go, Prospeed again made the right choice with slicks and won by more than a minute. Goossens/Soulet currently lead the driver’s classification.

British GT Championship: Victory for Trackspeed-Porsche at Brands Hatch Tim Bridgman and Gregor Fisken are the victors of the spectacular third race in Brands Hatch (19 June). A rain shower after the first half hour provided thrills and spills amongst the 30-strong field.

Bridgman and Fisken brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Trackspeed home in first after two hours. Reigning champion David Ashburn was forced into retirement with a fire in the rear left wheel arch of his Porsche.

Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds: Jeff Zwart clocks record time in 911 GT2 RS At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, American Jeff Zwart set a record time for street homologated sports cars at the famous Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds in Colorado (26 June).

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

In the 620 hp 911, he broke the old record on the 20 kilometre track which leads over 156 corners from an altitude of 2,860 up to 4,600 metres, by 24 seconds.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

Zwart had collected the 911 GT3 RS himself from Porsche Motorsport in California and drove the 1,770 kilometres to the start.

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Six races, six different winners Sean Edwards from Great Britain won the sixth round of the season on the rain-soaked, extremely difficult Norisring in Nuremberg (3 July) to extend his points’ lead ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Round five of the series run at the Porsche Carrera World Cup (25 June) went to Nicolas Armindo, with the Frenchman finishing fifth out of 98 starters.

Carrera Cup Japan: Hideto Yasuoka unstoppable At the fourth and fifth race of the Carrera Cup Japan on the extremely demanding Fuji International Speedway (11/12 June), Hideto Yasuoka again proved unbeatable in his class with two pole-to-flag wins.

(l.-r.): Akira Fujita, Hideto Yasuoka, Michael Green
Porsche Carrera Cup Japan, Fuji International Speedway

The talented youngster driving for the Garmin Porsche team has yet to be beaten in 2011. Akira Fujita secured second place twice.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama: Macneil and Cisneros win in Montreal Cooper Macneil (Alex Job Racing) celebrated his first victory in the Platinum Cup class after a rainy fifth round on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve run as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal (11 June), with points’ leader Henrique Cisneros retiring after a journey off the track. Gold Cup class honours went to Eduardo Cisneros after a hefty duel with the 15-year-old front-runner Madison Snow.

GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil: Rosset and Junior continue on-going duel With fading brakes, points’ leader Ricardo Rosset managed to salvage his victory at the first race in Interlagos (18 June), fending off an attack from second-placed Constantino Junior. Victory at the second race on the same day went to Junior, who had taken up the race from seventh on the grid as per the regulations. In the drivers’ classification, Rosset sits ten points ahead of Junior. The Challenge race for older 911 GT3 Cup was won by Fernando Barci.

Race notes: Pole-sitters Manuel Giao and Miguel Angel de Castro win round three of the Spanish GT Championship (19 June) on the Circuito de Albacete in the 911 GT3 RSR of the Drivex squad. +++ Gianluca Roda and Fabio Babini defend their GTS class lead at the fifth and sixth race of the International GT Open in Spa (25/26 June) with a Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Autorlando Sport.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

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Le Mans Series,round 3 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 4 in Imola/Italy,Title defenders in Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fourth after tough struggle


Title defenders in Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fourth after tough struggle

Stuttgart. Claiming fourth at the six hour race in Imola, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) secured their best result of the season so far in the GTE Pro class with their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton.

“We had a super race without any technical problems and a perfectly set-up car. We pulled out all stops, but this was the best we could do right now,” said Marc Lieb after round three of the Le Mans Series in high summer temperatures at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

His teammate Richard Lietz said:

“Due to the balance of performance regulations we are currently not in a position to keep the leaders under pressure over the race distance. Other than that, everything else is perfect, from the set-up of the car to the pit stops.”

After retiring from the first two races of the season, Porsche factory pilots Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) saw the chequered flag in Imola for the first time.

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by IMSA Performance Matmut, they crossed the finish line in fifth place.

“We’re mostly pleased about actually finishing a race at last,” Wolf Henzler said. “In the Aque Minerale we got a slow puncture and dropped one position. I’m particularly happy for our team. They didn’t let our bad luck in Le Castellet and Spa get them down and now they’ve been rewarded.” Pilet added: “Despite everything it was fun. We did our best, we couldn’t do more.”

Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and his Belgian teammate Marc Goossens planted their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of ProSpeed Competition on sixth place.

“We got through well,” he said, “and only lost time with damage to the rear left tyre. Afterwards I was able to overtake two rivals.”

In the GTE Am class, Porsche claimed the third win from the third race. Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut, which is at last year’s technical specification as per the regulations, Frenchmen Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac won ahead of Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) and Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda (Italy) at the wheel of Proton Competition’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. With this second victory after Spa, they also moved into the points’ lead.

 

Statistics: 3rd of 5 races of the Le Mans Series in Imola/Italy

Result GTE Pro class
1. Melo/Vilander (BR/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 198 laps
2. Fisichella/Bruni (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 197
3. Müller/Farfus (D/BR), BMW M3, 197
4. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 196
5. Henzler/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 196
6. Holzer/Goossens (D/B), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 191

Result GTE Am class
1. Armindo/Narac (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 194 laps
2. Long/Roda (USA/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 194
3. Canal/Bornhauser/Gardel (F/F/CH), Corvette C6-ZR1, 193

Round four of the Le Mans Series takes place on 11 September in Silverstone/Great Britain.

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 AG Media Database
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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

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Motor and Sports Press
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