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Triple victory for Porsche in strongest GT field in history at Daytona 24 Hours, USA

 

 GT Podium

Press Release

29/01/2012

Magnus Racing, (l.-r.): Rene Rast, Richard Lietz, Andy Lally, John Potter

Stuttgart. The 24 hour race in Daytona remains Porsche territory:

At the cliff-hanger 50th anniversary of the long distance classic in Florida/USA, the Zuffenhausen sports car manufacturer celebrated a convincing triple triumph in the GT class against strong opposition from the likes of Audi, BMW, Corvette and Ferrari.

(l.-r.): Andy Lally, John Potter, Richard Lietz, Rene Rast

Victory went to Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Magnus Racing with teammates René Rast (Germany) as well as Americans Andy Lally and John Potter.

Porsche Factory Pilot Richard Lietz (Austria) – Magnus Racing

Magnus Racing – René Rast (Germany)  

  Magnus Racing – American Andy Lally  

Magnus Racing – American John Potter.

#44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

After a thrilling finale in front of record crowds on the Daytona International Speedway, Lietz saw the flag 9.412 seconds ahead of his factory pilot colleague Wolf Henzler.

#67 TRG Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

The previous year’s winner from Germany shared the cockpit of TRG Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Marc Goossens (Belgium), Spencer Pumpelly (USA) and Steven Bertheau (USA).

Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Marc Goossens (Belgium),                                   Steven Bertheau (USA), Factory Pilot Wolf Henzler, Spencer Pumpelly (USA)

Scoring third place was Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) with Americans Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the legendary starting number 59 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by the Daytona-winning squad Brumos Racing.

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) with Americans Hurley Haywood,           Leh Keen and Andrew Davis – Brumos Racing Team

Today we all witnessed why Daytona is one of the world’s most fascinating races,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

“For me that was a 24 hour sprint. The front-runners were incredibly close right to the flag. I’m very pleased to see that we had virtually no technical problems with our cars and the teams and drivers did such a magnificent job under difficult conditions.

Congratulations and well done to you all.”

Joerg Bergmiester, Patrick Long, Marc Lieb, Marco Holzer, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz – Porsche Factory Pilots

Porsche’s head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, commented after this latest success:

“The 50th running of this classic was unbelievably exciting. For much of the time, there were ten GT cars in one lap. The spectators were again treated to some fantastic motorsport. And it’s great of course to celebrate an impressive victory in front of such spectacular crowds. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup again brilliantly underlined its outstanding reliability at this extremely difficult race.”

With its latest win, Porsche has now scored 22 overall and 74 class wins, making it the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race.

The anniversary race of the endurance classic in Florida, at which the new Porsche 911 ran as the safety car, was stronger than ever before. In the GT class alone, 45 cars lined up to start.

“To beat so many great drivers, the crème de la crème of GT pilots, is simply awesome,” said the winner Richard Lietz.

“Winning this race for Porsche is a highlight of my career, comparable only to my two victories in Le Mans.”

His teammate René Rast, the two-time champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, to whom Porsche gave the chance to compete at Daytona in recognition of his excellent performance last season, said:

“Everything ran smoothly. We didn’t experience a single technical problem. That was only the second 24 hour race of my career and undoubtedly the toughest. During one of my stints I spent three and a half hours at the wheel. That was incredibly exhausting.”

In the gripping final phase, Wolf Henzler again pulled out all stops, but the leading Richard Lietz managed to stave him off to the flag.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Wolf Henzler

“He was just too quick today,” Henzler stated. “But to climb the podium again after my win last year is a huge success for me.”

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Brumos Racing, which took off into the race from pole position, Marc Lieb pitted shortly before the flag for a ‘splash and dash’ refuelling stop.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Marc Lieb

Despite having led the race for long distances up until this point, he was unable to rejoin the fight for victory.

“We experienced a bit of bad luck towards the end with our race strategy,” he said. “But although I was rather disappointed initially, it’s still a great team effort to come third against such an incredibly strong GT field.”

Andrew Davis, Leh Keen and Marc Lieb – Brumos Racing

Turning the fastest race lap of the entire GT field, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) turned heads at the classic on the Daytona International Speedway.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Marco Holzer

Alex Job Racing #23

He didn’t, however, manage to reach the flag.

“Everything was running beautifully with our car until the retirement,” he commented.

“But we had a bit of bad luck under the yellow flag. Three times we came in to refuel just before a caution phase and lost laps because of it. That’s rough.”

Lady Luck wasn’t with Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) either.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports, which they shared with American Seth Neiman and Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland), they were holding their own with the front-runners early on, but fell back and had to settle for 15th place at the flag.

Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller (D/USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

“Early on in the race we were running in the top three,” said Patrick Long. “Our pace was very fast.

But Seth’s collision with a Daytona prototype put us out of serious contention.”

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports

GT class

1. Lietz/Lally/Rast/Potter (A/USA/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 727 laps

2. Henzler/Bleekemolen/Bertheau/Goossens/Pumpelly (D/NL/USA/B/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 727 laps

3. Lieb/Haywood/Davis/Keen (D/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 726 laps

4. Edwards/Bremer/Liddell (USA/DK/GB), Camaro GT.R, 726 laps

5. Beretta/Bertolini/Vilander (MC/I/SF), Ferrari 458, 726 laps

6. Franchitti/Bomarito/Hinchcliffe/Tremblay (GB/USA/CAN/USA), Mazda RX-8, 722 laps

7. Pilet/Farnbacher/Keating/Simonsen (F/D/USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 721 laps

11. Armindo/Curtis/Lewis/Sofronas/Willsey (F/USA/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 713 laps

14. Avenatti/Faieta/Poordad/Sweedler/Wagner (USA/USA/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 707 laps

15. Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller (D/USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 706 laps

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SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG Motorsportpress

 

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

Le Mans 24 Hours

Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

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

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

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

Marc Lieb (Germany),

Richard Lietz (Austria)

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

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

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

at the Le Mans 24 Hours in eighth.

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

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

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Al Faisal

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

Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition)

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

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

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

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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

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

 

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PORSCHE NEWS: Le Mans 24 Hours, Interim report 10.00 hrs – Porsche teams fight for podium positions

 

Le Mans 24 Hours

Porsche teams fight for podium positions

Stuttgart. Porsche’s customer teams have an eventful night behind them. With five hours to go until the finish of one of the toughest Le Mans races in history, the teams in the GTE Pro class currently sit in positions three, four, seven and eight.

Piloting the best-placed 911 GT3 RSR are the winning trio from last year. Porsche’s factory pilots Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) fought their way through the field to now rank third thanks to the reliability of their 911, the perfect work of the drivers and the swift pit stops of the Felbermayr-Proton crew.

“I can’t remember the last time I experienced so many accidents at a Le Mans race,” said Marc Lieb, the two-time GT class winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours. “I don’t find it okay that many of the drivers are so extremely aggressive. Luckily we had no problems in the night and we are hoping for a podium finish.”


The drivers of the French IMSA Performance Matmut 911 can thank their fourth place at 10 a.m. to the fact that the night hours ran smoothly. Works driver Patrick Pilet, team owner Raymond Narac and Carrera Cup champion Nicolas Armindo (all France) all put in double stints. As planned, the brake pads were changed once.

Le Mans newcomer Armindo was surprised at the harshness of the competitors in the more powerful classes.

“Sometimes it seems we are completely invisible to them when they are lapping us,” says Armindo. “They drive as if we weren’t even there.”


After leading for quite some time, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the American Flying Lizard Motorsports team lost an excellent fourth place within striking distance of the podium six hours before the finish. Works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and seasoned racer Lucas Luhr (Germany) share driving duties in double stints and are doing a faultless job. However, due to a problem in the engine electrics, the 911 was forced to take an unscheduled pit stop and fell back from fourth to eighth position.

The Belgian ProSpeed Competition squad experienced a problem free start to the race only to suffer a sitback while lying in a promising fourth. A small leak in the water cooling system made repairs necessary in the early morning hours, which relegated works driver Marco Holzer (Germany), Marc Goossens (Belgium) and Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands) back down the field. Extreme bad luck plagued the second driver trio of Felbermayr-Proton. Suffering tyre damage Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) flew from the track in the fast Indianapolis corner. The Pro-911, which he shares with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Bryce Miller (USA), was so badly damaged that the team was unable to repair it. Luckily, Al Faisal climbed out uninjured.

Contesting the GTE Am class, Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition) fell victim to an opponent at 8.00 a.m. when his 911 was hit hard on the driver’s side of the 911 GT3 RSR. The Austrian was transported to hospital for an examination. In the same class, a 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the French Larbre Competition team currently ranks second.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 Media/Press Database
Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press

 

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