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Porsche keen to repeat last year’s GT victory, Sports Car World Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

 

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Marco Holzer, Frederic Makowiecki, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Marco Holzer, Frederic Makowiecki, Richard Lietz

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet, Joerg Bergmeister, Nick Tandy

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Team Manthey: Patrick Pilet, Joerg Bergmeister, Nick Tandy

 

Stuttgart. It was a debut made to order: At its first ever outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year, the Porsche 911 RSR brought home a double victory. At the 82nd edition of the world’s most famous long distance race, contested on the Circuit des 24 Heures on 14/15 June, Porsche Team Manthey will again field a pair of 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. Taking up the challenge alongside the factory squad, Porsche customer teams from Europe and America again contest the GTE-Am class, which Porsche also won last year. The classic event in provincial France, where Porsche is chronicled as the most successful manufacturer with 16 overall victories, is regarded as the highlight of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC).

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The race
First contested in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the toughest automobile race in the world and represents the greatest challenge motorsport has to offer. What makes this classic so unique is also the 13.65 kilometre “Circuit des 24 Heures”, one of the oldest and fastest race tracks in the world with 38 corners and the legendary five-kilometre long Mulsanne straight. Almost 75 percent of a lap is driven at full throttle.

Porsche drivers
Double points are awarded for round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC at Le Mans. Tackling the GTE-Pro class in the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR are Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). Sharing the #92 cockpit are their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and last year’s winner Richard Lietz (Austria). Customer teams take on the GTE-Am class with a pair of 911 RSR: For the Dempsey Racing-Proton outfit, Patrick Dempsey (USA) and Joe Foster (USA) join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA). Christian Ried (Germany), Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) compete for Proton Competition. The customer squads IMSA Performance Matmut and Prospeed Competition each bring two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in last year’s spec to the start. IMSA Performance Matmut has contracted an all-French driver line-up with Erik Maris, Jean Marc Merlin and Eric Hélary as well as Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo and David Hallyday. Taking on the challenge for Prospeed Competition are Cooper MacNeil (USA), Bret Curtis (USA) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) as well as Frenchmen Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard.

The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR which Porsche has campaigned in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship since 2013 is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut last year the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach scored a brilliant double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the 911 RSR received improvements in many areas. In addition to winning the WEC season opener at Silverstone, this racer has also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring. Through the balance of performance ruling, the 911 RSR for Le Mans must now weigh 25 kilograms more than last year’s contender, with the restrictors reduced from 29.6 to 29.3 millimetres.

The schedule
Free practice on the Circuit des 24 Heures is held on Wednesday, 11 June, from 16.00 to 20.00 hrs, followed by the first qualifying session from 22.00 hrs to midnight. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Thursday, 12 June, from 19.00 to 21.00 hrs and from 22.00 hrs to midnight. The start flag for the 24 hour pursuit drops on Saturday, 14 June, at 15.00 hours. The 56-strong field is sent on its way by ex-Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.

TV tips
Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the complete race live. The last two hours of free practice as well as the three qualifying sessions and the warm-up are also televised live. Also aired during the week are various programmes highlighting the world’s most famous long distance race with news, interviews, portraits and background reports. Detailed TV information is available on http://www.eurosport.com.

Quotes before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“Le Mans is the highlight of the year. For our teams and drivers this race represents an exceptional challenge – and we’re feeling highly motivated and very well prepared. After our double victory at the season-opener in Silverstone, our car now has to carry 25 extra kilograms of ballast and the diameter of the two restrictors is now 0.3 millimetres smaller than last year’s. When considering the additional changes made, as against 2013, at one or the other competitor one has to question to what extent is the Balance of Performance actually balanced. We feel it is a matter of utmost urgency in the spirit of the sport to find a regulation for the classification of vehicles where you don’t have to fear being punished for a good performance, like what happened to us after Silverstone. Nevertheless, we’ll work extremely hard to do a good job at Le Mans – just like last year.”

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

“I’ve raced at Le Mans since 2002 and it’s a fantastic feeling to be back again this year. It’s the season highlight for me. This race has a very special atmosphere and it’s always incredibly demanding. More than anything I enjoy the extremely fast corners, they’re the most fun. Last year we came second behind our teammates and I wouldn’t mind at all if we switch positions this year.”

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“Le Mans is a very special race, especially for me as a Frenchman. It’s always an incredible feeling to go racing on such an extreme circuit in front of so many fans. Aside from the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans is the greatest race on Earth. We are well prepared and our 911 RSR is a strong contender, especially on the long straights. It would be fantastic if we could turn this into a win. We were so close last year.”

Nick Tandy (#91):

“Ever since I began racing for Porsche at Le Mans in 2010 it has been my goal to secure a podium spot here. You only get this chance once a year and I’ll do everything within my power to make it happen. For a race driver, Le Mans is a magical place. Even when you arrive in the paddock you get a sense of the great history. And the Circuit des 24 Heures is something very special with its unique combination of race track and normal country roads. It’s an honour for me to drive again for Porsche at Le Mans this year.”

Marco Holzer (#92):

“At my first race in Le Mans in 2010 we managed to achieve a podium finish with third place. When I think back to the cheering crowds at the award ceremony it still sends shivers down my spine. I’d very much like to experience this feeling again and our chances don’t look too bad. We have a great car and a strong team behind us. But in Le Mans you can’t afford to make one mistake. You have to be totally focussed otherwise you can forget it.”

Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):

“As a Frenchman you simply have to race at Le Mans. And you want to win. Your family is watching at the track, your friends are there supporting you. This makes it hugely motivating to achieve everything you’ve set out to do. As a child I dreamed of Porsche. I launched my racing career with Porsche. If I could now win Le Mans with Porsche, well that would just be the best thing in the world. But first we have to face 24 gruelling hours where pretty much anything can happen.”

Richard Lietz (#92):

“I have many wonderful memories of Le Mans, especially my wins in 2007, 2010 and 2013. It’s the greatest race in the world. I love it. If I couldn’t be here as a driver, I’d buy a ticket and watch the race as a spectator. Earlier, only victory in Le Mans counted. Since 2013, it has become part of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship which means that if you can’t win then you have to make sure you bring home as many points as possible. The connection between Porsche and Le Mans is pure racing fascination. Getting the chance to compete at Le Mans for Porsche, the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race, is motivation enough. You automatically do your absolute best to win.”

Patrick Long (#77):

“Le Mans is always a huge challenge. Everyone wants to win, regardless of the category they’re contesting. I’m really looking forward to racing with Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster and helping the whole team to fulfil their dreams at Le Mans. Last year we narrowly missed out on a podium spot. This time we’re determined to make it.”

SOURCE:

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

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24 hours of Le Mans, Interview with Wolfgang Hatz, “Porsche is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Porsche”

 

24 hours of Le Mans, Interview with Wolfgang Hatz

“Porsche is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Porsche”

Stuttgart. This coming Sunday on June 1, the entries for what will be the 82nd running of the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans will be testing at the famous track. It is the final test prior to arguably the toughest motor race in the world. Porsche vehicles have been on the starting grid continuously for 63 years, and the German sports car manufacturer is the record holder with 16 overall victories and 103 class victories. The most recent class victory was last year with two 911 RSRs one-two in the GTE Pro category. To date, the last overall victory was 16 years ago, as Porsche has not competed in the top class since 1998. Porsche returns there this year and faces the new FIA-efficiency regulations with the innovative 919 Hybrid, which limits the energy consumption per lap. In parallel to this, the GT team is trying to build on the success of the previous year. A gigantic factory involvement. There are also six private Porsche teams starting the event; the most well known driver and team owner is Patrick Dempsey, racing car driver and American actor. As Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, at Porsche AG, Wolfgang Hatz is responsible for the Porsche factory involvement.

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Mr Hatz, when and why did Porsche decide to return to the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans?

Wolfgang Hatz: “This was in 2011. We were and still are well positioned in the GT category, but it is time for the brand to re-enter at the elite level. The options for this are easily understandable. There is Formula 1, and there is the WEC with Le Mans. An essential criteria for the decision was the desire to establish the project at Porsche itself, so the expertise would be developed and remain in-house. The World Endurance Championship including Le Mans suits us best, it is a real team sport. This is especially true of the team of drivers. But we also needed to create the infrastructure for this first: new buildings, a team of 230 people, every other one of which is an engineer.”

Did the historical connection to Le Mans also play a role?

Wolfgang Hatz: “Porsche is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Porsche. They fit together. Nevertheless, no one makes these kind of investments due to nostalgia; they have to pay off in the future. As far as I can remember, there was never a regulation that gave the engineers so much freedom and required so much innovation. The obligation towards producing a hybrid and the efficiency formula represent revolutionary challenges. I am proud that our engineers ventured the furthest of any. Ultimately, Porsche customers will benefit from this.”

Porsche Team: Alexander Hitzinger, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG), Fritz Enzinger, Leiter LMP1 (r)

Porsche Team: Alexander Hitzinger, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG), Fritz Enzinger, Leiter LMP1 (r)

Can you explain this in laymen’s terms?

Wolfgang Hatz: “Our combustion engine is the finest and most efficient engine ever developed by Porsche. This compact two litre, four cylinder, turbo engine with direct fuel injection and a performance of over 500 PS drives the rear axle. It is the smallest engine with the least number of cylinders in the top category of the race. Our engineers also combined a fundamentally new exhaust gas energy recovery system with this engine. No one else has that. We store the energy recovered from the otherwise unproductive flow of escaping exhaust gasses in a battery. We store energy, which we generate during braking on the front axle in the same battery. When the driver retrieves energy from this reservoir comprised of the latest type of battery cells, several hundred horsepower drive the front axle. During this phase, the driver has a powerful all-wheel drive at his disposal. Our car is the only one in the field which converts energy that would otherwise simply be wasted and makes it useable, not only when braking, but also when accelerating. This represents an immense potential for future road sports cars.”

Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)


Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)

Are the efficiency regulations not to the detriment of racing itself?

Wolfgang Hatz: “Not at all; the races at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps have demonstrated this. The prototypes have plenty of power available; whether this is from the internal combustion engine or electrical does not matter. They must use all of the energy on each lap, otherwise it is a waste. Nothing can be saved here. These endurance races are sprints over incredible distances.”

The World Championships comprises eight races, but the focus is on Le Mans. When would the factory involvement be considered a success?

Wolfgang Hatz: “It would be terrific, if the GT team could build on the success of the previous year. However, that is literally more difficult because we had to add weight in accordance with the regulations. Porsche Team Manthey headed by Hartmut Kristen has extensive experience, which may make the decisive difference at Le Mans. The situation is completely different in the case of the Porsche team headed by Fritz Enzinger in the LMP1 class: We have no experience there at all. 2014 is a year of learning. Not admitting that would mean miscalculating Le Mans. At Spa-Francorchamps, the Porsche 919 Hybrid impressively demonstrated that the necessary speed is there with pole position and the fastest race lap. Our competitors know we are a force to be reckoned with. However, the 919 Hybrid has not yet covered the complete Le Mans distance in racing conditions. In this respect, it would be a success if one LMP1 finishes the event. Succeeding with both would be fabulous.”

Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard (l), Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)

Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard (l), Wolfgang Hatz (Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG)

At Silverstone, we saw you emotionally applauding the podium place in the overall standings in the pouring rain. Isn’t that the high demand Porsche imposes on itself?

Wolfgang Hatz: “That was a great moment of joy. But I am not losing sight of reality over this. We were not top-notch at Silverstone. We also benefited from the competition’s problems. But we did complete the first six-hour race with this extremely complex car and a team that has never competed before at a circuit. All the processes, especially under chaotic weather conditions, worked very well for the debut. And everyone worked extremely hard for this. The drivers showed their enormous skills but also a lot of discipline. The podium was a great experience for all of us. And we had a one-two in the GT class. The picture we saw on Sunday in England was terrific.”

Where will you be watching the 24 hour race from?

Wolfgang Hatz: “I will be on duty and will not be a spectator. Of course, I spend most of the time in the pit. I attend every race and was at the tracks for almost all the tests. Mostly, by the way, by the side of Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board, and that will also be the case on June 14/15. Come, what may.”

Source: Porsche Product and Technology Communication, Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche holds manufacturer point lead with strong team effort, Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 3: Long Beach, USA

 

 

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy

 

Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 3: Long Beach, USA

Porsche holds manufacturer point lead with strong team effort

Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy, Michael Christensen, Patrick Long (l-r)

Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy, Michael Christensen, Patrick Long (l-r)

Stuttgart. Factory trio of Porsche 911 RSR entered in Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach fought both the city streets of Southern California and the competition, and left retaining the lead in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Manufacturer Championship point standings.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Patrick Long, Michael Christensen

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Patrick Long, Michael Christensen

The No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria) took the checkered flag in fourth-place with the team car, the No. 912 of Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark), fifth in class.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy

The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA) finished eighth.

Porsche 911 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

Porsche 911 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

The race hinged on a single pit stop with approximately one hour remaining in the 100-minute race, by far the shortest race of the season. First, the No. 911 stopped and Richard Lietz relinquished the car to Nick Tandy with fresh Michelin tires and a full fuel load from their fifth place qualifying position.

2014 Tudor USCC - Long Beach Grand Prix

One lap later, the No. 912 stopped with Patrick Long taking over from Michael Christensen who was running sixth at the time. After the rotation, the No. 911 gained one spot moving to fourth while the No. 912 did the same, moving to fifth. From the sole pit stop to the conclusion of the third round of the championship, Nick Tandy ran a mostly unchallenged race to cross under the checkered flag 27 seconds behind the winners.
2014 Tudor USCC - Long Beach Grand Prix
The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR with factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga.) also gained one spot on their starting position finishing eight with efficient pit work.

2014 Tudor USCC - Long Beach Grand Prix

The eighth-place follows a fifth earned during the debut of the privately entered 911 RSR at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

Nick Tandy: “The result is better than our pace this weekend as we improved on our qualifying position. We scored two high points places for the team and gained points back on the championship leader. It’s not a podium but it’s two cars in the top-five, so it’s good.”

Richard Lietz: “I think we did the maximum we could do. We didn’t have the speed today to stay with the guys in front of us but we did our best. I think it was positive but we need to work to find the additional speed.”

Patrick Long: “I am happy we persevered with a lot of challenges today. Fourth and fifth are not first and second but it’s a long season so we need to put points on the board. I didn’t have a radio for the whole stint so I didn’t know if the BMW was on the lead lap. I just pushed as hard as I could at the end. It was a good hard, clean fight with Bill Auberlen. Michael did a really solid job and we just made the best of what we had this weekend.“

Michael Christensen: “That was fun. Obviously, it was a little bit of a train most of the stint. That’s how it is, it’s tough to get by on a street circuit but I did my best to move forward.”

Wolf Henzler: “We have to sit down now after this race and look at what we did and what we can do better. We still need to understand the car better and how it reacts to setup changes on the Falken tire. I think we will have something better for Laguna Seca.”

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Race results
GTLM class
1. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 75 laps
2. Müller/Edwards (D/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 75
3. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 75
4. Lietz/Tandy (A/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 75
5. Christensen/Long (DK/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 75
6. Priaulx/Auberlen (GB/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 75
8. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 74

Round 4 of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship will take place on May 4 in Laguna Seca, California.

Please note: The Twitter channel @PorscheRaces provides live updates with the latest information and photos from race tracks around the world.

SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG – Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche Factory Drivers Named for 2014 Porsche North America 911 RSR Entries

2012 ALMS - Petit Le Mans

Patrick Long

Patrick Long, Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy , Michael Christensen Named as Season-Long TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Drivers; Patrick Pilet, Joerg Bergmeister to Join CORE autosport-prepared 911 Racers for 2014 Rolex 24

Stuttgart/AtlantaPorsche AG and Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) have announced the factory drivers who will compete for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the PORSCHE NORTH AMERICA CORE autosport-prepared Porsche 911 RSR GT-Le Mans class entries.

Nick Tandy

Nick Tandy

Car no. 911 will be driven by Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria), while car no. 912 will compete with Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) at the helm, with two additional Porsche factory drivers – Patrick Pilet (France) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) – joining the teams for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Jörg Bergmeister

Joerg Bergmeister

 

The no. 911Tandy/Lietz/Pilet Porsche and the no. 912 Long/Christensen/Bergmeister entry will make their on-track debut at the ROAR Before the Rolex 24, January 3 – 5, 2014. The effort will utilize the new Porsche 911 RSR, the same as the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans LM GTE-Pro class-winning entries.

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

 Patrick Pilet

The headquarters for the program will be at Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) in Santa Ana, Calif. CORE autosport, Rock Hill, South Carolina, will act as the competition partner for the program.

Richard Lietz

Richard Lietz

There is a wealth of endurance racing championship experience with this driver lineup, with Lietz scoring class wins at both the Rolex 24 (2012) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2010, 2013); and Patrick Long winning his class at the Rolex 24 (2009), 12 Hours of Sebring (2005), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004, 2007), and Petit Le Mans (2005, 2006, 2007).

Michael Christensen, Porsche JuniorMichael Christensen, Porsche Junior

Christensen, in his first year as a Porsche Junior in 2013, finished sixth in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series season standings with one event win in addition to the Rookie of the Year title.  Tandy finished the 2013 American Le Mans Series with a flare by co-driving the Team Falken Tire Porsche to the GT class victory at Petit Le Mans.  As for the Rolex 24 third driver additions, Bergmeister and Pilet are endurance veterans as well. Bergmeister has won the Rolex 24 (2002, 2003, 2009), 12 Hours of Sebring (2004, 2005, 2008), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004), and Petit Le Mans 2003 – 2007).  Pilet, a former Porsche Carrera Cup France champion, has a win at the 24 Hours of Dubai to his credit.

The 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona will take place January 25 – 26, 2014.

The 2014 Porsche 911 RSR

The new 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR. The new 911 RSR featured a win in its very first 24 Hours of Le Mans appearance in 2013. As with the production vehicle, the wheelbase grew by about four inches.    A new development from Porsche Motorsport is the lightweight racing gearbox with the six forward gears selectable via paddles on the steering wheel. The 470 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine was taken from the predecessor and optimized for 2014.

One of the development priorities of the new 911 RSR was finding a better weight distribution balance. The center of gravity is also significantly lower than that of its predecessor. Carbon fiber played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear aero components, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and center console are constructed from the very light and strong material. Moreover, all windows are made of particularly thin and light polycarbonate. Also contributing to the weight reduction is the lithium-ion battery now available on many GT road-legal models.

The look of the new 911 RSR is dominated by the flared aero components and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With a new air ducting, the radiator is now centrally-located in the front and even more effective than in the previous model. At the same time, the cockpit air-conditioning became more efficient. The quick-change concept of the body parts was specially adapted for endurance racing, allowing for easier maintenance and shorter repair times. The front end, front lid and rear panel are fitted with quick release systems and can be replaced within seconds.

Low positioned static cornering lights provide improved vision and enhanced safety during the night. The reflective labeling and anti-glare lighting of the control elements in the cockpit help ensure optimal legibility in the dark. The arrangement of the switches on the new steering wheel and the pilot-oriented center console were designed in co-operation with the ten Porsche works drivers. All works drivers took part in the design of the 911 RSR contributing their vast experience in GT racing.

In order to keep the engineers in the pits up-to-date with all relevant vehicle data, the live telemetry transmits more than 200 different measurements straight to the pit wall stand via an antenna on the roof. Additionally, all data is stored on a memory card onboard the vehicle.

Source:   / Porsche

CORE autosport

483 Lakeshore Parkway

Rock Hill, SC 29730

Phone: 803-325-9321
Fax: 803-324-4804

 

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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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VIDEO: New member of the Porsche motorsport family, Patrick Dempsey plays star role in Porsche films

Stuttgart. Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) plays himself in the new motorsport film from Porsche. At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR the avid race driver contests the 24 Hours of Le Mans this coming weekend for the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton team.

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

The first of a series of films featuring Dempsey is available on Porsche’s Facebook page and on the Porsche YouTube channel.

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

“It’s nice to say that you are in the Porsche family,”

says Dempsey. “It’s an incredible family, a talented family with a lot of depth when it comes to technology, engineering and design.

It fills me with pride to now be a part of this family.”

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

The first movie is entitled “Porsche Motorsport: Growing the family with Patrick Dempsey” and was filmed at the American Le Mans Series race on the street circuit in Long Beach (USA).

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

In the GTC class, Dempsey contests the entire season of the U.S. race series with his teammates Andy Lally and Joe Foster in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Racing squad.

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dempsey and Foster join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA).

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG – Patrick Dempsey and Porsche Motorsport

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey
Dempsey Del Piero-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Patrick Dempsey

Motorsport Press

 

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First qualifying in Le Mans for Porsche 911 RSR, Sports Car WEC round 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. Porsche AG Team Manthey used the first qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours on Wednesday primarily to work on the set-up of the new Porsche 911 RSR for its first outing at the world’s most famous long distance race.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey Marc Lieb, RicharM13_1331

The 911 RSR with the starting number 92, shared by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), performed impressively in free practice by setting the best time in the GTE-Pro class, and went on to post the fifth quickest time during the first qualifying held in the night.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet, Timo Bernhard - M13_1364

At the wheel of the second 911 RSR with the starting number 91, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) were clocked as seventh fastest.

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The best Porsche in the GTE-Am class was the 911 GT3 RSR run by Proton Competition on second place. Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti share the cockpit.

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The IMSA Performance Matmut 911 with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) clinched the third quickest time.

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In the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Proton squad, the all-American line-up of Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey,

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Dempsey Dell Piero Proton: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Patrick Long

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Dempsey Dell Piero Proton: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Patrick Long

Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster secured the seventh spot.

Porsche AG Team Manthey - M13_1373

Quotes after the first qualifying

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

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“My main priority was to turn my mandatory laps. I was driving on used tyres and everything went really smoothly. As a driver you’re never really satisfied but I think that as far as the race is concerned we are on the right track.”

Patrick Pilet (# 91):

Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard

Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard

“The balance of the car was okay. On the fastest lap I encountered a lot of traffic which cost me some time. For tomorrow we have to keep working on the balance.”

Timo Bernhard (# 91):

“Today wasn’t really a labour-intensive day. In free practice I turned three laps before the session was red-flagged. When I wanted to climb in the car for my last qualifying stint the red flag came out again and after that it was no longer possible to do anything. Now I hope that I get to drive a bit longer tomorrow.”

Marc Lieb (# 92):

Marc Lieb, Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“The qualifying was quite good. I went out on used tyres and that worked well. I’m happy with the car’s balance. Of course we have to tweak the set-up but I think that we’ll manage that before the race. Compared to Spa and Silverstone we’ve made great strides.”

Richard Lietz (# 92):

(l.-r.): Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb

(l.-r.): Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb

“My first lap was really good, but I spun in the second. Luckily nothing happened and I then had no problems on the second set of tyres.”

Romain Dumas (# 92):

Romain Dumas

Romain Dumas

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to drive during qualifying. I drove a couple of laps in free practice during the afternoon. It was great fun to be out on this track in a GT car.”

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Wolf Henzler (#67):

 

“Today was my first time with the car on new tyres. The balance is still not quite perfect. I hope that we can attack it again tomorrow.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76):

“We have made progress in all areas since the last race in Spa. On the straights we are still a little slower but we are closing in on our competitors. I’m getting to know the circuit better with every lap I drive.”

Patrick Long (#77):

“I initially went out on used tyres to get a feel for the car. When I then tried to go for a good qualifying time with soft tyres the yellow flag came out at the first corner. Afterwards I only had time to turn the required mandatory laps for the night qualifying.”

Patrick Dempsey (#77):

Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Dell Piero-Proton

Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Dell Piero-Proton

“I’m very pleased to compete in Le Mans with Porsche. This is really a fantastic experience. Of course there are still some things that need improving but it’s been quite a long time since I’ve driven laps at night on this difficult track. The Porsche is great fun to drive. I’ve learned a lot and I’m feeling confident that we’ll improve even more until the race.”

Paolo Ruberti (#88):

(l.-r.): Gianluca Roda, Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti

(l.-r.): Gianluca Roda, Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti

“I was almost a second quicker than in free practice. In the first chicane I was a little too quick and I lost the rear. Luckily I didn’t hit anything.”

Result 1st qualifying
GTE-Pro class
1. Bell/Makowiecki/Senna (GB/F/BRA), Aston Martin, 3:55.658 minutes
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:55.909
3. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 3:56.004
5. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.457
7. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.573

1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 3:58.661 minutes
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:59.246
3. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:00.053
5. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:01.713
7. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.378

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

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SOURCE:  Communication Porsche AG Motorsport Press

 

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