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Porsche starts from pole position @ Daytona 24 Hours, USA

(l.-r.): Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Marc Lieb, Marco Holzer, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz

Press Release

26/01/2012

Daytona 24 Hours, USA

Porsche starts from pole position

Stuttgart. Setting the fastest time in qualifying, Porsche pilot Andrew Davis (USA) secured pole position in the strongly-supported GT class at the Daytona 24 Hours.

Porsche pilot Andrew Davis (USA) secured pole position

For the 50th anniversary of the long-distance classic in Florida/USA, he shares the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the winning Brumos Racing squad with Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) and American Hurley Haywood. With five overall wins and six class victories, Haywood is the most successful pilot in the history of this race. On board the car with the legendary starting number 59 is Leh Keen (USA) as the fourth driver.

“The Brumos team managed to get me out on the track before any of the others. With a field of 46 cars, this would normally be a huge advantage,” said Andrew Davis, who relegated Jeff Segal (USA) in the Ferrari to the second grid spot. “But my first lap wasn’t so good. I actually set the top time towards the end of the session. My Porsche was prepared perfectly.”

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by Magnus Racing, Andy Lally (USA) turned the third quickest lap.

Magnus Racing, Andy Lally (USA)

His teammates for the race are Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria), John Potter (USA) as well as René Rast (Germany), the two-time champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (USA), who shares driving duties with his works driver colleague Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) as well as Seth Neiman (USA) and Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland) in Flying Lizard Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, posted the fourth quickest time.

Seventh fastest was Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany).

Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany)

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Alex Job Racing: Marco Holzer, Cooper MacNeil, Butch Leitzinger, Emmanuel Collard

“We changed a couple of things on the car before the qualifying and that paid off,” said the teammate of Emmanuel Collard (France), Butch Leitzinger (USA) and Cooper MacNeil (USA).

“I had to overtake two cars during my fastest lap and that cost several tenths of seconds. Still, we have a good starting position for the race. We’ve worked very hard on the car following our tests and I’m certain that we’ll do well over the distance.”

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The 24 hour race starts on Saturday at 15.30 hours local time (21.30 hrs CET). 

Result GT Qualifying 

1. Andrew Davis (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:49.342 minutes

2. Jeff Segal (USA), Ferrari 458, + 0.015 seconds

3. Andy Lally (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.046

4. Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.208

5. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari 458, + 0.319

6. Wayne Nonnamaker (USA), Mazda RX-8, + 0.358

7. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.424

9. Martin Ragginger (A), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 0.549

10. Bryce Miller (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 0.702

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database Communication Porsche AG Motorsportpress

 

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American Le Mans Series, round 3 in Lime Rock, USA-First podium result of the season for the title defenders

Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) finished second in the GT class at the Northeast Grand Prix in Lime Rock to improve their championship position.

Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA)

Stuttgart. In the American Le Mans Series, the title defenders clinched their first podium result of the season at their third attempt.

Patrick Long

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) finished second in the GT class at the Northeast Grand Prix in Lime Rock to improve their championship position.

The race on the short 2.478 kilometre circuit in the US state of Connecticut was thrilling from start to finish.

And it began well for Porsche:

Patrick Long snatched second place right at the start and defended his position to the first pit stop and driver change.

His teammate Joerg Bergmeister, who tops the winners’ list with five victories from the last five years on this circuit, fell back just once to third place after another pit stop behind his works driver colleague Wolf Henzler, but was quickly able to regain his position.

Bergmeister went on to deliver a spirited fight for the lead, at times only two seconds adrift of the front-runner. But with three laps to go, his result looked in jeopardy when tyre damage forced him into the pits.

As always, the Flying Lizard crew worked swiftly on his number 45 Porsche so that he was able to defend his second place. At the flag only 20.387 seconds separated Bergmeister and Long from their first win of the season.

“That was a lively race,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “Today we were able to fight for victory and I’ve tried everything to continue my winning streak after five straight Lime Rock victories. Unfortunately, a puncture prevented this. Still, it was our best result so far this season. Our entire team has worked extremely hard for this.”

Patrick Long said: “I’m very satisfied. Today we have earned plenty of championship points. Because all of our direct competitors had problems, these points are especially valuable. Our car was perfectly set-up over the entire weekend. It’s a shame that we were just a few seconds off clinching victory.

Bryan Sellers drove the first stint for the Falken Tire squad.

Cleverly, he kept out of any trouble on the tight circuit, and his teammate Wolf Henzler did the rest. With an early refuelling pit stop 1:15 hours before the flag, they took their opponents by surprise and turned up in second place when the rest of the field pitted for fuel.

Wolf Henzler too had his big moments: 30 minutes before the finish he brought the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR into the pits with suspected tyre damage. Luckily, he had only picked up rubber from the track. And in the final laps, problems with the fuel pressure cost him a safe third place. He took the flag in fifth.

In the second Flying Lizard Motorsports-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, works driver Marc Holzer (Germany) clinched seventh at his Lime Rock premiere together with American Seth Neiman.

Marco Holzer

He was clearly pleased with this result.

“When I took over the car we were running last,” he said. “The chase was huge fun. I was able to put in very competitive times on this unfamiliar track.”

Sascha Maassen (Germany)

Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA)

brought the Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR home in sixth place.

Bryce Miller (USA)

Victory in the GTC class went to Americans Dion von Moltke and Mike Pierce with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

 

Round 4 of the American Le Mans Series is held on 24th July in Mosport/Canada.

 

Statistics: 3rd race Lime Rock, CT

Result GT class
1. Müller/Hand (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 176 laps
2. Bergmeister/Long (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 176
3. Murry/Lazzaro (USA/USA), Doran Ford GT, 174
4. Sharp/van Overbeek (USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 174
5. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 174
6. Maassen/Miller (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 172
7. Holzer/Neiman (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 165

Result GTC class
1. von Moltke/Pierce (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 164 laps
2. Pumpelly/Ende (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 164
3. Leitzinger/Sweedler (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 164

Points’ standings GT class
Drivers
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 70 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 37
3. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 34
4. Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner, Chevrolet, 33
Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 33
6. Augusto Farfus, BMW, 26
7. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 25
8. Seth Neiman, Porsche, 23

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 70 points
2. Porsche, 44
3. Chevrolet, 41
4. Ferrari, 34

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 70 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 41
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 37

Facts and figures

This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. All classes start together but are classified separately:

GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers is traditionally extremely well supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and an 825 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

All race cars start together but are classified separately. This ensures exciting and diverse racing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are only awarded for placings in each class.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press

Photos: 2011 ALMS – Lime Rock Bob Chapman, Autosport Image

 

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American Le Mans Series, round 3 in Lime Rock, USA-Third grid spot for Porsche works driver

2011 ALMS – Lime Rock – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long

Stuttgart. With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) posted the third quickest time in the GT qualifying for the Northeast Grand Prix in Lime Rock.

Patrick Long

He contests round three of the American Le Mans Series on Saturday with his works driver colleague Joerg Bergmeister (Germany),

Jörg Bergmeister

who with five wins in the last five years is the most successful driver at the race in the US state of Connecticut .

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long

“I was lying in fifth when my pit crew requested me to come in. But my gut feeling told me that I could do better. So I stayed out for another lap and that lap was then perfect,” said Patrick Long.

“It felt just a good as my fastest lap last year where I secured pole position. It’s just that the gap to the cars at the front is simply too big. We just can’t match their pace due to the balance of performance regulations.”

At his first start on the short and very narrow 2.487 kilometre circuit, which had only just dried up after a rain shower, Marco Holzer (Germany) clinched sixth place.

Marco Holzer

“My quickest lap was just my seventh on the dry track in Lime Rock,” he said. “We’re very pleased with this and think we’ve found a very good set-up for the race, regardless of whether it rains or not.”

The Porsche factory pilot shares driving duties in the second Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with American Seth Neiman.

Seth Neiman

ALMS 2011 – Lime Rock – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken TireWolf Henzler

Bryan Sellers

In the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad, Bryan Sellers (USA), the teammate of Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), claimed the ninth quickest time.

The race starts on Saturday at 14.05 hours local time (20.05 hours CEST) and runs over 2:45 hours.

Qualifying result
GT class
1. Joey Hand (USA), BMW M3 GT, 50.925 seconds
2. Dirk Werner (D), BMW M3 GT, + 0.245
3. Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.947
4. Oliver Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.972
5. Tommy Milner (USA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 1.029
6. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.080
9. Bryan Sellers (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.463
12. Bryce Miller (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2,286

GTC class
1. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 54.982 seconds

Facts and figures

This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. All classes start together but are classified separately:

GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers is traditionally extremely well supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 750 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and an 825 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

All race cars start together but are classified separately. This ensures exciting and diverse racing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are only awarded for placings in each class.

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

Photos: 2011 ALMS – Lime Rock Bob Chapman, Autosport Image

 

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Le Mans Series, round 3 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 4 in Imola/Italy

Title defender takes up six hour race from third grid row

Stuttgart. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) start from the third grid row of the GTE Pro class to tackle the six hour race in Imola on Sunday.

In qualifying for the third race of the Le Mans Series season at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Richard Lietz posted the sixth fastest time.

“The car handled perfectly for that one fast lap,” he said. “I´m happy with the time, nothing else was possible today. Now let´s hope for a good race. We´re facing six hours of tough work so our motto can only be get a good start and then charge to the front.”

His works driver colleague Patrick Pilet (France) set the ninth fastest time in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of IMSA Performance Matmut, which he shares with Wolf Henzler (Germany).

“It wasn´t easy today. You can only turn two really fast laps in qualifying here,” he said. “My first lap was great, but in the second I encountered a lot of traffic and couldn´t improve. The car oversteered a lot, we´ll have to sort this out before the race.”

Directly behind him, Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) starts from tenth on the grid. His teammate in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by ProSpeed Competition is Marc Goossens from Belgium.

“The qualifying began quite well,” said Marco Holzer. “But of all places in the very quick Turn 5 I encountered a slower car which held me up. Our car felt very good, the lap times were much quicker than during the free practice and that makes me feel more confident for the race.”

 

In the GTE Am class, in which only one professional driver is permitted to compete per car, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) secured the third pole position for Porsche at the third race. Proton Competition´s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which he shares with Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda (Italy), is at last year´s technical specification as per the regulations.

Result Qualifying
GTE Pro class
1. Jörg Müller (D), BMW M3, 1:44.468 minutes
2. Dirk Werner (D), BMW M3, + 0.215 seconds behind
3. Jaime Melo (BR), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.223
4. Frédéric Makowiecki (F), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.257
5. Robert Bell (GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.262
6. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.427
9. Patrick Pilet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.999
10. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.299

GTE Am class
1. Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:45.650 minutes
2. Marco Cioci (I), Ferrari F430, + 0.256 seconds behind
3. Michele Rugolo (I), Ferrari F 430, + 0.569
4. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.633

The six hour race takes off at midday on Sunday, 3 July. TV station Eurosport 2 broadcasts the opening phase from 12.00 to 13.00 hours and then the last two hours of the race from 16.00 to 18.00 hours live.

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

Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press

 

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PORSCHE NEWS: Qualifying at Le Mans 24 Hours

“We made the most out of what was possible”

Stuttgart. The first step is taken with success. Porsche customer teams from all over Europe and the USA have secured good grid positions after the qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports (l.-r.): Jörg Bergmeister, Lucas Luhr, Patrick Long, Seth Neiman, Spencer Pumpelly, Darren Law

The fastest Porsche driver, works pilot Marc Lieb (Germany), planted the Felbermayr 911 GT3 RSR on seventh in the GTE Pro class. Lieb competes for last year’s winning team with works drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). Four other 2011-spec 911 GT3 RSR take up the race in the GTE Pro category. In the GTE Am class, three 911 GT3 RSR from last year take off into the 79th edition of the long distance classic on Saturday at 15.00 hours from positions two, three and four.

(l.-r.): Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Wolf Henzler

“We’re satisfied with our preparations and are feeling confident for the race,” said two-time Le Mans winner Marc Lieb. “In the practice sessions, we managed to find a good set-up for our 911 for the challenges of this marathon and the very special, highly demanding race track.”

Richard Lietz, who has also notched up two wins at the world’s toughest automobile race, added:

“The handling of our 911 GT3 RSR is neutral and comfortable. This means that the car tends neither towards oversteer nor understeer. This works in favour of Marc, Wolf and I because our driving styles are similar.”

  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton

The crew of the #75 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR also finished the qualifying without problems. Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) clinched the ninth grid spot for the ProSpeed Competition squad.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Prospeed Competition (l.-r.): Marc Goossens, Jaap van Lagen, Marco Holzer

(l.-r.): Jaap van Lagen, Marco Holzer, Marc Goossens

“Today we worked on our race set-up,” said Holzer. “Yes, we were faster yesterday but our car was rather twitchy, and that wouldn’t have been optimal over the race distance. There are a couple of damn fast corners here in Le Mans so you need a car that you can trust. And now we have that car.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Prospeed Competition: Marc Goossens, Marco Holzer, Jaap van Lagen

Joining forces with the 22-year-old is Le Mans veteran Marc Goossens (Bel-gium) as well as Le Mans rookie Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands).

  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Lucas Luhr

A damaged damper and an accident threw the schedule of the Flying Lizard Motorsports into disarray.

“Because of the faulty shock absorber we worked in the wrong direction for a long time during yesterday’s practice session,” explained Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany). “Then we lost time when a competitor spun and I couldn’t avoid him. The repairs were extensive. We decided to forget about turning an extra qualifying lap and instead we concentrated totally on finding a set-up.”

(l.-r.): Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Lucas Luhr

Bergmeister takes up the marathon on Saturday with his works driver colleague Patrick Long (USA)

Lucas Luhr

and Germany’s Lucas Luhr from 12th position in the GTE Pro class.

 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Nick Tandy, Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Bryce Miller

Grid position 14 went to Nick Tandy in the second 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton. The Briton currently leads the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup series as well as the German Carrera Cup, but this marks his first race in Le Mans. His teammates are Abdulaziz Al Faisal from Saudi Arabia and Bryce Miller from the USA.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut (l.-r.): Patrick Pilet, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

The French IMSA Performance Matmut squad had counted on a better grid position than 16th. Still, after team owner Raymond Narac’s accident during the first free practice, Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet, Narac and Le Mans newcomer Nicolas Armindo (all France) could only begin their set-up work this afternoon and therefore lag be-hind.

  (l.-r.): Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo, Patrick Pilet

In the GTE Am sports car class, Austrian Horst Felbermayr Junior qualified the 911 GT3 RSR of Proton Competition on second place. His teammates are Horst Felber-mayr Senior and team owner Christian Ried (Germany).

(l.-r.): Horst Felbermayr Sr., Christian Ried, Horst Felbermayr Jr.

Position three was snatched by Larbre Competition’s

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

all French line-up of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc.

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

Grid spot four in the GTE Am class went to Americans Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Spencer Pumpelly from the Flying Lizard Motorsports team.

(l.-r.): Spencer Pumpelly, Seth Neiman, Darren Law

Porsche’s head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, praised the teams’ professional preparations for the race.

“They all worked hard to find an optimal set-up. Taking the Balance of Performance into account, the teams made the most out of what was possible.”

The race gets the green light at 15.00 hours on Saturday, 11th June. Television stations Eurosport and Eurosport 2 broadcast the race alternately around the clock with 15 hours of live coverage shown on the main station, Eurosport.

Result Qualifying GTE Pro
1. Farfus/Müller/Werner (BR/D/D), BMW M3 GT, 3:57.592 minutes
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/FIN), Ferrari 458 Italia, + 0.448 seconds
3. Priaulx/Müller/Hand (GB/D/USA), BMW M3 GT, + 0.834
4. Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook (GB/DK/GB), Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, + 1,927
7. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler (D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.070
9. Holzer/Goossens/van Lagen (D/B/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.370
12. Bergmeister/Long/Luhr (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 3.432
14. Tandy/Al Faisal/Miller (GB/SAU/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR + 4.160
16. Pilet/Narac/Armindo (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 4.956

Result Qualifying GTE Am
1. Perazzini/Cioci/Breslin (I/I/D), Ferrari F430, 4:21.015 minutes
2. Ried/Felbermayr Jr./Felbermayr Sen. (D/A/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.250 seconds
3. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.366
4. Neiman/Law/Pumpelly (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.636

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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

The four classes in Le Mans:
GTE Pro class: The most popular class of car manufacturers (formerly run as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.
GTE Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with the 2010-vehicle specifications. More-over, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle must have one professional driver at the most.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes of around 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.

SOURCE: Porsche Database https://presse.porsche.de.

Photo Credits: Porsche AG and from Flying Lizards Motorsports Photographer Bob Chapman, Autosport Image

Porsche AG  – Public Relations and Media
Porsche AG  – Motor and Sports Press

 

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PORSCHE: Le Mans 24 Hours – Strong contingent of Porsche customer teams with eight 911 GT3 RSR

Strong contingent of Porsche customer teams with eight 911 GT3 RSR

Stuttgart. Five teams, eight vehicles, 24 pilots: Porsche customer teams from Europe and the USA are particularly well represented at the 79th running of the long distance classic in Le Mans on 11/12 June.

At the toughest automobile race in the world they field a total of eight Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the two sports car classes: GTE Pro and GTE Am. All Porsche works drivers compete – including last year’s winning trio, Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). With 16 overall and 98 class victories, Porsche is by far the most successful make in Le Mans.

The race

Run for the first time in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has become a legend. It is considered the toughest automobile race in the world. With 55 sports cars, the start alone guarantees goose bumps. Tens of thousands of fans flock to the town square of Le Mans to see the technical scrutineering. And for the traditional drivers’ parade which leads from the track to the city centre in the Sarthe region on Friday afternoon, enthusiastic fans line the streets.

The circuit

The 13.629 kilometre “Circuit des 24 Heures” is one of the world’s oldest and fastest race tracks. With around 75 percent of a lap taken at full throttle, the circuit is regarded as a serious test for the reliability of man and machine.

The world fame of the track is thanks not least to the legendary Hunaudières straight, where top speeds of up to 400 kph were reached before it was tamed by two chicanes in 1990. Also the ultra-swift passage with the Porsche curves demands everything from race drivers.

Porsche’s successes

Exactly 60 years ago, the maiden outing of a race car from Zuffenhausen marked the beginning of the unprecedented success story of Porsche in Le Mans. Even in the early years, typical Porsche virtues – like lightweight construction, aerodynamics and reliability – played a prominent role in the many class wins. However, the path to the first overall win was rocky. In 1969, in the closest Le Mans finish in history, Porsche missed out on victory by a mere 75 metres or a good one second.

But the breakthrough in 1970 was all the more convincing. On 14 June, drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood celebrated the first overall victory with the legendary Porsche 917 short-tail, with two other Porsche teams making the triumph perfect with second and third place. Fifteen further overall wins followed – and last year,

  (l.-r.): Wolf Henzler, Michael Ried, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Porsche factory pilots Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler clinched the 98th class win in the 911 GT3 RSR.

The Porsche drivers

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With the same line-up, last year’s winners return to the site of their success. For Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz, 2010 yielded their second class wins in Le Mans (after 2005 and 2007 respectively). Wolf Henzler climbed to the top of the podium for the first time. Title defender Felbermayr-Proton fields the 2011-version of the 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro class.

The American Flying Lizard Motorsports team competes with the punchy works driver pairing Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) at the wheel of a 911 in the Pro-category. Together, they claimed a Le Mans class win in 2004, with Patrick Long also achieving success in 2007. The multiple champions of the American Le Mans Series receive support from Lucas Luhr (Switzerland), who celebrated GT wins in Le Mans with Porsche in 2002 and 2003.

The French Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet shares driving duties with his compatriots Raymond Narac and Nicolas Armindo in the 911 GT3 RSR of IMSA Performance Matmut. Whilst team owner Narac has extensive experience in Le Mans, Armindo, as reigning champion of the Carrera Cup Deutschland, gives his debut at the endurance classic.

The youngest Porsche works driver, Marco Holzer (Germany), drives for the Belgian ProSpeed Competition team. The 22-year-old celebrated his Le Mans premiere in 2010 with a podium result. He shares the cockpit of the GTE Pro 911 with Marc Goossens (Belgium) and Jaap van Lagen (Netherlands).

At the wheel of the fifth 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro class, also fielded by Felbermayr-Proton, are Britain’s Nick Tandy – the current leader of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and the Carrera Cup Deutschland – as well as Bryce Miller (USA) and Abdulaziz Faisal (Saudi Arabia).

Racing in the GTE Am sports car category, in which only one professional race driver per vehicle is permitted, are three further 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR. Taking up the challenge for Flying Lizard Motorsports are Americans Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Spencer Pumpelly, for Proton Competition are team boss Christian Ried (Germany) as well as Austrians Horst Felbermayr Senior and Junior. And Frenchmen Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc race for Larbre Competition.

Two further Porsche works drivers again compete for Audi in the more powerful LMP1 class: Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) join forces with Audi works driver Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) and are eager to repeat their overall victory from last year.

Quotes before the race

Marc Lieb: “When you think of Le Mans you get goose bumps. It’s great to be racing with Richard and Wolf for our Felbermayr-Team again. Victory last year took a huge effort. Now the competition is even stronger. In our class alone, 18 cars from six well known manufacturers are fighting for victory. Even if the full throttle passage suits our car, the race will be a damn hard nut to crack.”

Richard Lietz: “With two Le Mans class wins under your belt of course you don’t mind travelling to the Sarthe. Le Mans for me is something special because you get action all week long. As a driver you can get really close to fans, you’re signing autographs practically non-stop.”

Joerg Bergmeister: “When you take a look at the names on the starter list you first have swallow hard. It’s going to be tough! We’re really well sorted this year with Flying Lizard. Last year we experienced bad luck in Le Mans. A podium place would be a great reward for the team.”

Patrick Long: “I love the challenges of this circuit, especially the fast, flowing corners. Now that’s great fun in a well set-up 911. I’m particularly looking forward to racing with Joerg this year. And Lucas Luhr fits in well with us. We’re a strong combination.”

Patrick Pilet: “We’ll be going all out, but we also want to enjoy the event. The circuit and the atmosphere are unique. For my driver colleagues and the team, our home race in Le Mans is of course the highlight of the season.”

Marco Holzer: “To stand on the top of the podium in Le Mans is incomparable. Below you thousands of people are swarming around the race track and cheering. It’s something you never forget. And it was even better that I did it as a rookie in 2010. My goal this year is to repeat this success.”

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “Our customer teams and we face even bigger challenges through the division into the two sports car classes GTE Pro and GTE Am because different vehicles are fielded: in the Pro class we have the 2011 version of the 911 GT3 RSR, in the Am class we have 911 race cars in the previous year’s spec. That the event organizer ACO has issued many special dispensations specific to models and that there is now the ‘balance of performance’ in Le Mans means for our customers in the GTE Pro category that there is no real equality of arms. Regardless of this, we and our teams will prepare ourselves well and we’ll turn to all the factors that we can influence.”

The schedule

Free practice is on Wednesday, 8 June, from 16.00 to 20.00 hours. Following on from that is the first qualifying session for the best grid spots from 22.00 hrs to midnight. The second and third qualifying sessions are scheduled for Thursday, 19.00 to 21.00 hrs and from 22.00 to 24.00 hrs. On Saturday, 11 June, the lights turn green at 15.00 hours signalling the start of the 24 hour chase.

TV tip

Eurosport broadcasts extensive coverage from Le Mans on its free-to-view station and the Pay-TV channel Eurosport 2. From Monday, 6 June, the latest preliminary reports and background stories will be televised daily on Eurosport under the title of “24 minutes before Le Mans”. The free practice, the final qualifying and the warm-up will also be shown. Around 15 hours of the race can be seen live on the main station.

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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

The four classes in Le Mans:

GTE Pro class: The most popular class of car manufacturers (formerly run as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.

GTE Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with the 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle must have one professional driver at the most.

LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.

LMP2 class: Sports prototypes of around 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Public Relations and Media
Motor and Sports Press
Oliver Hilger

 

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