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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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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.

M13_1329

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.

M13_1315

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

M13_1347

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):

M13_1341

“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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