Tag Archives: Marc Lieb
Porsche 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR are coming to the “ring” FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, Nürburgring Test Drives
Porsche with the 919 Hybrid before the start in Le Mans, Preview of the 24 hours of Le Mans, LMP1 (3rd race of the WEC)
Stuttgart. After an absence of 16 years, Porsche will once again compete in the top category of what is certainly the world’s toughest car race, which starts at 3:00 pm on June 14, 2014. Porsche is fielding its most innovative prototypes at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
The two Porsche 919 Hybrid cars with start numbers 14 and 20 will be driven by two trios of drivers: Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand), Mark Webber (Australia).
These six world-class drivers have between them a total of 37 appearances at Le Mans. Despite being a record holder at Le Mans with 16 overall victories, this year the sports car manufacturer has no experience to benefit from. For the first year of the LMP1 project the target is to get one of the fast Porsche 919 Hybrids to the finish line at the marathon.
Quotes before the race:
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1:
“Porsche is facing the biggest moment of the LMP1 project – its first start in the top category at Le Mans in 16 years. Whatever the results, we have successfully completed a lot of stages to get here. Above all, we have established a strong, innovative engineering team in the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach. The new know-how generated in-house by the great efforts of all those involved is something that no one can take away from Porsche. The pole position in Spa showed that the Porsche 919 Hybrid is fast, and, as newcomers, we earned respect for this achievement. I am very proud of this young team, which is as competent in its technology as it is in its drivers. I wish each individual the best of luck and success in this marathon.”
Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1:
“The challenge of developing a car for Le Mans was always to build a fast yet durable car. The constraints of the new race regulations have made this task even more difficult, but fascinating as well. Even in areas that were routine for the competition, we had no experience whatsoever. Nonetheless, we chose the boldest solution for our drive concept, because it offered the best future potential. In the pre-testing period, the aerodynamics that were once again modified to achieve lower air drag for the Le Mans event proved themselves, as did advanced developments that enhanced durability. The Porsche 919 Hybrid is our first LMP1 race car design. It is fast – but not all of its potential has been realised yet; that is the reality.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1:
“The operating task for a Le Mans team is enormous. We had to build an organisation with new personnel from the ground up. They are all excellent people. But even a hundred top soloists must first learn to play together as an orchestra. Responsibilities, communication, procedures, manual tasks – everything must mesh together perfectly. We have only competed in two races so far: in Silverstone and in Spa-Francorchamps. Everything went remarkably well. Our training was intensive. The team will have carried out 1,573 pit stops up to race week at Le Mans. We have also tested at night. Nonetheless, we have not yet experienced the stresses of a 24-hour race as a team. Everyone is looking forward to this challenge.”
Drivers, starting number 14:
Romain Dumas – 36, France.
(13 races: overall victory 2010, 3rd place overall 2007, class victory GTE 2013, 2nd place GT class 2001 and 2002, 3rd place GT class 2004)
“Le Mans is the most famous and toughest race in the world, and it is even more special for me as a Frenchman. I have been driving here since 2001, and I also lived here. In 2010 I won the race; I would love to repeat that one day – together with Porsche. So many people have been anticipating this return to LMP1 by Porsche. It makes me very proud to be one of the six drivers here. I have wanted to be with Porsche ever since my father put me in a 962 as a child. My favourite part of the track is the Porsche bends. Not because of their name, but because they are so quick and difficult. When you race down the Hunaudières at 330 km/h at night – all by yourself in your own world – you live a dream. You see and smell what is happening around the track. But you have to remain focused. We want to get to the finish line.”
Neel Jani – 30, Switzerland.
(5 races since 2009)
“Le Mans is living motorsport history. That is more true of Porsche than with any other brand. To be part of the return to the top class after 16 years is a dream come true for me. Most racing car drivers would agree. It is a great honour, but also a tremendous responsibility. My best result at Le Mans was in 2012 when I finished fourth with a privateer team. I knew I could only improve on that result in a good factory team. Now I have reached that point. But, regardless of which class or which car, this race stirs up an emotional feeling. I will never forget my first time racing at night; it was awesome. Yet, it is important to block out all of that and concentrate on doing your best – for yourself and your team-mates. We want to be competitive in our first year.”
Marc Lieb – 33, Germany.
(8 races: class victory GTE 2013, class victory GT2 2010, class victory GT 2005, 2nd place GT class 2003)
“Porsche took me on board in 2000 when my bank account was empty and the prospects for my Formula racing career had almost run out. It means a lot to me to now be part of a return to the top class, especially since we have this incredible technology that our engineers have created for the 919 Hybrid. Starting in the LMP1 class changes your perspective entirely compared to racing in the GT categories. You look less in the rear-view mirror and more at the cars out front that you are going to lap. Radio contact with the pit crew is also much more intensive to achieve efficient energy usage. The racing is incredibly tough for everyone involved. Whenever I won class victories, the most enjoyable thing for me was to look down from the podium and gaze at the tired but happy faces of the mechanics.”
Drivers, starting number 20:
Timo Bernhard – 33, Germany.
(7 races: overall victory 2010, class victory GT 2002, 2nd place GTE class 2013, 2nd place GT2 2005)
“In my first start for Porsche in 2002, Le Mans was stunning. And people always asked me: When will you return to the top league. I was involved with the building of the LMP1 team right from the start, and in 2013 I drove at the roll-out, then did testing and development work. The entire time I had the big goal in mind; I can hardly express how much I am ready for it now. The week leading up to the race will still be intensive, right up to the starting ceremony. I always found it satisfying to be the starting driver, and to finally close the door after all the pre-race show was over. And then at some point on this long circuit you find a very special rhythm. Especially at night when everything gets even faster, and when it might drizzle or rain … It is indescribable; there is a certain magic to it.”
Brendon Hartley – 24, New Zealand.
(2 races since 2012)
“For me, Le Mans is my whole passion. I have the feeling that racing here fulfils the entire reason I climbed into a kart for the first time at six years of age. To now start as a Porsche factory driver, for the greatest sports car icon is like a dream. And then there is this special project with technology that never existed before. Hybrid systems, all-wheel drive, intuitive operating systems – the Porsche 919 is fantastic. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I have been chosen to sit in this car. I especially like Le Mans at night; that is the best. The lights fly past you, and everything feels a lot faster. You nearly get tunnel vision – that is when the cockpit is the perfect place for me. I also have a sporting score to settle at Le Mans.”
Mark Webber – 37, Australia.
(participated 1998 and 1999 at Le Mans but not in the race; 9 Formula-1 victories)
“To return to Le Mans is emotionally very special for me. Le Mans stands for endurance, trial of man and machine, an incredibly long day, often with changing conditions and, above all, there is the teamwork. Naturally, I want to leave here with happier memories than previously, which should not be too difficult. And, of course, I want to win this race sometime. We have a fast car with fantastic technology. I also like the seating position, tucked behind the windscreen, and I am looking forward to the night-time driving at Le Mans. The team is still very young, but the bonding in the team has been very quick. If we were to come up with a good result in our first year that would be a massive statement for Porsche as a brand.”
Facts and figures:
• With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the record holder at Le Mans.
• The first Porsche overall victory dates back to 1970 (Hans Herrmann/Richard Attwood in a 917 KH Coupé), and the last victory to date was on June 7, 1998 (Laurent Aiello/Allan McNish/Stéphane Ortelli in a Porsche GT1).
• According to the official archives, 812 Porsche cars have raced at Le Mans, and that too is a record.
• The fastest qualifying lap was driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck in 1985 in a Porsche 962 C (average speed 251.815 km/h). That record will likely stand for eternity, since chicanes installed in 1990 now break up the long Hunaudières straight.
• The longest race distance was covered by Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller in 2010 in their overall victory for Audi, a total of 5,410.713 km (397 laps, average speed 225.45 km/h).
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid car numbers 20 and 14 stand for the year of the return.
• In qualifying (Wednesday and Thursday until midnight), every driver must run at least five laps in the dark. While WEC rules call for averaging the two fastest laps of two drivers (i.e. the mean of four lap times), the classic Le Mans method is to simply take the fastest lap driven with the car.
• The Le Mans night is one of the shortest of the year: the sun sets on Saturday at 9:55 pm, and it rises again on Sunday at 5:53 am.
• In normal racing mode (without any safety car periods), the Porsche 919 Hybrid must refuel every 13 to 14 laps.
• Refuelling and wheel changing may only be made sequentially, not at the same time. Only two mechanics may work simultaneously when wheel changing. That takes a lot longer than in Formula One, for example.
• Drivers are normally only changed when new tyres are needed.
• Two fuel tank fills with one set of Michelin tyres are the absolute minimum; three should be standard, and sometimes it might even be possible to do four – an open issue and a tremendous challenge for the drivers.
• During the race, no driver may drive for more than four hours within a six-hour period. No driver may drive for more than 14 of the 24 hours.
• Due to the length of the circuit, there are three safety cars at Le Mans.
• The equipment taken to the track – in addition to the two race cars – includes a spare chassis, six engines, five front gearboxes, five rear gearboxes, six front wings and six rear wings, 80 rims, over 100 radios and headsets.
• The amount of electrical energy that a driver can use for what is known as boosting is limited. The Porsche 919 Hybrid may consume exactly 1.67 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity on each 13.629 km long lap.
• In 2013, the Le Mans victor completed 348 laps. Over this distance, the 919 Hybrid would generate and utilise 581.2 kilowatt hours (kWh) from its energy recovery systems – an amount of electrical power that would light a 60-Watt incandescent light bulb for a full 9,687 hours. Or expressed differently: this amount of energy would power the new Volkswagen e-Golf, which is currently the most energy-efficient electric car in the compact class, over 4,576 kilometres – enough to drive one-way across the USA from New York to Los Angeles.
• All in all, there is even more honour and glory to be won at Le Mans: twice as many points are awarded than in the other seven races for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) that are each six hours long.
• In the WEC standings, the Porsche team with 36 points is currently behind Toyota (84) and ahead of Audi (28) after two of eight races.
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid was designed and built at the Development Centre of Porsche AG in Weissach. 230 team members work there.
• The core team of Porsche for LMP1 racing at the race circuit in Le Mans consists of 86 team members (engineers, mechanics, team management). Add to that personnel from communication and marketing, sponsoring and driver support.
• For Le Mans week, supplies include well over 1,000 team shirts and other clothing.
• The shopping list for food and refreshments for the team and the media hospitality area include: 50 boxes of salad, 50 kg of strawberries, 300 melons, 1.2 metric tonnes of meat, 500 kg of fish, 600 kg of noodles, 2,000 eggs and 1,100 loaves of bread.
• While most of the team members catch some sleep during the night of the race whenever they have time and space, the drivers have beds in containers located behind the pit. It is impossible to get a quiet rest, sleep from exhaustion is more likely.
• The organiser, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), expects over 250,000 spectators at the race.
Schedule of the Porsche LMP1 team:
The technical inspection of the 56 racing cars, which are subdivided into four classes, is done on the Sunday before the race, June 8, at the Place de la République. A public event in the middle of the city. The scrutineers examine the cars, and the 168 drivers must present their paperwork. The Porsche LMP1 team is scheduled for this inspection on Sunday between 3:15 pm and 4:15 pm. The last teams will complete this technical part of the administration by 6:00 pm on Monday.
Tuesday, June 10:
2:00-2:30 pm Porsche team photo (LMP1) at start/finish line
2:30-3:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
5:00-6:30 pm Autograph session, pit lane
Wednesday, June 11:
2:30-3:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
4:00-8:00 pm Free practice
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying
Thursday, June 12:
3:30-4:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
7:00-9:00 pm Qualifying
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying
Friday, June 13:
10:00 am – 8:00 pm Pit walk
1:00-2:00 pm Porsche press conference in the large guest hospitality area
5:30-7:30 pm Driver parade in the downtown area
Saturday, June 14:
2:22 pm Beginning of race start ceremony
3:00 pm Start of race
• Live communication from the box on Twitter @PorscheRaces.
• You can experience the race from an in-vehicle perspective and track the vehicles by GPS and live timing at http://www.porsche.com/mission2014.
Product and Technology Communication
Porsche 919 Hybrid arrives at the Sarthe, Sports Car WEC, Pre-race test Le Mans 24-Hours/France – LMP1
Stuttgart. At the official pre-race test for the 24-hour race, the Porsche 919 Hybrid did its first laps in Le Mans on Sunday.
During the morning session the Porsche Team covered 90 laps with the two innovative prototypes on the 13.629 kilometre track. In the afternoon the distance achieved was 103 laps.
Because about nine kilometres of the legendary circuit are on public roads, normally it is impossible to test at the “Circuit de la Sarthe”.
Inside and around the paddock the infrastructure for the huge Porsche works entry on 14th/15th June is coming together – be it engineers’ offices, container buildings for the drivers to rest in or spare parts logistics and storage. The aerodynamic package of the Porsche 919 Hybrid had been modified for the high-speed track. The test programme went according to plan.
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1:
“This has been a very productive day. We travelled to Le Mans with a long to-do list and managed to tick off every single topic without experiencing any unpleasant surprises. Both cars ran trouble-free and all the drivers were on duty. With the number 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid we focused on tyre evaluation in the morning, while the number 20 car was busy with mechanical and aerodynamic set-up work. In the afternoon the job lists for the cars were swapped. Race control did several simulations, which have been good drills for our team and drivers too. For example safety car periods and the so called ‘slow zones’ were practiced. We now have a lot of data to study.
Today was a very good preparation for the drivers, engineers and mechanics – actually for everybody in the team. We would never have made it this far without our development department in Weissach – therefore thank you very much to all our colleagues at home.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #14
“In the morning I was only able to do a few clear laps before the safety car came out. But in the afternoon it was much better, and we learnt a lot. Our car still tends to understeer and we will keep working on this for the race week. But both cars ran trouble-free, and that was our number one target.“
“Overall it was a positive day, but we still have work to do. In the morning I found it quite difficult. The track was extremely dirty and we had to calibrate the hybrid system. But it was our car that was doing the most laps in the morning session. In the afternoon I was doing set-up work and I think we have found a good direction.“
“It was great fun to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid on this track. In the morning we were testing tyres and I have been quite happy with the results. In the afternoon we switched to set-up work and did a good long run. The car became quicker and quicker, which obviously is promising. “
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #20
“All went according to plan – even if others were on top of the time sheets. We did our fastest lap in the middle of a long run. We found a baseline set-up very quickly this morning. The car feels good, so I’m quite confident. This test is the only opportunity to drive here and we made the most of it. We will stay focussed and will turn the newly collected data into solutions. For example, we want to use the potential of the tyres better over the long runs.”
“It was a great start for me here on this fantastic race track. We had no problems with either car and were able to try a lot of interesting things. We are improving in tyre management on long runs as well, and it was a good day for us.“
“I was really looking forward to taking the car round here for the first time. I always enjoyed this track and the long lap. To come here with the Porsche 919 Hybrid is a big day for all of us and it ran smoothly. First thing in the morning I got my ten rookie laps out of the way, which are mandatory at the pre-race test when you haven’t raced here for a while. We then quickly were able to start working on the balance and set-up of the car. We are constantly improving and again we learnt a lot.”
Source: Product and Technology Communication, Porsche AG
Porsche teams conduct successful Le Mans test, Sports Car WEC, test day Le Mans 24 Hours, France, GT
Stuttgart. At the traditional test day on the Circuit des 24 Heures on Sunday, teams and drivers entered the last and decisive preparation phase leading up to the Le Mans 24 Hours. The legendary long distance classic will be run on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Championship (WEC). Porsche Team Manthey’s two Porsche 911 RSR, which scored a double class win at their first Le Mans outing last year in the GTE Pro class, concluded a testing programme without any technical problems in dry and partly sunny conditions.
The three Porsche customer outfits Dempsey Racing-Proton, IMSA Performance Matmut, and Prospeed Competition, also used the test day to set up their cars for the challenging 13.629 kilometre circuit. They are contesting the GTE Am class. The Le Mans 24 Hours runs for the 82nd time this year and is regarded as the highlight of the season.
Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France), and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) took the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR through its paces. Their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France), and Richard Lietz (Austria), who celebrated his third Le Mans victory last year, shared driving duties in the second 911 with starting number 92 run by the Porsche Team Manthey squad. The team entrust the two factory-911 to the same driver line-ups for the race.
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:
“Basically our drivers are happy with the handling of the 911 RSR. Now we’ll focus on preparing for the race. Unfortunately Joerg Bergmeister had to make a brief excursion into the gravel trap and slightly damaged the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR when he avoided another car. It didn’t make sense to do the repairs here. We’ll take a good look at it when we get home, after all, we want to drive this car in a fortnight at the 24 hour race. I don’t think all the manufacturers laid their cards on the table today, so as to avoid risking being penalised. It would have been better to find a regulation where you don’t have to be afraid of being punished for a good performance, like what happened after our double victory at the season-opener at Silverstone. The current situation doesn’t do a season highlight like the 24 Hours of Le Mans justice.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91):
“Basically a test day is to gain as much information as possible. Unfortunately I missed the braking point in the Ford curve and actually wanted to drive straight ahead through the gravel trap to avoid hitting the kerbs at the edge. But the car took off, flew far and landed hard. For this reason, the afternoon session fell flat.”
Patrick Pilet (#91):
“It’s always wonderful to be back in Le Mans. It’s my all-time favourite track. And today I immediately felt great here. Our car has a great set-up and I’m certain that we’ll tackle the race well prepared.”
Nick Tandy (#91):
“This test in particular is always a good chance to see how the car handles on this rather unique track. Towards the end of the morning session we began to change certain things on the set-up. It’s important on such a day to make the best use of the little time you have. I’m sure we’ve done this today.”
Marco Holzer (#92):
“I didn’t contest Le Mans last year so it felt great to turn some laps on this fantastic circuit again. This morning we had a lot of dirt on the track which gave very little grip, but over the course of the day the conditions improved. Today it was all about exploring how our tyres behave on this very special circuit and how the grip level changes. We managed to do what we had planned and we can now head to the race feeling quite confident.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):
“We tried out several things on the car, but the many safety car phases, which were intended as a practice for the race, made this somewhat difficult. Still, this test day was a good preparation for the race. We learned a lot and I hope that we can use what we’ve learned in two weeks.”
Richard Lietz (#92):
“The test day ran well and we made the best use out of it. First and foremost it was about seeing how the tyres and the car worked together on a circuit that at times runs on a normal country road. I feel we’ve made progress and I’m looking forward to the race.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is contested on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC on the Circuit 24 Heures in Le Mans/France. Double points towards the championship are awarded for drivers, teams and manufacturers.
Source: Communication Porsche AG, Motorsport Press
Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Stuttgart. The Porsche Team enjoyed two intensive days of testing with the newly developed 919 Hybrid, entered in the top class of Le Mans Prototypes, during the official Prologue of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Paul Ricard.
It was the first time the Porsche Team had shared a test with the whole WEC field and was able to get a first impression about the differences in speed between the various classes.
On the 5.791 kilometre long track the difference between the overall fastest lap of the LMP1 car (1:41.289 minutes, Porsche 919 Hybrid, Brendon Hartley) and the slowest GT car was around 20 seconds. The team had another first a few days earlier on the same track when it took part in a private test with two cars.
In total both driver line-ups – Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb (car no. 14) and Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber (car no. 20) – completed 614 laps (3,556 kilometres) on Friday and Saturday. They practiced countless driver changes and worked together with the Porsche Team’s engineers to further improve the car’s set-up.
Team principal Andreas Seidl:
“The Prologue was an excellently run test by the WEC organisation and we were able to complete our programme. After concentrating on long distance racing during our private test, when we covered two six hour race distances, we have now also tested our qualifying performance. We made good progress in all areas – be it team-work, performance or reliability. But we know very well that we cannot catch up overnight with the advantage our competition has in terms of experience, and we have quite a lot of homework to do before the season’s opening race on 20th April in Silverstone.“
Off the track another important point has been clarified. The Porsche 919 Hybrid has finally been homologated for the six megajoule class. This classification defines the amount of recuperated electrical power which can be boosted per lap. At the same time, the megajoule class defines the amount of fuel which can be used per lap.
Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1:
“To decide on the best megajoule class requires a complex calculation. To put it simply, you can say we have designed our energy recovery systems as big and heavy as the overall car concept allowed. With the amount of energy we can recuperate this way, we fit well into the six megajoule class.“
Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, as well as Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development, gathered first hand information about the project’s progress at the track from Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
Romain Dumas (no. 14):
“We made huge progress. In my opinion, the Prologue was even better than we ourselves expected it to be beforehand. But the expectations from the outside world are enormous. It is impressive how we have been welcomed here. But we keep focussing on the next target: to finish the 6 Hours of Silverstone.“
Neel Jani (no. 14):
“Our development speed was as strong as the mistral wind on the long straights here at Paul Ricard. Overall our results are fine. We were able to solve problems and to discover new ones, which will be looked at now. The partnership with Romain and Marc fits. In terms of set-up, we work in the same direction.“
Marc Lieb (no. 14):
“In every regard it was a good test for the whole team. And it was also very important to gain first hand experience of the speed differences between the cars. In Silverstone this will be much more intensive: Paul Ricard is quite a long race track and during testing not all of the cars are running at the same time.“
Timo Bernhard (no. 20):
“To me this was the most important test of all. Certainly if I compare the state of the car now to the roll out last June, but more importantly regarding the team spirit and how we work together. Not least of all what you can tell from the test results is very good news for the fans, as all three LMP1 cars are so close together.”
Brendon Hartley (no. 20):
“Operating as a Porsche works driver for the first time and in the top class of Le Mans Prototypes was an impressive experience. Having topped the time sheets is certainly not the most important thing in our test programme, but personally for me it is the icing on the cake.“
Mark Webber (no. 20):
“This test here was a big milestone. To enter two cars for the first time was a tremendous amount of hard work for the crew on the operational side. Smooth running was a well-deserved award and a good tonic for the guys after a long week. Every day we run we find more areas to improve, which is very encouraging. The track lay-out at Paul Ricard seems to suit our car very well. I’m curious to find out how we can perform in Silverstone.“
One of the attachments is the press kit for Porsche’s return to top level motorsport, including technical details of the 919 Hybrid and driver portraits.
The attached video clip features current footage of the car on track and interviews from Paul Ricard and is royalty free for publishing.
Further news and comprehensive TV footage material will be available for download from Monday, 31st March, on the Porsche press database.
@PorscheRaces is the new Twitter channel of Porsche Motorsport. This brief messaging service informs you about upcoming Motorsport events by Porsche Motorsport, and during races it reports live from the pits about driver changes, weather conditions, tyre selections and background information.
Source: Porsche AG
Product and Technology Communication
Works engagement with 919 hybrid and 911 RSR
Stuttgart. Porsche heads into the 2014 season with the most extensive motorsport programme ever. In addition to its new LMP1 project, Porsche Motorsport sends two GT works teams to compete on race tracks around the world. Porsche AG Team Manthey again fields two Porsche 911 RSR in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC), as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Porsche North America contests the new Tudor United Sportscar Championship with CORE autosport as the race team, with the new season kicking off at the Daytona 24 hour race on 25 January.
Porsche Motorsport’s driver squad has also grown to record size.
For the upcoming season, Porsche has signed on 20 drivers including four Porsche juniors and a scholarship candidate chosen from the international one-make race series. All current Porsche factory pilots have received a contract for the 2014 season. “We’ve never had such a large driver line-up in the history of the company,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
Porsche 919 hybrid named, LMP1 driver squad complete
Porsche AG announces its driver line-up and the vehicle name for its return to the top category of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2014, with the season highlight in Le Mans: On the occasion of the Porsche Night of Champions this Saturday in Weissach, the young New Zealander Brendon Hartley (24) and long-standing Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (33) from Germany have been confirmed as regular drivers in the LMP1 race car, officially called the “Porsche 919 hybrid”. Already signed on for the LMP1 project are the drivers Timo Bernhard (DE, 32), Romain Dumas (FR, 36), Neel Jani (CH, 30) and the Australian Mark Webber (37).
Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG, stated:
“We are very proud of our strong international driver line-up. Three of the six drivers come from our own Porsche driver squad, two were even Porsche juniors. This is something we are particularly proud of.” Hatz continued: “The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s embarkation into the hybrid future. With hybrid sports cars like the Cayenne as a SUV, the Grand Touring Panamera, and the 918 Spyder three-litre super sportscar, we are on the right track. But to continue leading the way in the future and to merge sportiness with sustainability, we need to keep learning. Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC regulations for the works-entered class 1 prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future.”
Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1, explained:
“We had a substantial number of applicants from all classes for the two 919 hybrids. We were looking for experience, sheer speed, technical understanding, and we wanted team players because this is more important in endurance racing than in any discipline.”
Strong driver squad wrapped up with Hartley and Lieb
Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas were the first drivers to be selected. The two bring the experience of seven overall victories each from 24 hour races – Nürburgring, Daytona, Spa and overall victory together in Le Mans with Audi. In July 2013, the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani joined the team, with Mark Webber onboard since the end of the 2013 Formula 1 season. Brendon Hartley and Marc Lieb now complete the squad.
Hartley left his homeland early to advance his racing career in Europe. Following on from successes in the Formula Renault and Formula 3 came the long-awaited Formula 1 contract – as a test driver but with precious little chance to race. Hence, parallel to his F1 commitments, Hartley turned to sports car racing. He said: “I’m incredibly proud that Porsche has chosen me. I was deeply impressed at my first outing in Le Mans. But to compete there in the LMP1 for an iconic company like Porsche is another dimension completely.”
Marc Lieb was 20 years old when his career as a race driver at Porsche took off: In the year 2000, he won the Porsche Junior driver selection. In addition to a raft of class victories, he also scored five overall wins at 24 hour races, four times on the Nürburgring, once at Spa. “I have been fortunate enough to celebrate victories with Porsche all over the world,” said Lieb, “even in the GT class at Le Mans. People there always asked when we would return to the LMP1 class. Since the project was given the go-ahead, I only wanted one thing: to be involved. Le Mans and Porsche, I can’t even begin to describe how excited this makes me feel.”
Mark Webber disclosed:
“For me a lot of it is familiar, a lot is foreign, everything is special. I’m absorbing every bit of information I can and I’m already looking forward to the next tests.” The nine-time Grand Prix winner took the wheel of the 919 hybrid for the first time several days ago in Portimão, Portugal.
Timo Bernhard has a few more kilometres to his credit. He said:
“I’ve been with Porsche for 15 years and I feel an immense responsibility that comes with the return to LMP1. In the development, all your skills as a driver are required. The first premise is not to drive fast, it’s more to feel what the car is doing and to share even the smallest details with the engineers.”
Romain Dumas, who celebrates his 36th birthday today on the Night of Champions, underlined:
“We are a good team for the development of the 919 hybrid. We have a lot of work ahead of us. The 2013 class victory with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz in the factory-run Porsche 911 RSR was really great, but now we’re heading into new territory, and with all the complex technical innovations, our new squad faces an enormous challenge.”
Neel Jani summarises:
“It has always been my goal to one day fight for overall victory in the WEC and Le Mans. To do this you have to be part of a good works squad, and this is where I am right now. To compete for Porsche is a great honour and it comes with a lot of responsibility. We want to write a new chapter in the great history of Porsche motorsport, even if it takes time. The technology is completely new and we need to grow together as a team.”
Frédéric Makowiecki signed as Porsche works driver
Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki (33) will join the ranks of Porsche Motorsport’s GT squad this coming season and pilot a 911 RSR. Makowiecki, who prefers to be called Fred Mako, is a regular competitor behind the wheel of Porsche race cars. He has collected more than nine years of experience in the cockpit of the 911. One of his greatest achievements was clinching the title of the Porsche Carrera Cup France in 2010.
“Frédéric Makowiecki is one of the fastest and most experienced GT pilots,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen. “He has a great deal of experience on virtually all international race tracks and he knows precisely how to drive a Porsche 911 fast. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”
Porsche acquires majority holding in Manthey Racing GmbH
Porsche has acquired a 51 percent stake in Manthey Racing GmbH and as such continues to expand its long and successful collaboration with the race outfit from Meuspath at the Nürburgring. “I’m sure this will help us to prepare even better for the challenges we are facing together in the WEC and I look forward to working with Olaf Manthey, Nicolas Raeder and Martin Raeder,” says Wolfgang Hatz.
Martin Ragginger wins Porsche Cup
After a successful season in international GT racing, Austrian Martin Ragginger (25) can celebrate winning the Porsche Cup as the best Porsche private driver in the world. On the occasion of the Night of Champions on 14 December in the R&D Centre at Weissach, Ragginger accepted the Porsche Cup from Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG.
After earning 5,940 points this past season, Ragginger also takes home a new Porsche 911 Carrera S with a total value of more than 120,000 Euros. Second-placed Klark Quinn (AUS) is the recipient of 30,000 Euros, with Robert Renauer given 25,000 Euros for third place. The Porsche Cup comes with a total purse of 253,000 Euros. As the brainchild of Ferry Porsche, this trophy has been awarded every year since 1970 to the best private Porsche race driver. Pilots earn points towards the Porsche Cup in 18 international race series as well as at selected long distance races.
Professional racer Martin Ragginger, who contested his first kart race at the age of nine, competed in six race series during 2013. He celebrated his greatest success of the season at the 24 Hours of Dubai, winning the A6-AM class for GT3 vehicles. Ragginger also tackled the ADAC GT Masters at the wheel of a 911 GT3 R and concluded the season in fourth overall. The Austrian earned more points towards the Porsche Cup in the VLN on the Nürburgring, at the Campionato Italiano GT, in the Grand-AM and in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Trailing Ragginger by just 110 points, Klark Quinn (31) came a close second in the fight for the Porsche Cup. Quinn secured the 2013 Australian GT Championship title, winning three out of twelve rounds of the Australian series, and climbing the podium eleven times. At the twelve-hour race at Bathurst, Australia, he achieved third place at the wheel of a Porsche 991 GT3 R fielded by his team “VIP Petfoods Racing”.
After an exciting season, Robert Renauer clinches the third spot on the Porsche Cup podium. The 28-year-old from Jedenhofen in Bavaria earned Cup points at 17 races. In the ADAC GT Masters, the qualified car salesman secured second place in the overall classification with his team Tonino powered by Herberth Motorsport. Renauer went on to score more points at rounds of the Campionato Italiano GT, as well as in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the GrandAM Rolex Sportscar Series.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup continues with Formula 1
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup continues to run as part of the Formula 1 weekends. The successful partnership, which began back in 1993, has now been extended for another three years, up to and including the 2016 season. For more than two decades, the flagship of Porsche’s one-make race series has been regarded as one of the major launching platforms for an international GT career.
“The Supercup is the crown of Porsche’s brand trophy series. It has everything that makes international motor racing great. Many of our works drivers are the best sports car pilots in the world and they came from the Supercup,” says Porsche Motorsport boss Hartmut Kristen. “We’re delighted to be able to continue offering our partners and fans exciting racing in such an attractive environment like the top league of motorsport.”
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup heads into its 22nd season on 11 May 2014 in Barcelona. Nine events with a total of ten races make up the calendar. A highlight of the season will be on 12 October at the Supercup debut on the new Formula 1 circuit in the Russian Olympic city of Sochi.
The 2014 Supercup calendar:
25.05. Monte Carlo/Monaco
06.07. Silverstone/Great Britain
12.10. Sochi/Russia (2 races)