Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 2: 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic
Stuttgart. The Sebring 12 Hours is the oldest and toughest sports car race in the USA. Three Porsche 911 RSR will tackle the GTLM class at the 63rd running of the prestigious classic contested on the Sebring International Raceway on 21 March.
For the Porsche North America works team and the Falken Tire customer squad, eight works drivers will do their utmost to repeat Porsche’s win from last year on the airfield circuit in the heart of Florida, which is notorious for its bumpy surface. With 18 overall victories and 67 class wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Sebring 12 hour race.
Last year’s winners Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) as well as Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) share driving duties in the number 912 vehicle.
Tackling the race for the Falken Tire customer outfit are the Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), reinforced by Bryan Sellers (USA). Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA) contests the GTD class at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT America fielded by Muehlner Motorsports.
The Porsche vehicles
The Porsche 911 GT America, built specifically for the GTD class of the 2014-inaugurated Tudor United SportsCar Championship, features a four-litre, six-cylinder engine and also produces 470 hp. The vehicle is an improved version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the most successful and widely-produced race car in the world.
Comments before the race
Patrick Pilet (#911): “Sebring is a very special race on a very special circuit. It’s always a hard fight for victory and the avid fans give the whole event a fantastic ambience.”
Nick Tandy (#911): “It’s always a highlight to compete in Sebring, regardless in which series you compete for the rest of the year. On this storied track you truly breathe sports car history and that fascinates me.”
Richard Lietz (#911): “Sebring is a race that throws extremes at you. You can’t afford to make the slightest error – if you do you have no chance.”
Earl Bamber (#912): “It didn’t go so well for us at Daytona, so now I’m hoping we can make up lost ground in the championship at Sebring.”
Jörg Bergmeister (#912): “Sebring is a real classic. To drive at the limit on this bumpy track takes everything from a driver. But it’s always huge fun.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#912): “At Daytona we weren’t able to really underline the potential of the 911 RSR over the whole distance. Now I’m hoping we can do this in Sebring and fight for victory.”
Wolf Henzler (#17): “Last year Sebring was the first race with the 911 RSR for my Falken Tire team. Since then we’ve won Petit Le Mans and now I reckon our chances for victory in Sebring look good as well.”
Patrick Long (#17): “Even though I’m concentrating on my WEC campaign with Patrick Dempsey, I’m looking forward to the chance of supporting Wolf and Bryan in Sebring.”
This is the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), P (Prototype) and PC (Prototype Challenge). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT America contesting the GTD class.
Tag Archives: Richard Lietz (Austria)
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
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.
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.
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.
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.
The IMSA Performance Matmut 911 with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) clinched the third quickest time.
In the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Proton squad, the all-American line-up of Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey,
Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster secured the seventh spot.
Quotes after the first qualifying
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):
“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):
“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):
“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):
“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):
“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.”
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):
“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):
“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
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
SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG Motorsport Press
Stuttgart. Porsche has developed a new GT race car for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The new 911 RSR is characterised by consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The exceptional vehicle styling honours a very special anniversary:
From a bird’s eye perspective, the numbers 50 and 911 are visible. These stand for 50 years of the Porsche 911. The Porsche AG Team Manthey works squad exclusively fields two Porsche 911 RSR in the 2013 season.
The new 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR. As with the production vehicle, the wheelbase grew by about ten centimetres. A new wishbone front suspension replaces the previously used McPherson struts. Another new development from Porsche Motorsport is the particularly lightweight racing gearbox. The six gears are selected via paddles on the steering wheel. The 460 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine was taken from the predecessor and optimised in detail.
One of the priorities in the development of the new 911 RSR was the more evenly balanced weight distribution. The centre of gravity is also significantly lower than that of its predecessor. Carbon fibre played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear mudguards, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and centre 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 known from the GT road-legal models.
The look of the new 911 RSR is dominated by the flared mudguards and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With the 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.
Competing in the Porsche 911 RSR with starting number 92 are Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), who already shared a cockpit in the 2012 WEC. At the first two races of the season in Silverstone (14.4) and Spa (4.5) as well as at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (22.6), they receive support from their works driver colleague Romain Dumas (France).
Factory pilots also drive the #91 sister car, with Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (FR) making up a team. In Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans, the duo is joined by Timo Bernhard (Germany).
SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Communication Porsche AG
- New Porsche 911 RSR successfully concludes test drives – Season preparations on the finish straight (dedeporsche.com)
- American Le Mans, Falken Porsche, Henzler, Tandy, Sellers Third in GT at 12 Hours of Sebring (dedeporsche.com)
- Le Mans 24 Hours / World Endurance Championship – Confirmed Porsche entry for Le Mans (dedeporsche.com)
- Porsche at the Techno Classica 2013, 50 years anniversary of Porsche 911 (dedeporsche.com)
- Porsche Juniors 2013: The most intensive youth development ever (dedeporsche.com)
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
Makes cup pilots shine at 24 hour race in Daytona
Stuttgart. At the famous 24 hour race in Daytona/USA in a field stronger than ever before, pilots from the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup impressed with outstanding performances.
At his first attempt, René Rast (Germany), the Supercup champion of 2010 and 2011, won the long distance classic in Florida with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup together with Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) and Americans Andy Lally and John Potter.
Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands, title winner of the world’s fastest international one-make race series in 2008 and 2009, scored second place with Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) as well as Marc Goossens (Belgium), Spencer Pumpelly and Steven Bertheau (both USA).
“A dream has come true with this victory,” said René Rast, winner of five Supercup rounds last year, including the Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. In recognition of his outstanding achievements last season, Porsche gave Rast the opportunity of competing in Daytona.
Jeroen Bleekemolen stated:
“That was undoubtedly the most intensely competitive 24 hour race I’ve ever driven. To finish second here is a fantastic effort from the entire team.”
Jonas Krauss, Manager of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, was also very pleased with his drivers’ performances on the Daytona International Speedway.
“Our pilots have done an excellent job in this world-class field,” he said.
“The fact that René could win at his Daytona debut and Jeroen also climbed the podium in second clearly shows that some of the best GT pilots in the world are contesting the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and they can hold their own anywhere.”
Other Supercup pilots in Daytona were Britain’s Sean Edwards and Nick Tandy, who finished in 18th place.
Position 24 was occupied by Frenchman Kévin Estre, the 2011 “Rookie of the Year” in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Porsche also gave him the chance to start in Daytona in recognition of his strong performance as the most successful Supercup newcomer by far.
The three Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb, who shared the GT podium in Daytona with René Rast and Jeroen Bleekemolen, also first proved themselves in the Porsche makes cup series. Wolf Henzler was the Supercup champion of 2004, and Marc Lieb clinched the title in the 2002 Porsche Carrera Cup.
SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database Communication Porsche AG Motorsportpress