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24 Hours of Daytona, USA::Strong #Porsche showing at 50th anniversary of sports car classic

Porsche

Stuttgart. Happy Birthday Daytona: The sports car classic in Florida celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Traditionally, the 24 hour race on the Daytona International Speedway is the first highlight of the motorsport season and year after year attracts the best pilots from all kinds of race series worldwide to the ‘Sunshine State’ of the USA.

Spearheaded by title defender Wolf Henzler (Germany), seven Porsche works drivers contest the strongly supported GT class. With 22 overall wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the race.

The race

The endurance classic, which kicks off the Grand-Am Series season, started out in 1962 as a three hour race. At 1,250 miles in 1964, the race grew to double the distance of the classic 1,000 kilometre races of Spa, Monza and the Nürburgring. The maiden 24 hour event in Daytona took place in 1966. Due to the oil crisis in 1974 the race was not run. Taking their places on the winner’s list are Formula 1 champions like Phil Hill and Mario Andretti as well as legendary Porsche pilots like Hans Herrmann, Rolf Stommelen, Hurley Haywood and Bob Wollek.

The circuit

The Daytona International Speedway is one of the world’s most famous race tracks. The 24 hour race is contested on the 5.729 kilometre track combination of oval with banked corner and the infield. The circuit is also the venue for the famed NASCAR Daytona 500 race with over 250,000 spectators annually.

The Porsche drivers

In the traditionally very competitive GT class, seven Porsche works drivers have victory in sight with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup:

Title defender Wolf Henzler competes for TRG Racing, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) line up for Flying Lizard Motorsports, their winning team from the American Le Mans Series. Alex Job Racing has Marco Holzer (Germany) onboard, with Patrick Pilet (Franc) taking the wheel of the second TRG-Porsche. Magnus Racing competes with Richard Lietz (Austria), whilst his teammate in the new World Endurance Championship, Marc Lieb (Germany), lines up for Brumos Racing.

One of the partners of the Porsche works driver is the US racing legend Hurley Haywood (USA). With five overall and six class victories, Haywood is the most successful pilot ever in Daytona. On 4 May he celebrates his 64th birthday.

US racing legend Hurley Haywood (USA)

Also taking up the race with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is Audi factory pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland).

Audi factory pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland)

In recognition of their brilliant performances in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Porsche AG gave the two-time champion René Rast (Germany) as well as “Rookie of the Year” Kévin Estre (France) the chance to compete at Daytona.

Two-time champion René Rast (Germany)

 “Rookie of the Year” Kévin Estre (France)

What they said before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“Daytona is always a very special race for Porsche. Our Porsche teams have already yielded many great results here with the Porsche 911. And with 21 vehicles we are very well represented again this year. For teams like Brumos who compete in 2012 as title defenders of the Grand-Am Series, it is particularly exciting that the most important race of the year is also the start of the season. And it will be particularly interesting to see the new competitors who compete with modified and, in fact, more powerful GT3 vehicles.”

Jörg Bergmeister:

“After the long break over winter, this race is a great way to get ready for the new season. Porsche was always very strong in Daytona. I last won the race here in 2009 and I’m feeling quite confident that we’ll be good for a win again this year. The competition was never this strong. It’ll be a tough fight from start to finish.”

Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) 

Patrick Long:

“Our excursion into the prototype class last year was an interesting experience. But now I’m looking forward to racing a 911 again in Daytona. The fact that our GT-class rivals are not only much stronger in sheer numbers makes the task for us and our team even more interesting.”

Patrick Long (USA)

Marc Lieb:

“Our tests ran well in Daytona and I’m sure that we’ll be competitive in the race. The 24 Hours of Daytona is always a cool event, and added to this is the unbelievably big grid for the 50th anniversary. I’m looking forward to driving for such a well established and successful team like Brumos Racing with the legendary starting number 59.”

Marc Lieb (Germany)

Wolf Henzler:

“When we tested I was really impressed by the strength of our competition. With 42 GT cars on the grid, it’ll certainly not be an easy race. I imagine things will get really tough right from the start flag. I’m driving again for TRG, the team with which I won last year. My teammates are very strong and of course I’ll do my best to repeat my victory from last year.”

Wolf Henzler (Germany)

Marco Holzer:

“It’s a fantastic challenge to start the season with a 24 hour race, and a classic like Daytona at that. I very much like this circuit. It’s demanding but real fun. We did a great deal of work on the car with my team Alex Job Racing. I’m quite optimistic for the race.”

Marco Holzer (Germany)

Richard Lietz:

“Great that the season finally gets underway. The GT class booms, the competition is stronger this year than ever before. That will surely be an interesting race. We always had a good car in the last years and we are keen to continue the success streak of Porsche in Daytona.”

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Patrick Pilet:

“Driving in Daytona is something very special for us all. This race is a legend and a great challenge, particularly in its anniversary year. Manufacturers send the best GT teams with very strong driver contingents to Daytona. The fight for victory is open like never before.”

Patrick Pilet (France)

 

Porsche successes

With 22 overall and 72 class victories, Porsche is by far the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Daytona 24 hour race.

The first overall win for Porsche was in 1968 with Vic Elford, Jochen Neerpasch, Rolf Stommelen, Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann with the Porsche 907.

The latest win in 2010 went to Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller with the Porsche-Riley. In 2003, Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Kevin Buckler and Michael Schrom clinched a sensational overall win with the near-standard Porsche 911 GT3 RS against more powerful Daytona prototypes.

In the previous year, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler secured the GT class victory at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

The schedule

The 24 hour race in Daytona starts on Saturday, 28 January, at 15.30 hrs local time (21.30 hrs CET).

Other interesting facts

– Marking the longest winning streak in the history of the race, Porsche notched up a total of eleven overall victories between 1977 and 1987. Add the class victories to this and Porsche has 21 wins in succession between 1966 and 1987 (in 1974 the race was not contested due to the oil crisis).

– According to statistics, Porsche veteran Hurley Haywood has turned more than 18,800 laps from his 37 Daytona starts to date and with this has completed almost 110,000 kilometres – that’s far more than two and a half times the circumference of the earth. For this, the Porsche dealer from Jacksonville/Florida has spent 476 hours behind the wheel and used around 1,100 sets of tyres.

– Right behind front-runner Hurley Haywood with five overall wins (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991) in the all-time list of winners at Daytona are two further Porsche pilots: Rolf Stommelen (1968, 1978, 1980, 1982) and Bob Wollek (1983, 1985, 1989, 1991) each with four overall victories.

The calendar

Thirteen races in the USA and Canada make up the calendar of the Grand-Am Series for 2012:

28/29.01. 24 Hours Daytona/Florida
01.04. Birmingham/Alabama
29.04. Miami/Florida
13.05. Millville/New Jersey
03.06. Detroit/Michigan
10.06. Lexington/Ohio
24.06. Elkhart Lake/Wisconsin
01.07 6 Hours Watkins Glen/New York
29.07. Indianapolis/Indiana
12.08. Watkins Glen/New York
19.08. Montreal/Canada
09.09. Laguna Seca/California
28.09. Lime Rock, Connecticut

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

Porsche

This year marks an important race in the manufacturer’s history because we will be celebrating 50 years at Daytona. As the most winning Marque of the Rolex 24, Porsche will be the official pace car of the 24 hour race, showcasing the new 911. Porsche Cars North America is excited to announce the return of the two-day customer hospitality program at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Each hospitality package is $300 and includes an official race ticket to the Rolex 24 and access to the Porsche hospitality tent Saturday (Jan 28) and Sunday (Jan 29) with the following amenities:

  • Food and Beverage (3 meals per day)

  • Lounge area

  • Track feed from the race

  • Team/Sponsor presentations

  • Driving Simulators for xBox

  • Gift bag

In addition to the Rolex 24 at Daytona, any additional customer hospitality programs that will be implemented later in the year will appear on the same website. Dealers, customers, and prospects are able to use this site to order any of the motorsport hospitality packages.

For more information on each of the events or to order hospitality packages please visit:www.porscheracingusa.com.

 

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Porsche secures vice-championship with 2nd place at Road Atlanta Petit Le Mans-ALMS Rd 9

American Le Mans Series, round 9 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 6 in Road Atlanta, USA

Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France)

Stuttgart. A strong season finale for Porsche in the American Le Mans Series: At the thrilling 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France) snatched second place in a heart-stopping final.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France)

At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, the trio were a mere six seconds shy of a GT class victory after more than nine and a half hours packed with tough fights for positions and many changes at the lead. Their second position secured the vice-championship for Porsche in the race series featuring the world’s fastest sports cars.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA)

”Patrick Long added:

“We stuck to our plan and kept out of any trouble so that we could attack in the last ten laps. This plan worked.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver  Patrick Pilet (France)

“It was a fantastic experience to contest the Petit Le Mans for Flying Lizard Motorsports,” said Patrick Pilet.

“Over the course of the race the balance of our car became better and better and towards the end it was virtually perfect. I’m totally happy.

On the time-honoured circuit in the US state of Georgia, Joerg Bergmeister again showed nerves of steel, waiting until the penultimate lap before making his decisive move on the BMW in front of him.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister (Germany)

“In my last stint I speculated that I would be able to snatch the BMW,” said the five-time Road Atlanta winner.

“I used the traffic after the safety car phase, took a risk and overtook him on the outside through Turn six. I’m pleased that I secured the decisive points to win the tyre manufacturers’ classification for Michelin.”

His teammates Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet had laid the foundation for this success with their faultless performances.

Another decisive factor in this good result aside from the strong performance of the drivers was the perfect work of the pit crew.

“The entire Flying Lizard squad did a tremendous job. Every single pit stop was incredible,” commented Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

“Through their excellent effort, the team compensated very well for the handicap from the Balance of Performance measures that were again in place here. In a sensational push at the end, Joerg Bergmeister secured second place and this gave our partner Michelin the tyre manufacturers’ title. Well done to all those who contributed to this success.”

Rounding off the excellent team result for Porsche at the 1,000 mile classic was Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammates Bryan Sellers (USA) and Martin Ragginger (Austria).

Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammate Martin Ragginger (Austria)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger

Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Falken Tire, they brought home fifth place.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger

“I’m very pleased with this,” said Wolf Henzler, winner of the races in Mid-Ohio and Baltimore together with Bryan Sellers.

“We drove a controlled race and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. I can look back on a good season with two victories to our credit. That was more than we had expected.”

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Flying Lizard Motorsports: Marco Holzer, Darren Law, Seth Neiman

Factory pilot colleague Marco Holzer (Germany) and his American teammates Seth Neiman und Darren Law saw the flag in eighth place in the second Flying-Lizard Porsche.

Darren Law

Victory in the GTC class went to Porsche Supercup pilots Jeroen and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Netherlands) together with American Tim Pappas, who won the title.

Petit Le Mans, which counts as a round of the GTE Am class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, brought no luck for Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria):

Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria)

With the Proton Competition-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR he lay in the lead, but had to retire after 163 laps with a damaged drive system.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition: Richard Lietz, Christian Ried, Mark Bullitt

Statistics: 9th and final race in Road Atlanta, Georgia

Result GT class
1. Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer (I/I/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 367 laps
2. Bergmeister/Long/Pilet (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 367
3. Werner/Auberlen/Farfus (D/USA/BRA), BMW M3 GT, 367
4. Magnussen/Gavin/Westbrook (DK/GB/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 366
5. Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger (D/USA/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 365
6. Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher (USA/USA/D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 365
8. Holzer/Neiman/Law (D/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 361
11. Maassen/Miller/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 357

Result GTC class
1. J./S. Bleekemolen/Pappas (NL/NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 346 laps
2. Sweedler/Keen/Wong (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 346
3. Pumpelly/Ende/Ludwig (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 345

Final standings GT class
Drivers
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 161 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 135
3. Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 129
4. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 102
5. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 97
6. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 83

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 180 points
2. Porsche, 162
3. Chevrolet, 139
4. Ferrari, 127

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 180 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 139
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 115
4. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 97

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Facts and Figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race.

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

As part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the GTE Am class is also contested in Road Atlanta. The difference to the GT class: Vehicles in the 2010 technical specification may be entered and the rules stipulate that only one professional race driver per vehicle is permitted.

All classes start together but are classified separately. This ensures racing that is exciting and constantly changing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are awarded only for placings in each class.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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American Le Mans Series, rd 9 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, rd 6 – Road Atlanta, USA

Fifth grid spot for fastest Porsche

Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister

Stuttgart. With his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Joerg Bergmeister takes up the 1,000 mile race in Road Atlanta on Saturday from position five on the grid. In qualifying for Petit Le Mans, the final round of the American Le Mans Series, the Porsche works driver from Germany was only eight-tenths of a second shy of the top GT-class time on the storied circuit in the US state of Georgia.

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (USA)

In the race, the five-time Road Atlanta winner shares driving duties in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche with his factory pilot colleagues Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France).

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Pilet (France)

“We are actually in a better position ahead of the Corvettes than we expected,” said Joerg Bergmeister, who is the reigning GT champion of the American Le Mans Series with Patrick Long.

“That was the fastest lap that we’ve ever driven in Road Atlanta. I’m not surprised that the BMWs are faster than us here because at this race, which also counts towards the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the Balance of Performance rules from Europe apply and this means an even greater power handicap for us. But I hope that we’re more up with the play during the race than we were in qualifying. Then anything is possible.”

Bryan Sellers (USA) posted the twelfth quickest time at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad, which he shares with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), the winner of Mid-Ohio and Baltimore.

Bryan Sellers (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany)

For the race they receive support from Martin Ragginger (Austria). American Darren Law, teammate of Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) and Seth Neiman (USA) in the second Flying-Lizard Porsche, secured the 14th grid spot.

Martin Ragginger (Austria)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad

 

Darren Law (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany)

Seth Neiman (USA)

In the GTE Am class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Porsche works pilot Richard Lietz clinched the third quickest time with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Proton Competition.

“That was a decent lap. Aside from a little understeer it was actually perfect,” said the Austrian who joins forces with Christian Ried (Germany) and Mark Bullitt (USA). “This track reminds me more of the Petit Nordschleife than the Petit Le Mans. It’s my first time here but my teammates and I have almost ten hours to familiarise ourselves with the circuit.”

The 1,000 mile race starts on Saturday at 11.30 hrs local time (17.30 hrs CEST) and is broadcast live in the internet on www.americanlemans.com.


Qualifying result

GT class
1. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:18.669 minutes
2. Dirk Werner (D), BMW M3 GT, + 0.087 seconds
3. Jörg Müller (D), BMW M3 GT, + 0.520
4. Jaime Melo (BRA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.548
5. Jörg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.812
6. Johannes van Overbeek (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.820
12. Bryan Sellers (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.078
14. Darren Law (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.391
16. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.878

GTE Am class
1. Rui Aguas (P), Ferrari F430, 1:20.619 minutes
2. Niclas Jönsson (S), Ferrari F430, + 0.261 seconds
3. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.278

GTC class
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:24.543 minutes

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Facts and Figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race.

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

As part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the GTE Am class is also contested in Road Atlanta. The difference to the GT class: Vehicles in the 2010 technical specification may be entered and the rules stipulate that only one professional race driver per vehicle is permitted.

All classes start together but are classified separately. This ensures racing that is exciting and constantly changing with many overtaking manoeuvres. Points are awarded only for placings in each class.

SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Database
Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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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 911 GT3 R Hybrid – efficiency yields success-ALMS Monterey, USA

American Le Mans Series, round 8 in Laguna Seca, USA

Stuttgart. It beat them all – on the track and at the gas pump. At its first outing on the West Coast of the USA, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid beat all other GT vehicles in Laguna Seca.

With Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) at the wheel, it turned the fastest race lap on the challenging course in Monterey/California and conquered the six hour distance with just three pit stops, while its fastest opponents in the GT class had to stop five times: An impressive demonstration of Porsche Intelligent Performance.

Porsche’s strong performance at the riveting eighth round of the American Le Mans Series was rounded off by Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA):

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the title defenders won the GT class in a photo finish final and secured their first win of the season featuring the world’s fastest sports cars. For Porsche, this marked victory number three after Mid-Ohio and Baltimore.

Interest from the fans for the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid was enormous in California, as well. And the way the innovative sports car from Weissach – which started from the rear of the grid and was not eligible for points – chased through the field in just a few laps to snatch the lead caused a sensation in the grandstands.

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid convinced with its consistently fast lap times and low fuel consumption and finished ahead of all other GT vehicles thanks to its ground-breaking drive concept.

“The start phase was huge fun, because it was relatively easy to overtake the slower competitors,” said Romain Dumas. “But it’s even more fun because we can apply superior tactics thanks to the lower fuel consumption. We are much more flexible and we made the most of this today.”

Richard Lietz stated: “We had the least pit stops of all the teams and showed clearly what the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid can do. We didn’t experience one technical problem and left all the other GT vehicles behind us. Our expectations have been far exceeded.”

 

Thrills and spills also characterized the fight for victory in the fiercely-contested GT class as always.

Spectacular tussles for positions on the track and in the pits as well as frequent changes at the lead were played out over the entire race – and in the last two hours, long after darkness had fallen on the Laguna Seca Raceway, events began to heat up: In the penultimate lap, Joerg Bergmeister squeezed past a BMW into second place with his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports.

But the most successful GT pilot in the American Le Mans Series wasn’t yet finished.

He wanted victory – and in the final lap he pushed fast the leading Ferrari.

“That was our first win this season. We did it at last and it was high time for that,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “We didn’t have the fastest car in the field today, but we fought to the flag. That paid off. To go from third to first in the last laps – you don’t experience this every day in such a strongly-supported series.”

Patrick Long added: “Joerg won the race today. Our tactic was to keep out of any squabbles as much as possible and to have the car in one piece at the end to fight for victory. This worked, but the driving style of several competitors was clearly too tough today. It almost cost us the race.”

In the second Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) joined forces with American Seth Neiman to bring home ninth place.

“The track was new for me and has to be one of the most beautiful in the USA. The race was a fantastic experience,” he said. “I’m pleased that we finished well. It was great fun.”

Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) saw the flag in tenth with Paul Miller Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

After wins from Mid-Ohio and Baltimore, luck evaded Wolf Henzler in Laguna Seca.

The Porsche works driver from Germany had taken over the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from his teammate Bryan Sellers (USA) and was lying within striking distance of the top when a rival hit his rear shortly before the halfway point of the race.

The impact damaged the water pump and put a stop to Falken Tire’s recent run of successes.

“Such a retirement is of course hugely disappointing, especially after our wins of the last weeks,” Wolf Henzler said. “Now we have to roll up our sleeves and try to turn the best season for our team so far into a happy ending at Road Atlanta.”

 

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The ninth and final round of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 1 October on the Road Atlanta race track at Braselton, in the US State of Georgia.

At the same time as the penultimate race of the American Le Mans Series, Porsche teams were also fighting for championship honours in the equally as popular Grand-Am Series which held its final race on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington/Ohio. With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by the successful customer team Brumos Racing, which is based on the lightweight 911 GT3 RS sports car, Americans Leh Keen and Andrew Davis secured the title with fourth place. The highlight of the exciting season was the Daytona 24 hour race in Florida, where Porsche kicked off the season with a double victory for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Statistics: 8th race in Laguna Seca, California

Result GT class
1. Bergmeister/Long (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 236 laps
2. Müller/Hand (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 236
3. Melo/Vilander (BRA/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 236
4. Sharp/van Overbeek (USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 236
5. Werner/Auberlen (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 236
6. Magnussen/Gavin (DK/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 236
9. Holzer/Neiman (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 230
10. Maassen/Miller (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 224

Result GTC class
1. Pumpelly/Ende (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 222 laps
2. J. Bleekemolen/Pappas/S. Bleekemolen (NL/USA/NL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 222
3. Le Saffre/Faulkner (USA/IRL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 221

Points’ standings GT class
Drivers
1. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, BMW, 145 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 110
3. Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 101
4. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 90
5. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Porsche, 77
6. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 76

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 145 points
2. Porsche, 132
3. Chevrolet, 114
4. Ferrari, 109

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 145 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 114
3. Risi Competizione, 90
4. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 77
5. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 75

Facts and figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race.

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

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

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

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Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid at Laguna Seca Raceway in California on 17th September 2011

Porsche Intelligent Performance


Stuttgart. The race outing of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid Version 2.0 was trend-setting. The innovative race car achieved the same quick lap times as its top rivals yet used considerably less fuel. Just two broken transmission flanges and a collision thwarted a possible podium spot.

The next test under race conditions for the further development of the particularly efficient drive technology of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 is planned for the American Le Mans Series race on the Laguna Seca Raceway in California on 17 September.

The vehicle is not eligible for championship points, as the hybrid technology is not yet a part of the GT regulations.

Romain Dumas (France)

Two Porsche works pilots, Romain Dumas (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) man the cockpit of the orange and white racer from Weissach.

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Dumas has already driven the world’s most innovative GT vehicle last year at the “Petit Le Mans”, the ALMS race on the Road Atlanta circuit.

Lietz piloted the Hybrid-911 at the 24 hour races on the Nuerburgring in 2010 and 2011 as well as at various long distance races on the Nuerburgring.

“I’m so looking forward to showing this very special car at race speed to the spectators in California. Many Porsche fans live on the west coast of America, and some of them have already discovered the advantages of the hybrid system at the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid,” says Romain Dumas.

“I’m very curious, because Laguna Seca is one of the most exciting race tracks on earth. I only know it from computer games and onboard videos. Its layout with a series of up and downhill passages should actually suit our 911 GT3 R Hybrid.”

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0, with two 75 kilowatt electric motors on the front axle supplementing the 465 hp four-litre, six-cylinder power unit at the rear, particularly embodies the philosophy of “Porsche Intelligent Performance”: The electric energy is generated during braking and stored in an electric flywheel in the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0, which has undergone further development since 2010.

During acceleration, this energy is automatically delivered to the front wheels, supporting the combustion engine. This leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and increases the cruising range on the circuit.

Moreover, drivers can manually utilise the stored energy with a boost-paddle on the steering wheel for overtaking.

Compared to its predecessor, the weight of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid was reduced from 1,350 to 1,300 kilograms.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
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