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Le Mans 24 Hours / World Endurance Championship – Confirmed Porsche entry for Le Mans

24h Le Mans

24h Le Mans

Organizer confirms Porsche entry for Le Mans

Stuttgart. Porsche AG fields two new 911 RSR based on the 991 model generation at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and in the World Endurance Championship.

Entry for the newly developed vehicles sporting the starting numbers 91 and 92 was confirmed for the GTE class by the organisers ACO and FIA today in Paris.

The factory squad “Porsche AG Team Manthey” will run both 911 RSR race cars.

Contesting the event in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR are Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

Marc Lieb

Marc Lieb

Richard Lietz

Richard Lietz

The pair has already shared a cockpit in last year’s WEC. At the first two rounds of the season in Silverstone (14 April) and Spa (4 May) as well as at the Le Mans 24 hour race (22 June) they will receive reinforcement from their works driver colleague Romain Dumas (France).

Works drivers also pilot the number 91 sister car: Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) teams up with Patrick Pilet (France). In Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans the duo are joined by Timo Bernhard (Germany).

Jörg Bergmeister

Jörg Bergmeister

Patrick Pilet

Patrick Pilet

Timo Bernhard

Timo Bernhard

Additionally, the customer teams IMSA Performance Matmut and Felbermayr Proton have received a starting place in the WEC and at Le Mans, fielding the predecessor model Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE-Am category.

At the wheel of the IMSA Matmut 911, Raymond Narac (France) shares driving duties with Jean-Karl Vernay (France) who contests the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with backing from Porsche AG this year. Vernay is the reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup France.

Jean-Karl Vernay

Jean-Karl Vernay

The customer team Dempsey Racing-Proton is also delighted with its acceptance to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey, who is known especially for his role as “McDreamy” in the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, already contested the Le Mans race in 2009 and now climbs back into the cockpit.

Patrick DempseyALMS LAGUNA SECA 2012.USAGE:  Dempsey Racing web site and press material only..Photo:  ©2012 Rick Dole.904.806.0362.radole@earthlink.net

Patrick Dempsey
ALMS LAGUNA SECA 2012.USAGE: Dempsey Racing web site and press material only..Photo: ©2012 Rick Dole.904.806.0362.radole@earthlink.net

“We are very much looking forward to returning to Le Mans with a works team from Porsche for the first time since 1998,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen.

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport

“The new 911 RSR performed well in earlier tests and is already proving extremely reliable on the track. Between them, our six pilots have scored eight class wins in Le Mans and have a great deal of experience with different 911 race cars.

And our customer teams in the GTE-Am class are also well prepared for the 2013 season.”

SOURCE:  Porsche Motorsport  – Porsche AG Media Press Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Le Mans Series, rd 5 in Estoril/Portugal, race report: Porsche teams claim podium spots, win with championship

Richard Lietz (l), Marc Lieb (r)

Stuttgart. That was close. Just 0.183 seconds separated Porsche’s works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) in the 911 GT3 RSR from their first win of the season.

Patrick Pilet (l), Wolf Henzler (r)

At the final round of the Le Mans Series, the title defenders celebrated their best result of the year clinching second at Estoril in the GTE Pro sports car category. Factory pilots Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) were delighted with their best result of the season in third place. And there was wild elation in the GTE Am class in which just one professional driver may compete per vehicle.

Raymond Narac (l), Franck Rava (m), Nicolas Armindo (r)

Frenchmen Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac crowned their season with another victory with the 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR, and took home the drivers’ championship title.

Marc Lieb (r)

“It was a really great race,” said Marc Lieb. “As expected, there was a very close fight between us and Ferrari. Our 911 remained consistent over the entire six hours. Richard, the team and I gave our very best. We fought to the flag. During the last pit stop, Richard experienced a bit of bad luck when he encountered traffic. That cost us the decisive seconds and handed the lead to the Ferrari.”

Taking up the race from fourth, Richard Lietz managed to move into second position after almost an hour.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Lap for lap, Lieb and Lietz then reeled in the front-runner. It was Lietz who finally closed the gap during his second stint – and the Felbermayr-Proton pit crew played their hand in the success: Their eight-second faster pit stop catapulted Lieb into the lead with the 911 GT3 RSR. Trying to defend this, however, was no easy task. Lieb could fend off his pursuers, but not really shake them. The Felbermayr-Proton squad’s last pit stop also worked perfectly, but back on the track Lietz hit traffic – and the Ferrari snatched back the lead. Although Lietz stuck like glue to the bumper of the leader he wasn’t able to overtake on the narrow circuit.

“The last phase was sensational,” Richard Lietz said. “In the last lap we were panel to panel twice and touched several times. But there was no way I could pass without crossing the line of fairness. When you have victory in sight and are beaten by such a close margin, well, your joy over second place is somewhat overshadowed.”

After winning the drivers’ championship in the last two years, the pair finished the season in third.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

For works drivers Wolf Henzler and Patrick Pilet, who contest the GTE-Pro class for the IMSA Performance Matmut team, the race was no less exciting. Start driver Pilet took an early lead before having to relinquish it after five laps. Suffering problems with the nut gun at two pit stops, the German/French duo fell back to third place. “Holding on to third took a huge effort,” said both Henzler and Pilet.

“We tried out all variations of set-up possibilities,” explained Henzler. “But we simply didn’t manage to find a decent balance. With fresh tyres we could easily hold the pace, but after a couple of laps the 911 become difficult to drive. And we lost a lot of time in the pits. This is something we have to work on.” Pilet added: “But this makes it all the more wonderful that, despite everything, we claimed out first podium result. We’re happy.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

For IMSA Performance Matmut, there were two reasons to celebrate at the finale. Aside from third place for the GTE Pro pilots, there were joyous celebrations over the race victory and win of the championship title in the GTE Am class. This marks the first international title for the team based in the northern French town of Rouen. The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Nicolas Armindo, and team owner and amateur racer Raymond Narac, yielded the brilliant balance of four wins from five races. As stipulated by the regulations, the pair competed with the 2010 version of the 911 GT3 RSR. The squad also secured the team championship title which serves as an entrance ticket to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012.

Nicolas Armindo

“I simply can’t express how happy I am,” said Armindo with a wide grin. “At the beginning of the season everything was new for me. But thanks to my team I quickly found my feet in this new environment and it didn’t take me long at all to get familiar with the 911 GT3 RSR. It makes me proud that in my first year of LMS I can contribute to bringing home the championship trophy for this warm and wonderful team.”

Christian Ried

Felbermayr-Proton team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and Austria’s Horst Felbermayr Junior were also pleased. The winners of the season-opener in Le Castellet concluded the year with a podium result in the GTE Am class.

Marc Goossens

For the third Porsche team contesting the GTE-Pro class with works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and Marc Goossens (Belgium), the race came to a premature end in lap one when an opponent crashed into the right front wheel of their ProSpeed Competition 911 – broke the steering gear and knocked them out of contention.

 

“It is such a shame that the season ends like this,” said Marco Holzer. “We’d qualified a decent fourth yesterday and thought our chances for second in the GTE Pro classification looked good. Unfortunately the overzealous move of a competitor robbed us of this chance. For our team, who had worked so incredibly hard, this was a particularly bitter conclusion to the year.”

 

Marco Holzer and Patrick Pilet

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Statistics: 5th of 5 rounds of the Le Mans Series in Estoril/Portugal

Result GTE Pro class
1. Bell/Walker (GB/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 209 laps
2. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 0.183 seconds behind
3. Henzler/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 207
4. Melo/Vilander (BR/FIN), Ferrari F458 Italia, 206
5. Hancock/Dolan (GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 204
6. Rodrigues/Ballay/Ayari (P/F/F), Ferrari F458 Italia, 197
7. Farnbacher/Simonsen (D/DK), Ferrari F458 Italia, 99

Result GTE Am class
1. Armindo/Narac (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 205 laps
2. Hummel/Christodoulou/Quaife (NL/GB/GB), Ferrari F430, 203
3. Ried/Felbermayr Jr. (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 202

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: 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 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle may have just one professional driver.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kg.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 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. With four title wins in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010,

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

 

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Le Mans Series, rd 5 in Estoril/Portugal – 2nd grid row in the hands of Porsche teams

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Stuttgart. The Porsche works drivers start the final race of the Le Mans Series season from promising positions.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

Posting grid position three, title defender Richard Lietz (Austria) clinched the best result of the season with the 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro sports car category.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

On the fourth spot, Marco Holzer (Germany) takes up the six hour race alongside Lietz on the 4.182 kilometre former Grand Prix circuit of Estoril.

Marco Holzer (Germany)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, ProSpeed Competition, Marco Holzer, Marc Goossens

Patrick Pilet (France) rounds off the good result with position six on the grid. In the GTE Am class, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo again set pole position with the 2010-version of the 911 GT3 RSR.

Patrick Pilet (France)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Wolf Henzler (l), Patrick Pilet (r)

Wolf Henzler (l)

Frenchman Nicolas Armindo

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

“We gave our best and are really pleased with third on the grid,” said Lietz who last year secured the championship title in the sports car class with his Felbermayr-Proton teammate Marc Lieb (Germany). “My lap was good, third on the grid is the best result of the season by now. Above all, we’re thrilled that our times are so close to the leaders. Now let’s see what the race yields for us.”

After a difficult start to the season with two crashes that were not their fault, the luck of the title defenders finally turned recently in Silverstone with their first podium position.

After competing last year as a Porsche Junior, 23-year-old factory pilot Marco Holzer was delighted with his fourth grid spot.

“That was a great qualifying session,” commented Holzer, who joins forces for ProSpeed Competition with Belgium’s Marc Goossens.

“We missed out on the first free practice because we had to change something on our gearbox. Hence we were behind with our set-up work. But this makes our second row position even sweeter. In fact, we’ve never started so far up the front of the field this season. And we’re also hoping to further improve the handling of our 911 during the warm-up tomorrow and then the race should go well. The track is challenging but I really like it.”

The French factory pilot Patrick Pilet also seemed satisfied.

Patrick Pilet

“Sixth on the grid is okay,” stated Pilet, who shares driving duties for IMSA Performance Matmut with works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany).

“Our car was rather difficult to drive in the practice sessions, so we tried out something very new in the qualifying but that didn’t work. Now we have some things to sort out during the warm-up. And then comes the race that will undoubtedly be very exciting on this somewhat narrow circuit.”

Wolf Henzler

Nicolas Armindo secured another point in the fight for the championship with his fourth pole position of the season in the GTE Am class. In this category, only one professional driver is permitted per vehicle.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler

The reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland drives with the team owner IMSA Performance Matmut, amateur racer Raymond Narac. In compliance with the regulations, the two Frenchmen compete with a 2010-spec 911 GT3 RSR.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton, Horst Felbermayr Jr. (l), Christian Ried (r)

The pair takes up the final round with an eleven point lead over their closest rival. Felbermayr-Proton’s team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria) head into tomorrow’s race from fourth in the GTE Am class.

Christian Ried (Germany)

Horst Felbermayr Junior (Austria)

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Qualifying result
GTE Pro class
1. Rob Bell (GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:39.176 minutes
2. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.057 seconds
3. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.198
4. Marco Holzer (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.350
5. Dominik Farnbacher (D), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.573
6. Patrick Pilet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.788
7. Jamie Melo (BR), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.214

GTE Am class
1. Nicolas Armindo (F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:40.014 minutes
2. Marco Cioci (I), Ferrari F430, + 0.544 seconds
3. Phil Quaife (GB), Ferrari F430, + 0.763
4. Christian Ried (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.093

The six hour race starts on Sunday, 25 September, at 13.00 hours local time (CEST 14.00 hours).

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: 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 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 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 four titles in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb is the most successful pilot in the series.

Marc Lieb (r)

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database 

 

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Porsche Motorsport around the world – Newsletter 4 – 2011

Stuttgart. The Motorsport Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world.

Development of an LMP1 sports prototype: Porsche returns to Le Mans Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the race car developed from scratch is planned for 2014.

With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The last overall victory went to the Porsche 911 GT1 in the year 1998.

Porsche 911 GT1

Nürburgring 24 Hours: Porsche triumphs and sets new distance record Dramatic 24 hour sprint:

At the 39th running of the classic on the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife (25/26 June), works drivers Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas as well as Lucas Luhr took the lead with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR after 7:25 hours ahead of strong competition from Audi, BMW und Mercedes.

(l. – r.): Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

Timo Bernhard, Lucas Luhr, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas
P1, 24h Nürburgring

The quartet fended off rivals to the flag and set a distance record of 3,958.968 kilometres. For Porsche and the Manthey Racing squad, this marked the fifth victory at the “Ring” in the last six years – the same for Timo Bernhard.

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey: Jörg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Patrick Long

For the innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid the weekend ran less smoothly. Works drivers Joerg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer and Patrick Long led the field after four hours in front of 220,000 spectators, but spent a lot of time in the pits with a broken flange on the differential to finish 23rd.

Le Mans Series/Intercontinental Le Mans Cup: Fourth after tough struggle Works drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz brought the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton home in fourth as the best Porsche at the third round of the LMS (3 July, 4th ILMC race) in Imola.

Team Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR , Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz

After being the innocent victims of two accidents in the first two races, this result was the best for the title defenders in the GTE Pro category.

Nicolas Armindo (l), Raymond Narac (r)
P1, GTE-Am, Le Mans Series Imola

Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac were delighted with victory number two in the GTE Am class with their 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut.

IMSA Performance Matmut, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo

Porsche Carrera World Cup: René Rast wins the greatest Porsche race of all time Rain, the world’s most difficult circuit and a field hailing from 25 countries: The Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nordschleife, contested prior to the 24 hour race, was not for the faint-hearted.

René Rast (D)
Porsche Carrera World Cup – Nürburgring 2011

After six hours and about 150 kilometres, René Rast celebrated overall victory at the greatest Porsche race in history. In the class for 911 GT3 Cup vehicles from 2007 to 2009, Timo Rumpfkeil won.

For the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and many national Carrera Cups the race counted towards their respective championships. René Rast took home maximum points for the Supercup.

Former champion Tim Harvey was the quickest in the Carrera Cup Great Britain (13th overall). Kévin Estre won the Carrera Cup France (6th overall), Alessandro Balzan was the best Italian (12th overall) and Johan Kristoffersson the best driver from the Carrera Cup Scandinavia (25th overall).

Grand-Am: Andrew Davis and Leh Keen at the front at half-way mark After the seventh of twelve Grand-Am races, Andrew Davis and Leh Keen rank second in the GT driver’s classification. At the six hour race in Watkins Glen (4 June) the duo won their class in a Brumos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with none other than racing legend Hurley Haywood calling the tactical shots. On the last June weekend (27 June), Davis and Keen clinched sixth in Road America.

French GT Championship: Dream weekend for Porsche teams With a double win for Patrick Bornhauser/Laurent Groppi in Larbre Compétition’s 911 GT3 R ahead of Anthony Beltoise/Laurent Pasquali in the GT3 R of Pro GT by Almeras, the fourth race weekend took off in Val de Vienne (25/26 June).

Porsche 911 GT3 R: Anthony Beltoise, Laurent Pasquali
GT Championship France, Val de Vienne

A one-two-three at race two with Beltoise/Pasquali in front of Bornhauser/Groppi and Laurent Cazenave/Jean-Claude Police in the sister Almeras-Porsche made the weekend perfect for Porsche.

Italian GT Championship: Autorlando pilot battles for points’ lead After a win and a second place at the third race weekend at the Autodromo dell Umbria near Magione (19 June), Autorlando pilot Ruberti lies a close second in the GT drivers’ classification. Ruberti shared the cockpit in Magione with his regular teammate Mario Cordoni.

Belcar Endurance Championship: Tactical brilliance yields win for Prospeed A courageous tyre choice and a perfect performance from drivers Marc Goossens and Maxime Soulet yielded the Prospeed Competition team their second win of the season at round three in Spa (18 June).

The squad sent the 911 GT3 R into the three-hour race on slicks, whilst the competition opted for rain tyres. With ten laps to go, Prospeed again made the right choice with slicks and won by more than a minute. Goossens/Soulet currently lead the driver’s classification.

British GT Championship: Victory for Trackspeed-Porsche at Brands Hatch Tim Bridgman and Gregor Fisken are the victors of the spectacular third race in Brands Hatch (19 June). A rain shower after the first half hour provided thrills and spills amongst the 30-strong field.

Bridgman and Fisken brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Trackspeed home in first after two hours. Reigning champion David Ashburn was forced into retirement with a fire in the rear left wheel arch of his Porsche.

Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds: Jeff Zwart clocks record time in 911 GT2 RS At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, American Jeff Zwart set a record time for street homologated sports cars at the famous Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds in Colorado (26 June).

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

In the 620 hp 911, he broke the old record on the 20 kilometre track which leads over 156 corners from an altitude of 2,860 up to 4,600 metres, by 24 seconds.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Jeff Zwart
Pikes Peak Race, Colorado

Zwart had collected the 911 GT3 RS himself from Porsche Motorsport in California and drove the 1,770 kilometres to the start.

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Six races, six different winners Sean Edwards from Great Britain won the sixth round of the season on the rain-soaked, extremely difficult Norisring in Nuremberg (3 July) to extend his points’ lead ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Round five of the series run at the Porsche Carrera World Cup (25 June) went to Nicolas Armindo, with the Frenchman finishing fifth out of 98 starters.

Carrera Cup Japan: Hideto Yasuoka unstoppable At the fourth and fifth race of the Carrera Cup Japan on the extremely demanding Fuji International Speedway (11/12 June), Hideto Yasuoka again proved unbeatable in his class with two pole-to-flag wins.

(l.-r.): Akira Fujita, Hideto Yasuoka, Michael Green
Porsche Carrera Cup Japan, Fuji International Speedway

The talented youngster driving for the Garmin Porsche team has yet to be beaten in 2011. Akira Fujita secured second place twice.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama: Macneil and Cisneros win in Montreal Cooper Macneil (Alex Job Racing) celebrated his first victory in the Platinum Cup class after a rainy fifth round on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve run as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal (11 June), with points’ leader Henrique Cisneros retiring after a journey off the track. Gold Cup class honours went to Eduardo Cisneros after a hefty duel with the 15-year-old front-runner Madison Snow.

GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil: Rosset and Junior continue on-going duel With fading brakes, points’ leader Ricardo Rosset managed to salvage his victory at the first race in Interlagos (18 June), fending off an attack from second-placed Constantino Junior. Victory at the second race on the same day went to Junior, who had taken up the race from seventh on the grid as per the regulations. In the drivers’ classification, Rosset sits ten points ahead of Junior. The Challenge race for older 911 GT3 Cup was won by Fernando Barci.

Race notes: Pole-sitters Manuel Giao and Miguel Angel de Castro win round three of the Spanish GT Championship (19 June) on the Circuito de Albacete in the 911 GT3 RSR of the Drivex squad. +++ Gianluca Roda and Fabio Babini defend their GTS class lead at the fifth and sixth race of the International GT Open in Spa (25/26 June) with a Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Autorlando Sport.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

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Media Motor and Sports Press

 

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Le Mans Series,round 3 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 4 in Imola/Italy,Title defenders in Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fourth after tough struggle


Title defenders in Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fourth after tough struggle

Stuttgart. Claiming fourth at the six hour race in Imola, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) secured their best result of the season so far in the GTE Pro class with their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton.

“We had a super race without any technical problems and a perfectly set-up car. We pulled out all stops, but this was the best we could do right now,” said Marc Lieb after round three of the Le Mans Series in high summer temperatures at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

His teammate Richard Lietz said:

“Due to the balance of performance regulations we are currently not in a position to keep the leaders under pressure over the race distance. Other than that, everything else is perfect, from the set-up of the car to the pit stops.”

After retiring from the first two races of the season, Porsche factory pilots Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) saw the chequered flag in Imola for the first time.

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by IMSA Performance Matmut, they crossed the finish line in fifth place.

“We’re mostly pleased about actually finishing a race at last,” Wolf Henzler said. “In the Aque Minerale we got a slow puncture and dropped one position. I’m particularly happy for our team. They didn’t let our bad luck in Le Castellet and Spa get them down and now they’ve been rewarded.” Pilet added: “Despite everything it was fun. We did our best, we couldn’t do more.”

Porsche works driver Marco Holzer (Germany) and his Belgian teammate Marc Goossens planted their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of ProSpeed Competition on sixth place.

“We got through well,” he said, “and only lost time with damage to the rear left tyre. Afterwards I was able to overtake two rivals.”

In the GTE Am class, Porsche claimed the third win from the third race. Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut, which is at last year’s technical specification as per the regulations, Frenchmen Nicolas Armindo and Raymond Narac won ahead of Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) and Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda (Italy) at the wheel of Proton Competition’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. With this second victory after Spa, they also moved into the points’ lead.

 

Statistics: 3rd of 5 races of the Le Mans Series in Imola/Italy

Result GTE Pro class
1. Melo/Vilander (BR/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 198 laps
2. Fisichella/Bruni (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 197
3. Müller/Farfus (D/BR), BMW M3, 197
4. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 196
5. Henzler/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 196
6. Holzer/Goossens (D/B), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 191

Result GTE Am class
1. Armindo/Narac (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 194 laps
2. Long/Roda (USA/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 194
3. Canal/Bornhauser/Gardel (F/F/CH), Corvette C6-ZR1, 193

Round four of the Le Mans Series takes place on 11 September in Silverstone/Great Britain.

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
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Porsche pilots keen to improve ranking in the championship – 6 Hr race Imola/Italien – Le Mans Series on 3 July

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

Porsche pilots keen to improve ranking in the championship

Stuttgart. For the first time, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola hosts a round of the Le Mans Series on 3 July.

As one of the six Porsche teams contesting the GTE Pro sports car class, title defenders Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) are determined to climb to the top of the podium.

Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria)

The Porsche factory pilots contest the race, which is also classified as a round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Felbermayr-Proton team.

The race

The six hour race in Imola is new on the calendar of the Le Mans Series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

The circuit

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari is situated between Bologna and Ravenna and is mostly known by race fans for its famous corners like Tamburello, Rivazza and Acque Minerali. On the 4.933 kilometre Formula 1 circuit, the Grand Prix of San Marino was contested until 2006.

The Porsche drivers

Aside from the title defenders Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz, three other Porsche works drivers contest the GTE Pro class with the latest Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Wolf Henzler (Germany) shares driving duties with Patrick Pilet (France) for the IMSA Performance Matmut team,

Patrick Pilet (France) and Wolf Henzler (Germany)

with Marco Holzer (Germany) driving for ProSpeed Competition. His team mate is Belgian Marc Goossens.

Marco Holzer (Germany) and Marc Goossens.

Three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the 2010 specification start in the GTE Am class, where only one professional race driver is permitted per car.

In the Proton Competition cockpit is Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA),

Patrick Long (USA)

as well as Porsche Cup winner Gianluca Roda (Italy)

Gianluca Roda (Italy)

and team owner Christian Ried (Germany).

Christian Ried (Germany)

The 911 GT3 RSR fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut is manned by Frenchmen Raymond Narac and Nicolas Armindo, the overall winner of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.

At the wheel of the sister 911 GT3 RSR of Felbermayr-Proton, Horst Felbermayr Junioris confirmed as a driver.

Quotes before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport:

“It’s no secret that we’re very unhappy about the imbalance through the Balance of Performance. Particularly for the Proton team, preparing for the Imola race was very tough because they had to get two cars running after they were virtually destroyed in Le Mans. You can only have the greatest respect for the team’s efforts and the will to fight.”

Marc Lieb:

“We haven’t started the season as we had imagined. So that makes us even more determined to try to make the most of our chances in Imola. We are eager to show that we are in a position to fight at the top. With a good set-up and the right strategy we should manage this.”

Richard Lietz:

“With 50 competitors it’ll be very tight, but maybe we can use that to our advantage. In any case, we’re going to attack and try to get ahead. It’ll certainly be six very interesting hours.”

Wolf Henzler:

“After the first two races didn’t go so well for us we’re hoping to finally make a breakthrough in Imola and bring home a good result. We’re aiming for the podium. The team is incredibly motivated and working hard. It’s time that these efforts were rewarded with a good result.”

Marco Holzer:

“I can’t wait for the Imola race. I’ve never driven there before, only tested. Imola is a gorgeous circuit. For us the focus is on doing our best, bringing home points and improving our position in the championship.”

Patrick Pilet:

“I know this track and it’s not easy. The long straights make it necessary to find a good set-up compromise between high speed and decent handling.”

Patrick Long:

“To drive in Imola straight after the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring is an extremely interesting challenge. I’m looking forward to it and hope to assist my team mates to secure a good result and as many points as possible.”

The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

The most successful GT race car of 2010 competes this season with some improvements. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine has increased to 455 hp (335 kW). Priority in the further developments was given predominantly to the newly-designed aerodynamics at the front and rear.

The schedule

The six hour race takes off on Sunday, 3 July, at midday. The qualifying session for the GTE classes takes place on Saturday from 13.55 to 14.15 hours.

TV tip

Eurosport 2 broadcasts the beginning of the race on Sunday from 12.00 to 13.00 hours and the final two 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 Press Media Database 

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PORSCHE NEWS: Le Mans 24 Hours, race report: Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

Le Mans 24 Hours

Four Porsche 911 GT3 RSR amongst the top eight

Stuttgart. Last year’s winners narrowly missed out on the podium at the 79th running of the long distance classic.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton: Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb, Wolf Henzler

After 24 hours, the Felbermayr-Proton team with Porsche works drivers

Marc Lieb (Germany),

Richard Lietz (Austria)

and Wolf Henzler (Germany) received the flag as fourth in the GTE Pro sports car class.

The French IMSA Performance Matmut squad clinched fifth place ahead of Flying Lizard Motorsports from the USA.

The 911 of the Belgian ProSpeed Competition team crossed the finish line

at the Le Mans 24 Hours in eighth.

In the GTE Am class, where only one professional race driver is permitted per vehicle and only last year’s vehicles are eligible to race, the French Larbre Competition team celebrated second place with the 911 GT3 RSR.

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

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“All of our teams took off into the race well prepared. Under the most difficult circumstances, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR proved to be enormously durable and reliable. Unfortunately our teams had to cope with two accidents. You could clearly see the performance differences that are a direct result of the current Balance of Performance ratings. Unfortunately the fastest 911 GT3 RSR were affected by the phenomenon that they couldn’t turn the number of laps per set of tyres that were calculated which meant some extra pit stops for tyre changes. Under these conditions we can be satisfied with the results – especially in the GTE Am class where our team claimed a spot on the podium. I congratulate all the teams, drivers and partners who have contributed to this good result.”

Like in 2010, the best-placed Porsche crew put in a brilliant drive with high reliability in all areas. Drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler drove an immaculate race that was punctuated by many accidents and safety car phases. Only in the early stages of the race, the team lost more than one lap, first at the red light on the exit of the pitlane, then due to tyre damage which also required repairs to the car body.

Other than that, the blue 911 GT3 RSR only came into the pits for tyre changes and refuelling. Under the leadership of team boss Christian Ried, the pit crew of the Felbermayr-Proton team again shone with very fast pit stops.

Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet (France) also lost time in the jam at the red light of the pitlane exit. Shortly before midnight, Pilet and his driver colleagues, team owner Raymond Narac and his French compatriot Nicolas Armindo were ranking eighth in the GTE Pro class.

With consistent lap times and a perfectly-running 911, the trio with the two seasoned Le Mans campaigners Pilet and Narac and the 24 hour rookie Armindo fought their way up to fifth place.

The pilots of Flying Lizard Motorsports can look back on a lively marathon.

In the opening phase of the race, the set-up was not perfect, and they also had to contend with tyre damage. For a while, works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) as well as Lucas Luhr (Germany) held a promising fourth place, only to fall back to eighth with technical problems.

After a difficult race, the trio were satisfied to finally bring home sixth place.

Fight to the finish – that was also the motto of the Belgian squad.

Works driver Marco Holzer (Germany), Belgium’s Marc Goossens and Jaap van Lagen from the Netherlands had all but worked their way nearly into the lead after the first third of the race but finally finished in eighth place after losing time with two minor repair stops.

The untiring mechanics of ProSpeed Competition received a very special honour:

They won the “Prix ESCRA”, an award that has been endowed for the 36th time to the best pit crew of the entire race.

In the GTE Am category, Larbre Competition were thrilled with second place in a 2010-spec 911 manned by the all-French line up of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon und Jean-Philippe Belloc.

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

Two 911 GT3 RSR retired after accidents that were not their fault. One of those affected was the sister car of Felbermayr-Proton. Suffering tyre damage Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) flew from the track in the fast Indianapolis corner.

Al Faisal

Luckily, Al Faisal climbed out uninjured, but the Pro-911, which he shared with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Bryce Miller (USA), was so badly damaged that the team was unable to repair it.

Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition)

Contesting the GTE Am class, Horst Felbermayr Senior (Team Proton Competition) fell victim to an opponent at 8.00 a.m. when his 911 GT3 RSR was hit hard on the driver’s side.The Austrian was transported to hospital for a medical examination.

Result Le Mans 24 Hours
GTE Pro class
1. Garcia/Milner/Beretta (E/USA/MC), Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 314 laps
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/FIN), Ferrari 458 Italia, 314
3. Priaulx/Müller/Hand (GB/D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 313
4. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler (D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 312
5. Pilet/Narac/Armindo (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 311
6. Bergmeister/Long/Luhr (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 310
8. Holzer/Goossens/van Lagen (D/B/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 293

GTE Am class
1. Gardel/Canal/Bornhauser (CH/F/F), Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1, 302 laps
2. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 301

Facts and figures

This is the Le Mans 24 Hours

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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.

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

 

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