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Porsche pilots keen to tackle the WEC premiere in Texas Round 5

 

Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, round 5 in Austin/USA

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Stuttgart. As part of this year’s sports car World Endurance Championship WEC campaign, Porsche competes for the first time on the Circuit of the Americas on 22 September in Austin. Fans in the United States can not only look forward to seeing the successful Le Mans contender Porsche 911 RSR in action, which is fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey in the hotly-contested GTE-Pro class.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Also racing on this weekend alongside the WEC is the American Le Mans Series with a strong Porsche contingent on the Formula 1 track in the Texas capital close to the Colorado River

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

The Porsche drivers

Porsche factory pilots and Le Mans winners Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) share the cockpit of the number 92 Porsche 911 RSR in Austin.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France), who recently scored third in Sao Paulo, take up the race in the number 91 car.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

In the GTE-Am class, two customer teams field last year’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: Driving for IMSA Performance Matmut are the Le Mans winners from France, Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Competing for the Proton Competition squad is team owner Christian Ried (Germany) with his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

The Porsche 911 RSR

The 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR features consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The look of the 2013 Le Mans winner (GTE-Pro) is dominated by the flared fenders and the cooling air intake at the front.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

The exceptional livery of the car honours the anniversary, “50 years of the 911”. As the successor to the winning 911 GT3 RSR, with which Porsche customers have scored many victories and title wins since 2004, the GT racer from Weissach is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car.

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet (l), Joerg Bergmeister

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet (l), Joerg Bergmeister

The schedule

The six-hour race on the Circuit of the Americas starts on 22 September at 11.00 hours local time (18.00 CEST). Eurosport International broadcasts the starting phase live from 18.00 to 19.00 hours CEST. From 20.30 to 22.30 hours, Eurosport 2 telecasts live race action.

The final phase of the race is covered live by Eurosport from 22.30 p.m. to midnight. Viewers can follow the race live on the internet under http://www.fiawec.com.

Comments before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche-Motorsportchief

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche-Motorsportchief

“The race in Austin is undoubtedly a real asset and a gain for the WEC. After all, motor racing has a great tradition in America. The USA is one of the most important markets for Porsche.

That’s why we are particularly pleased to showcase the Porsche 911 RSR, which did so well recently in Le Mans, to our many US fans for the first time at a race meeting.”

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

“Austin is one of the few race tracks in the USA that I don’t know. The greatest challenge for us all will be to quickly familiarise ourselves with the circuit and to find the optimal race set-up during practice.”

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet (# 91):

“I only know this track from TV. It’ll certainly be an interesting race. Like in Le Mans and Sao Paulo, I’m hoping for another podium result.”

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb (# 92):

“A new race always adds interest to the series. I’m looking forward to the Austin track. There are a couple of unusual corner combinations. All in all, it looks interesting and rather challenging.”

Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Richard Lietz (# 92):

“The track is new for us all. But we had an additional day of testing so it shouldn’t be a problem. Our goal is to bring home a top result and keep the bid for the championship open.”

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb (r)

Porsche AG Team Manthey: Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb (r)

The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC

In the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete in one race but are classified separately.

Points standings after 4 of 8 races

World Cup for Manufacturers GTE

1. Ferrari, 149 points

2. Porsche, 145

3. Aston Martin, 134

World Endurance Cup for GTE drivers

1. Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke ( Aston Martin), 86 points

2. Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz (Porsche), 84

3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni (Ferrari), 81

4. Romain Dumas (Porsche), 72

5. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet (Porsche), 57

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Am drivers

1. Jean-Karl Vernay, Raymond Narac (Porsche), 76 points

2. Jamie Campbell-Walter, Stuart Hall (Aston Martin), 70

3. Christophe Bourret (Porsche), 68

6. Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti, Gianluca Roda (Porsche), 47

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Pro teams

1. Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin), 89 points

2. Porsche AG Team Manthey (Porsche), 87

3. AF Corse (Ferrari), 81

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Am teams

1. IMSA Performance Matmut (Porsche), 76 points

2. 8 Star Motorsports (Ferrari), 74

3. Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin), 74

5. Proton Competition (Porsche), 55

 World Endurance Championship WEC

SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG / Motorsport Press

 

 

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Porsche 918 Spyder tops global debut with a Nürburgring lap record in 6.57 minutes

Super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive takes the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6.57 minutes

918 Spyder tops global debut with a Nürburgring lap record

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Stuttgart. As the first vehicle to boast global road homologation, the Porsche 918 Spyder* has conquered the 20.6-kilometre lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of exactly six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous record.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, had the following to say:

l.- r.: Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member of the Executive for Research and Development, Walter Röhrl, twice holder of the rally world championship

l.- r.: Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member of the Executive for Research and Development, Walter Röhrl, twice holder of the rally world championship

“We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word.”

As is always the case with Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in the line of super sportscars. It is currently making its global début at the International Motor Show (IAA). With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. By taking the Nürburgring record, the sportscar is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche’s pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles.

Dr. Frank Walliser, Overall 918 Spyder Project Manager

Dr. Frank Walliser, Overall 918 Spyder Project Manager

“The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible” says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. “The lap time on the Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sportscar. Posting a time of 6.57 minutes, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team and at Porsche as a whole is rightly proud.”

The record, which was previously held for four years, was even broken during the first attempt in the test drive on the morning of September 4.

All three drivers – Former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap driving the two 918 Spyder models used, and posted lap times of less than seven minutes on numerous occasions.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Ultimately, it was Marc Lieb who posted the absolute best time of 6.57 minutes, driving at an average speed of 179.5 km/h, as measured by Wige Solutions. Marcus Schurig, editor-in-chief of sportscar magazine “sport auto”, was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

The two sportscars, which deliver an output of 887 bhp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional “Weissach package” to increase the driving dynamics, and lead out on the standard Michelin tyres developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

Record Run 918 Spyder Nürburgring

* 918 Spyder: combined fuel consumption: 3.3–3.0 l/100 km; combined energy consumption: 12.5–13.0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 79–70 g/km

Source:
Communication Porsche AG
Product and Technology Communication

 

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Porsche 911 RSR triumphs with double victory in Le Mans, Sports Car WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Stuttgart . At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Porsche has further extended its record with class wins number 99 and 100 and opened a new chapter in the history of the world’s most famous long distance race. On the Circuit des 24 Heures, the new Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) won the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class against strong opposition from Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari and Viper.

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In the second 911 RSR, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) made the double victory for the race car from Weissach perfect.

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In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the customer team IMSA Performance Matmut clinched victory with Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl-Vernay and Christophe Bourret.

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The 81st running of the long distance classic took place in changeable weather with constant showers and under the most difficult conditions. All the greater was the relief after the maiden win of the new Porsche 911 RSR.

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At the finish line, the Porsche AG Team Manthey squad stood united at the pit wall to give their heroes the glorious reception they deserved.

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Amidst them stood Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, CEO Matthias Müller as well as Board Members Wolfgang Hatz (Research and Development) and Bernhard Maier (Sales and Marketing) who had witnessed most of the race firsthand round-the-clock in the Porsche pits.

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Already in the hour after the start, the 911 RSR made up positions at just its third outing in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, which yielded double points at Le Mans as the third round.

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With fast lap times and utmost reliability, the 911 with the starting number 92 in particular fought for victory right from the start.

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The pit stops were predominantly just routine: Refuel, tyres, driver change – then back out on the track.

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Both works-run Porsche completed the entire distance without the slightest technical problem, apart from a rear light that had to be replaced on the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR after being nudged by a competitor.

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The second racer fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey was thrown back in the field shortly after the start when the safety car was deployed right in front of Joerg Bergmeister which cost the Porsche factory pilot almost two minutes.

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While some competitors struggled on the difficult and partly wet circuit, the 911 RSR made it safely through the night without any problems and underlined the intention to clinch its maiden victory with consistently fast lap times.

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Even when torrential rain fell a good hour before the finish and its pursuers launched a final attack, Richard Lietz remained unfazed at the wheel of the number 91 car. In the final race hours, the number 91 vehicle also gained ground and slipped into second place ahead of the Aston Martin and Ferrari. The Porsche works drivers did not let this superb double victory slip out of their hands.

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In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at times ran at the front. At the flag, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret and Jean-Karl Vernay, who receives support from Porsche in his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign this season, brought home the victory.

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Especially for Jean-Karl Vernay, the winner of the 2012 International Cup Scholarship, a dream came true.

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Porsche race driver Patrick Dempsey, one of an all-American driver trio helming the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton 911 GT3 RSR with Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster, also held the lead at times.

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However, after he was blamelessly shunted off the circuit by a sports prototype he had to bury his dream of winning his first Le Mans outing with Porsche.

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The Le Mans race was overshadowed by the death of Denmark’s Allan Simonsen. In the fourth race lap, the Aston Martin pilot crashed into the barriers in the fast Tertre Rouge corner and died from his serious injuries shortly afterwards in the Circuit des 24 Heures Medical Centre.

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

“With the 99th and 100th class win and the double victory of the new 911 RSR, this Le Mans 24 hour race was a magnificent success for Porsche. I very much congratulate all those who have contributed. Our joy, however, is also mixed with sadness and shock at the death of Allan Simonsen. We have not only lost a passionate racer, but also a good friend of the Porsche motorsport family. He contested his first Le Mans 24 Hours in 2007 with a Porsche. With our works driver Marc Lieb in 2005, he contested two races of the Le Mans Endurance Series in a Porsche as well. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family as well as the Aston Martin squad and his teammates at this difficult time.”

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

“Those were very gripping 24 hours and a race with action we’ve all certainly experienced rarely. It was exciting from the first to the last minute. In the end luck was on our side. Aston Martin was a tremendous opponent. At this time our thoughts should be with the fatally injured Allan Simonsen. For motorsport and for Aston Martin it is a great tragedy. Nevertheless, Porsche has once again shown that it is the manufacturer to beat in GT racing. This makes us optimistic for 2014.”

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

“I am incredibly proud of what the entire team has done here. A double victory in the Pro class and even a win thanks to our customer team, you can’t ask for more than that.”

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“In the 50th anniversary of the 911 and 15 years since the last time a works team competed here Le Mans it’s the best result you can imagine. And I don’t just mean the performance of our Pro teams. Our customer squads have performed brilliantly. We couldn’t have done better. The race was thrilling for the spectators and it was nerve wracking but the result after all that was well worth it.”

Olaf Manthey, team principal of Porsche AG Team Manthey:

“I’m still speechless about our success. After the penultimate safety car phase I was not feeling particularly optimistic. I still can’t believe this victory. In 1999 I was with Porsche for the first time in Le Mans and we won then too. Now I returned after 15 years and did it again. Dear God, however, has written a screenplay that almost ruined by nerves.”

Marc Lieb (#92):

“It’s a fairytale. To win Le Mans at our first attempt with a new RSR is something we never expected in our wildest dreams. I’m incredibly proud of my teammates and the entire crew that turned the 911 RSR into a winning car at Le Mans in such a short time.”

Richard Lietz (#92):

“Even in my last stint when everything came to a head for us I didn’t feel any great pressure. But right from the start I had the death of a colleague in my head, and the battle for tenths of seconds and positions became secondary. I believe there wouldn’t be many drivers who could really concentrate, I’ve never experienced so many safety car phases in Le Mans. We were lucky with the rain today but we needed luck too under such difficult conditions. As far as our performance and the car goes we are delighted and proud, but our thoughts are somewhere else.”

Romain Dumas (#92):

“This race was packed with suspense and emotion right from the start. It began with Allan Simonsen’s tragic accident, and in the end we were lucky with the rain which helped us considerably. However, we had a lot of frustration with the safety car at the beginning. This success is of course great for Porsche and the 50th anniversary of the 911.”

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

“I had very mixed feelings after Allan’s fatal accident. First and second place is obviously a dream result which we had not anticipated before the race considering the superiority of Aston Martin. We had a fabulous car, but also a bit of bad luck. But we were always up with the play, second place is a very good consolation.”

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“It is a day to be proud and happy, but also sad. Due to the circumstances we’ll all need a couple of weeks to let it sink in. Right now we are all thinking of Allan and that’s why this success is not exactly the wonderful moment it was actually supposed to be for me. We came here with a new car, we worked incredibly hard together and fought together with Porsche for this result.”

Timo Bernhard (#91):

“It was a very moving, difficult race with constantly changing weather conditions. We had hoped for a podium result, so the double victory is just fantastic especially for me since this was my last race with the 911 RSR. From the outset we were really fast, but lost two minutes early on through the safety car and we spent the rest of the race trying to catch up. In the end we all had that necessary luck and I congratulate my teammates on their victory. That was a truly great day for the entire team.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76):

“Porsche supports me this season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Here in Le Mans I wanted to prove that they were right putting their trust in me. I think I succeeded. I had a great weekend.”

Patrick Long (#77):

“I wanted so much to climb the podium with Patrick and Joe. Even a victory would have been possible. The car was so unbelievably good, but it wasn’t our race. Today is a great day for Porsche. Double victory in Le Mans with the new 911 RSR – it’s almost impossible to believe. My congratulations to all those in Weissach who contributed to it.”

Patrick Dempsey (#76):

“Patrick Long did a fantastic job. He drove so well, so fast. I’m pleased to have him in the team. He is so incredibly inspiring. Porsche gave us a very good car. We were so close to the podium. It is an unbelievable experience to be in Le Mans with Porsche. I’m very proud to have been a part of this great project.”

Round four of the sports car World Endurance Championship takes place on 1 September in Sao Paulo/Brazil.

Race result
GTE-Pro class
1. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 315 laps
2. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 315
3. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 314
4. Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor (DK/E/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 312
5. Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander (MC/J/SF), Ferrari 458 Italia, 312
6. Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 311

GTE-Am class
1. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 306 laps
2. Perazzini/Case/O’Young (I/I/CDN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 305
3. Gerber/Griffin/Cioci (ZA/IRL/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 305
4. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 305
7. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 300
8. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 300
9. Collard/Perrod/Crubile (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 298

Please note: Photo material from the Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC is available for accredited journalists from the Porsche Press Database under the internet address http://presse.porsche.de. On this website you can also activate the Porsche Motorsport SMS Info Service to receive the latest news and information from race tracks around the world via text messages. On the internet address http://presse.porsche.de/motorsport journalists have access to the new digital Porsche Motorsport Media Guide 2013.

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SOURCE: Porsche AG Communication Porsche AG

Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche wins both GT classes in Le Mans, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Porsche won the fiercely-competitive GT classes. This is the class victories number 99 and 100 for Porsche at the world’s most famous long distance race.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

The new Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) won the GTE-Pro class.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

From three races this was the first victory for the race car from Weissach. With the second 911 RSR, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) made the double victory for Porsche perfect.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad with Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret scored victory.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche teams among the front-runners in both GT classes, Sports Car WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

 

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Stuttgart. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, the fight for victory in the strongly-represented GT classes is looking promising for Porsche teams after the first third of the race. In the GTE-Pro class, the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92 was running third at its Le Mans debut shortly before midnight.

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The sister 911 RSR with the starting number 91, also run by Porsche AG Team Manthey, is sitting in fourth. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Dempsey Del Piero-Proton leads the GTE-Am class.

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On the Circuit des 24 Heures, 56 vehicles took off at 15.00 hours into the 81st running of the world’s most famous long distance race. In the very first race hour, with a long caution period due to an accident, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) moved up into second place in the number 92 Porsche 911 RSR.

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After one and a half hours he even seized the lead until the first pit stop. He and his teammates Romain Dumas (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) were locked in battle with the Aston Martin for the front spot.

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In the second 911 RSR with the starting number 91, Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) made up three places, only to lose more than one minute through a safety car phase. Nevertheless, after nine hours of racing, he and his teammates Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) are still within striking distance of the front-runners.

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In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR are in the lead just after midnight.

Trailing the leading 911 fielded by the customer team Dempsey Del Piero-Proton with an all-American driver line-up of Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long as well as Joe Foster, are Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda in the 911 GT3 RSR run by Proton Competition. Running third are the Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret competing for the IMSA Performance Matmut squad.

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Driver quotes
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

“Unfortunately we’ve had some real bad luck, I had just overtaken two Ferrari when the safety car was deployed right in front of me. We lost of lot of time because of this, I’m guessing a minute twenty. Then there was an incident in the pit lane with a Ferrari which shunted me towards the wall. And then my right rear tyre lost air. So it’s not going exactly as we had hoped, but one thing’s for sure – we certainly have the speed.”

Patrick Pilet (# 91): “I drove alone for quite some time so I didn’t have to battle against any other cars. It wasn’t exactly the most exciting stint of my career, but our Porsche is the epitome of reliability.”

Marc Lieb (# 92): “My start was good and the car is running smoothly. I had an interesting fight with the two Aston Martins and that was fantastic.”

Richard Lietz (# 92): “I drove a triple stint – that was a very long time in the car. We took a bit of a risk with the tyres. In the Porsche curves I had to drive straight ahead to avoid an accident with a prototype. It’s pretty wild out there, especially now at night.”

Romain Dumas (# 92): “We have to fight really hard to match the pace of the Aston Martin. Right now we are lacking that very last bit, but we’re trying to compensate as best we can. So far it’s looking pretty good.”

Wolf Henzler (#67): “At first the conditions were difficult. There were wet patches here and there. In one lap a corner was dry, in the next it was wet – or vice versa: That makes you extremely cautious when braking and you realize that you could have actually driven it much faster. Everything is running smoothly for us at the moment, we’re fast. At one point we were even leading but then we got a flat tyre on the straight before the Indianapolis corner – at something like 200 kph. The car came sideways but luckily I managed to get it under control. Unfortunately it cost us a lot of time.”

Emmanuel Collard (#75): “During my first stint the changing weather made the track conditions very difficult. It started to rain again but we kept driving on slicks. This was not without risk.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76): “To contest my first 24 hour race in Le Mans of all places is an unbelievable experience. It wasn’t easy with all the traffic on the track, I had to be extremely careful. Our car is running beautifully, no problems here.”

Patrick Long (#77): “We have a very fast car with a perfect set-up. This morning we made some major changes to the set-up and it paid off. Directly after my first pit stop the tyre lost air and I had to come back into the pits. This cost us a lot of time. Still, we’re very relaxed. We know that our car is good enough to run with the leaders.”

Patrick Dempsey (#77): “My first stint was okay. I didn’t want to make a mistake so I didn’t push too hard. The constantly changing track conditions made the whole thing rather entertaining, but also tough. I’m definitely having a great time. The Porsche is fantastic to drive.”

Christian Ried (#88): “That was so funny on the track. It was really hard to adjust to the changing conditions. The main thing was to keep the car on the circuit and not do anything stupid.”

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Positions after 9 hours
GTE-Pro class
1. Bell/Makowiecki/Senna (GB/F/BRA), Aston Martin, 125 laps
2. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 125
3. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 125
4. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 124
5. Fisichella/Bruni/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 123

GTE-AM class
1. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 121 laps
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 121
3. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 121
4. Perazzini/Case/O’Young (I/I/CDN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 121
6. Collard/Perrod/Crubile (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 119
7. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 119

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SOURCE:

Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

 

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Porsche 911 RSR make up positions after start, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Stuttgart. The race is on: On Saturday at 15.00 hours, the honorary starter of the Le Mans 24 Hour race Jim France, the founder of the American Grand-Am Series, sent the 56 cars on their way.

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Watched by Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, and Matthias Müller, Porsche AG Chairman of the Executive Board, two Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche AG Team Manthey as well as five customer team-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR headed into the 81st edition of the most famous long distance race in the world.

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In the first hour of the race, in which there was a long caution period due to an accident, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) moved up into second place in the GTE-Pro class at the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92.

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His works driver colleague Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) made up three places in the 911 RSR with the starting number 91 also run by Porsche AG Team Manthey and now ranks fourth.

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In the GTE-Am class three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR sit in the lead: Front-runner is Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA), followed by his factory pilot colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Paoli Ruberti (Italy).

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SOURCE:

 Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche 911 RSR sets the second fastest lap time in warm-up, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Porsche. The Porsche AG Team Manthey squad has concluded the preparations for the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday morning with the second fastest lap time in the GTE-Pro class.

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It was posted by the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92 shared by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

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The #91 Porsche 911 RSR with their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) scored the fourth quickest time.

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In the GTE-Am class, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) achieved the top time. He shares the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton squad with Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Joe Foster (both USA).
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The Le Mans 24 Hours takes off today at 15.00 hours. Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the entire race live. On the internet the race can be viewed live on http://www.fiawec.com.

Quotes after the warm-up

Timo Bernhard (# 91): “We have checked the car again and everything is fine. Our times in each sector were good. I’m pleased that it will soon get going. We’re feeling confident for the race.”

Richard Lietz (# 92): “We practiced driver changes and went out with a full tank to find the braking points and to see how the car handles. We didn’t make any changes to the set-up. The warm-up is a great chance for drivers and teams to refocus again on the race.”

Romain Dumas (# 92): “The warm-up was the first time this weekend that I drove on a dry track, so it was important for me. The car felt good. We are all very confident for the race.”

Patrick Long (#77): “I used the warm-up to try out the medium tyres for the first time and that made a big difference. Unfortunately we were on the wrong tyres in qualifying but that’s the past. Patrick didn’t get a chance to drive because of the red flag. But that’s not so bad, he knows what to do. We have a good car for the race and we’re feeling very optimistic.”

Result warm-up
GTE-Pro class
1. Vilander/Kobayashi/Beretta (SF/J/MC), Ferrari 458 Italia, 3:58.796 min.
2. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:58.796
3. Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 3:59.935
4. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 4:00.593
5. Bertolini/Al Faisal/Qubaisi (I/KSA/UAE), Ferrari 458 Italia, 4:03.317

GTE-Am class
1. Long/Dempsey/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:58.358 min.
2. Nygaard/Simonsen/Poulsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 4:01.401
3. Henzler/Milesi/Gibon (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.312
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.658

SOURCE:

Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
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