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Porsche 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR are coming to the “ring” FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, Nürburgring Test Drives

Press Release 21/07/2015
 2015-lemans
Stuttgart. On Monday and Tuesday next week (27-28 July) Porsche will prepare for the fourth round of the FIA World Championship (WEC). Following its victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Porsche 919 Hybrid will be driven for the first time on the Nürburgring. In action on the renowned German racetrack will be one of the innovative prototypes which, by combining a two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with brake and exhaust heat recovery systems recuperations, produces a combined power of about 1000bhp.

On Monday Timo Bernhard (34, Germany) and Romain Dumas (37, France) will share the testing duties at the wheel of the Le Mans prototype, for Tuesday Dumas and Marc Lieb (35, Germany) are scheduled to be in the car. The main focus of the test sessions is on preparations for the six-hour race at the Nürburgring on 30 August, as well as generally for the second half of the season with races in Austin (USA), Fuji (Japan), Shanghai (China) and Sakhir (Bahrain).

The Nürburgring-based Porsche Team Manthey will also use the testing opportunity at the “ring”. The team will test the GTE-Pro-class 911 RSR. Furthermore the Dempsey Proton Racing team, with race driver and actor Patrick Dempsey (49, USA) at the wheel, will also be testing the RSR. In Le Mans Dempsey, alongside Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (33, USA) and Marco Seefried (39, Germany), finished the race in second place in the GTE-AM class, which was the best result of his career so far.

2016-rennfahrzeuge-911-gt3-r
The test days at the Nürburgring, which will also be attended by many other WEC teams apart from Porsche, are of a lot of interest for fans as well as journalists.

On both days spectators will be allowed free access to the T3 grandstand. On Tuesday members of the press are welcome in the paddock, but must apply in advance for accreditation. Patrick Dempsey, Timo Bernhard and Andreas Seidl, Director Race Operations LMP1 for Porsche, will take part in the WEC press conference on Tuesday, at 12:00 in the business lounge (segment 1) next to the grandstand.

“After the overwhelming one-two result in Le Mans we are very exited to finally be able to present the Porsche 919 on the racetrack in front or our home fans,” explained Fritz Enzinger, Head of Department, LMP1. “Our main goal obviously will be to thoroughly prepare for the six-hour race at the Nürburgring. This season’s last European round once more promises a fascinating race with the likelihood of a very close finish. From now on we are concentrating on winning the world championship and we are doing this thanks to a lot of support from our fans.”

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche with the 919 Hybrid before the start in Le Mans, Preview of the 24 hours of Le Mans, LMP1 (3rd race of the WEC)

Porsche Team, Porsche 919 Hybrid: #20 Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber, Porsche 919 Hybrid #14: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Porsche Team, Porsche 919 Hybrid: #20 Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber,
Porsche 919 Hybrid #14: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Preview of the 24 hours of Le Mans, LMP1 (3rd race of the World Endurance Championship)
Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Stuttgart. After an absence of 16 years, Porsche will once again compete in the top category of what is certainly the world’s toughest car race, which starts at 3:00 pm on June 14, 2014. Porsche is fielding its most innovative prototypes at the 24 hours of Le Mans.

The two Porsche 919 Hybrid cars with start numbers 14 and 20 will be driven by two trios of drivers: Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand), Mark Webber (Australia).

2014 Le Mans cars

2014 Le Mans cars

These six world-class drivers have between them a total of 37 appearances at Le Mans. Despite being a record holder at Le Mans with 16 overall victories, this year the sports car manufacturer has no experience to benefit from. For the first year of the LMP1 project the target is to get one of the fast Porsche 919 Hybrids to the finish line at the marathon.

Quotes before the race:

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1:

“Porsche is facing the biggest moment of the LMP1 project – its first start in the top category at Le Mans in 16 years. Whatever the results, we have successfully completed a lot of stages to get here. Above all, we have established a strong, innovative engineering team in the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach. The new know-how generated in-house by the great efforts of all those involved is something that no one can take away from Porsche. The pole position in Spa showed that the Porsche 919 Hybrid is fast, and, as newcomers, we earned respect for this achievement. I am very proud of this young team, which is as competent in its technology as it is in its drivers. I wish each individual the best of luck and success in this marathon.”

M14_0206_fine.jpg- Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1:

“The challenge of developing a car for Le Mans was always to build a fast yet durable car. The constraints of the new race regulations have made this task even more difficult, but fascinating as well. Even in areas that were routine for the competition, we had no experience whatsoever. Nonetheless, we chose the boldest solution for our drive concept, because it offered the best future potential. In the pre-testing period, the aerodynamics that were once again modified to achieve lower air drag for the Le Mans event proved themselves, as did advanced developments that enhanced durability. The Porsche 919 Hybrid is our first LMP1 race car design. It is fast – but not all of its potential has been realised yet; that is the reality.”

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1:

“The operating task for a Le Mans team is enormous. We had to build an organisation with new personnel from the ground up. They are all excellent people. But even a hundred top soloists must first learn to play together as an orchestra. Responsibilities, communication, procedures, manual tasks – everything must mesh together perfectly. We have only competed in two races so far: in Silverstone and in Spa-Francorchamps. Everything went remarkably well. Our training was intensive. The team will have carried out 1,573 pit stops up to race week at Le Mans. We have also tested at night. Nonetheless, we have not yet experienced the stresses of a 24-hour race as a team. Everyone is looking forward to this challenge.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal Porsche Team

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal Porsche Team

Drivers, starting number 14:

Romain Dumas – 36, France. 
(13 races: overall victory 2010, 3rd place overall 2007, class victory GTE 2013, 2nd place GT class 2001 and 2002, 3rd place GT class 2004)

Porsche works driver Romain Dumas

Porsche works driver Romain Dumas

“Le Mans is the most famous and toughest race in the world, and it is even more special for me as a Frenchman. I have been driving here since 2001, and I also lived here. In 2010 I won the race; I would love to repeat that one day – together with Porsche. So many people have been anticipating this return to LMP1 by Porsche. It makes me very proud to be one of the six drivers here. I have wanted to be with Porsche ever since my father put me in a 962 as a child. My favourite part of the track is the Porsche bends. Not because of their name, but because they are so quick and difficult. When you race down the Hunaudières at 330 km/h at night – all by yourself in your own world – you live a dream. You see and smell what is happening around the track. But you have to remain focused. We want to get to the finish line.”

Neel Jani – 30, Switzerland.
(5 races since 2009)

Porsche works driver Neel Jani

Porsche works driver Neel Jani

“Le Mans is living motorsport history. That is more true of Porsche than with any other brand. To be part of the return to the top class after 16 years is a dream come true for me. Most racing car drivers would agree. It is a great honour, but also a tremendous responsibility. My best result at Le Mans was in 2012 when I finished fourth with a privateer team. I knew I could only improve on that result in a good factory team. Now I have reached that point. But, regardless of which class or which car, this race stirs up an emotional feeling. I will never forget my first time racing at night; it was awesome. Yet, it is important to block out all of that and concentrate on doing your best – for yourself and your team-mates. We want to be competitive in our first year.”

Marc Lieb – 33, Germany. 
(8 races: class victory GTE 2013, class victory GT2 2010, class victory GT 2005, 2nd place GT class 2003)

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb

Porsche took me on board in 2000 when my bank account was empty and the prospects for my Formula racing career had almost run out. It means a lot to me to now be part of a return to the top class, especially since we have this incredible technology that our engineers have created for the 919 Hybrid. Starting in the LMP1 class changes your perspective entirely compared to racing in the GT categories. You look less in the rear-view mirror and more at the cars out front that you are going to lap. Radio contact with the pit crew is also much more intensive to achieve efficient energy usage. The racing is incredibly tough for everyone involved. Whenever I won class victories, the most enjoyable thing for me was to look down from the podium and gaze at the tired but happy faces of the mechanics.”

Drivers, starting number 20:

Timo Bernhard – 33, Germany. 
(7 races: overall victory 2010, class victory GT 2002, 2nd place GTE class 2013, 2nd place GT2 2005)

Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard

Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard

“In my first start for Porsche in 2002, Le Mans was stunning. And people always asked me: When will you return to the top league. I was involved with the building of the LMP1 team right from the start, and in 2013 I drove at the roll-out, then did testing and development work. The entire time I had the big goal in mind; I can hardly express how much I am ready for it now. The week leading up to the race will still be intensive, right up to the starting ceremony. I always found it satisfying to be the starting driver, and to finally close the door after all the pre-race show was over. And then at some point on this long circuit you find a very special rhythm. Especially at night when everything gets even faster, and when it might drizzle or rain … It is indescribable; there is a certain magic to it.”

Brendon Hartley – 24, New Zealand. 
(2 races since 2012)

Porsche works driver Brendon Hartley

Porsche works driver Brendon Hartley

“For me, Le Mans is my whole passion. I have the feeling that racing here fulfils the entire reason I climbed into a kart for the first time at six years of age. To now start as a Porsche factory driver, for the greatest sports car icon is like a dream. And then there is this special project with technology that never existed before. Hybrid systems, all-wheel drive, intuitive operating systems – the Porsche 919 is fantastic. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I have been chosen to sit in this car. I especially like Le Mans at night; that is the best. The lights fly past you, and everything feels a lot faster. You nearly get tunnel vision – that is when the cockpit is the perfect place for me. I also have a sporting score to settle at Le Mans.”

Mark Webber – 37, Australia.
(participated 1998 and 1999 at Le Mans but not in the race; 9 Formula-1 victories) 

Porsche works driver Mark Webber

Porsche works driver Mark Webber

“To return to Le Mans is emotionally very special for me. Le Mans stands for endurance, trial of man and machine, an incredibly long day, often with changing conditions and, above all, there is the teamwork. Naturally, I want to leave here with happier memories than previously, which should not be too difficult. And, of course, I want to win this race sometime. We have a fast car with fantastic technology. I also like the seating position, tucked behind the windscreen, and I am looking forward to the night-time driving at Le Mans. The team is still very young, but the bonding in the team has been very quick. If we were to come up with a good result in our first year that would be a massive statement for Porsche as a brand.”

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Facts and figures:
• With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the record holder at Le Mans.
• The first Porsche overall victory dates back to 1970 (Hans Herrmann/Richard Attwood in a 917 KH Coupé), and the last victory to date was on June 7, 1998 (Laurent Aiello/Allan McNish/Stéphane Ortelli in a Porsche GT1).
• According to the official archives, 812 Porsche cars have raced at Le Mans, and that too is a record.
• The fastest qualifying lap was driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck in 1985 in a Porsche 962 C (average speed 251.815 km/h). That record will likely stand for eternity, since chicanes installed in 1990 now break up the long Hunaudières straight.
• The longest race distance was covered by Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller in 2010 in their overall victory for Audi, a total of 5,410.713 km (397 laps, average speed 225.45 km/h).
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid car numbers 20 and 14 stand for the year of the return.
• In qualifying (Wednesday and Thursday until midnight), every driver must run at least five laps in the dark. While WEC rules call for averaging the two fastest laps of two drivers (i.e. the mean of four lap times), the classic Le Mans method is to simply take the fastest lap driven with the car.
• The Le Mans night is one of the shortest of the year: the sun sets on Saturday at 9:55 pm, and it rises again on Sunday at 5:53 am.
• In normal racing mode (without any safety car periods), the Porsche 919 Hybrid must refuel every 13 to 14 laps.
• Refuelling and wheel changing may only be made sequentially, not at the same time. Only two mechanics may work simultaneously when wheel changing. That takes a lot longer than in Formula One, for example.
• Drivers are normally only changed when new tyres are needed.
• Two fuel tank fills with one set of Michelin tyres are the absolute minimum; three should be standard, and sometimes it might even be possible to do four – an open issue and a tremendous challenge for the drivers.
• During the race, no driver may drive for more than four hours within a six-hour period. No driver may drive for more than 14 of the 24 hours.
• Due to the length of the circuit, there are three safety cars at Le Mans.
• The equipment taken to the track – in addition to the two race cars – includes a spare chassis, six engines, five front gearboxes, five rear gearboxes, six front wings and six rear wings, 80 rims, over 100 radios and headsets.
• The amount of electrical energy that a driver can use for what is known as boosting is limited. The Porsche 919 Hybrid may consume exactly 1.67 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity on each 13.629 km long lap.
• In 2013, the Le Mans victor completed 348 laps. Over this distance, the 919 Hybrid would generate and utilise 581.2 kilowatt hours (kWh) from its energy recovery systems – an amount of electrical power that would light a 60-Watt incandescent light bulb for a full 9,687 hours. Or expressed differently: this amount of energy would power the new Volkswagen e-Golf, which is currently the most energy-efficient electric car in the compact class, over 4,576 kilometres – enough to drive one-way across the USA from New York to Los Angeles.
• All in all, there is even more honour and glory to be won at Le Mans: twice as many points are awarded than in the other seven races for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) that are each six hours long.
• In the WEC standings, the Porsche team with 36 points is currently behind Toyota (84) and ahead of Audi (28) after two of eight races.
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid was designed and built at the Development Centre of Porsche AG in Weissach. 230 team members work there.
• The core team of Porsche for LMP1 racing at the race circuit in Le Mans consists of 86 team members (engineers, mechanics, team management). Add to that personnel from communication and marketing, sponsoring and driver support.
• For Le Mans week, supplies include well over 1,000 team shirts and other clothing.
• The shopping list for food and refreshments for the team and the media hospitality area include: 50 boxes of salad, 50 kg of strawberries, 300 melons, 1.2 metric tonnes of meat, 500 kg of fish, 600 kg of noodles, 2,000 eggs and 1,100 loaves of bread.
• While most of the team members catch some sleep during the night of the race whenever they have time and space, the drivers have beds in containers located behind the pit. It is impossible to get a quiet rest, sleep from exhaustion is more likely.
• The organiser, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), expects over 250,000 spectators at the race.

Schedule of the Porsche LMP1 team:

The technical inspection of the 56 racing cars, which are subdivided into four classes, is done on the Sunday before the race, June 8, at the Place de la République. A public event in the middle of the city. The scrutineers examine the cars, and the 168 drivers must present their paperwork. The Porsche LMP1 team is scheduled for this inspection on Sunday between 3:15 pm and 4:15 pm. The last teams will complete this technical part of the administration by 6:00 pm on Monday.

Tuesday, June 10:
2:00-2:30 pm Porsche team photo (LMP1) at start/finish line
2:30-3:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
5:00-6:30 pm Autograph session, pit lane

Wednesday, June 11:
2:30-3:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
4:00-8:00 pm Free practice
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying

Thursday, June 12:
3:30-4:00 pm Meet the team (LMP1), team and media hospitality
7:00-9:00 pm Qualifying
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying

Friday, June 13:
10:00 am – 8:00 pm Pit walk
1:00-2:00 pm Porsche press conference in the large guest hospitality area
5:30-7:30 pm Driver parade in the downtown area

Saturday, June 14:
09:00-09:45 Warm-up
2:22 pm Beginning of race start ceremony
3:00 pm Start of race

• Live communication from the box on Twitter @PorscheRaces.
• You can experience the race from an in-vehicle perspective and track the vehicles by GPS and live timing at http://www.porsche.com/mission2014.

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SOURCE:

Product and Technology Communication
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche 919 Hybrid arrives at the Sarthe, Sports Car WEC, Pre-race test Le Mans 24-Hours/France – LMP1

2014 Le Mans cars

2014 Le Mans cars

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Stuttgart. At the official pre-race test for the 24-hour race, the Porsche 919 Hybrid did its first laps in Le Mans on Sunday.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber,during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber,during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

During the morning session the Porsche Team covered 90 laps with the two innovative prototypes on the 13.629 kilometre track. In the afternoon the distance achieved was 103 laps.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Because about nine kilometres of the legendary circuit are on public roads, normally it is impossible to test at the “Circuit de la Sarthe”.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Inside and around the paddock the infrastructure for the huge Porsche works entry on 14th/15th June is coming together – be it engineers’ offices, container buildings for the drivers to rest in or spare parts logistics and storage. The aerodynamic package of the Porsche 919 Hybrid had been modified for the high-speed track. The test programme went according to plan.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1:

“This has been a very productive day. We travelled to Le Mans with a long to-do list and managed to tick off every single topic without experiencing any unpleasant surprises. Both cars ran trouble-free and all the drivers were on duty. With the number 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid we focused on tyre evaluation in the morning, while the number 20 car was busy with mechanical and aerodynamic set-up work. In the afternoon the job lists for the cars were swapped. Race control did several simulations, which have been good drills for our team and drivers too. For example safety car periods and the so called ‘slow zones’ were practiced. We now have a lot of data to study.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Today was a very good preparation for the drivers, engineers and mechanics – actually for everybody in the team. We would never have made it this far without our development department in Weissach – therefore thank you very much to all our colleagues at home.”

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #14

Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Romain Dumas:

“In the morning I was only able to do a few clear laps before the safety car came out. But in the afternoon it was much better, and we learnt a lot. Our car still tends to understeer and we will keep working on this for the race week. But both cars ran trouble-free, and that was our number one target.“

Porsche Team: Neel Jani

Porsche Team: Neel Jani

Porsche Team: Neel Jani

Porsche Team: Neel Jani

Neel Jani:

“Overall it was a positive day, but we still have work to do. In the morning I found it quite difficult. The track was extremely dirty and we had to calibrate the hybrid system. But it was our car that was doing the most laps in the morning session. In the afternoon I was doing set-up work and I think we have found a good direction.“

Porsche Team: Marc Lieb, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche Team: Marc Lieb, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Marc Lieb:

“It was great fun to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid on this track. In the morning we were testing tyres and I have been quite happy with the results. In the afternoon we switched to set-up work and did a good long run. The car became quicker and quicker, which obviously is promising. “

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #20 

Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard

Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard

Timo Bernhard:

“All went according to plan – even if others were on top of the time sheets. We did our fastest lap in the middle of a long run. We found a baseline set-up very quickly this morning. The car feels good, so I’m quite confident. This test is the only opportunity to drive here and we made the most of it. We will stay focussed and will turn the newly collected data into solutions. For example, we want to use the potential of the tyres better over the long runs.”

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

Brendon Hartley:

“It was a great start for me here on this fantastic race track. We had no problems with either car and were able to try a lot of interesting things. We are improving in tyre management on long runs as well, and it was a good day for us.“

Porsche Team: Andreas Seidl, Mark Webber

Porsche Team: Andreas Seidl, Mark Webber

Mark Webber:

“I was really looking forward to taking the car round here for the first time. I always enjoyed this track and the long lap. To come here with the Porsche 919 Hybrid is a big day for all of us and it ran smoothly. First thing in the morning I got my ten rookie laps out of the way, which are mandatory at the pre-race test when you haven’t raced here for a while. We then quickly were able to start working on the balance and set-up of the car. We are constantly improving and again we learnt a lot.”

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, - during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb, – during the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours test day, on June 1st 2014, at Le Mans circuit, France. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Source: Product and Technology Communication, Porsche AG

 

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

 

24 hours of Le Mans, Interview with Wolfgang Hatz

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

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

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you explain this in laymen’s terms?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where will you be watching the 24 hour race from?

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

Source: Porsche Product and Technology Communication, Motorsport Press

 

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WEC: 3,556 kilometres for the Porsche 919 Hybrid at the Prologue in Paul Ricard

WEC: 3,556 kilometres for the Porsche 919 Hybrid at the Prologue in Paul Ricard

Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC)

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brandon Hartley

 

Stuttgart. The Porsche Team enjoyed two intensive days of testing with the newly developed 919 Hybrid, entered in the top class of Le Mans Prototypes, during the official Prologue of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Paul Ricard.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brandon Hartley

It was the first time the Porsche Team had shared a test with the whole WEC field and was able to get a first impression about the differences in speed between the various classes.

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On the 5.791 kilometre long track the difference between the overall fastest lap of the LMP1 car (1:41.289 minutes, Porsche 919 Hybrid, Brendon Hartley) and the slowest GT car was around 20 seconds. The team had another first a few days earlier on the same track when it took part in a private test with two cars.
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In total both driver line-ups – Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb (car no. 14) and Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber (car no. 20) – completed 614 laps (3,556 kilometres) on Friday and Saturday. They practiced countless driver changes and worked together with the Porsche Team’s engineers to further improve the car’s set-up.

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Team principal Andreas Seidl:

“The Prologue was an excellently run test by the WEC organisation and we were able to complete our programme. After concentrating on long distance racing during our private test, when we covered two six hour race distances, we have now also tested our qualifying performance. We made good progress in all areas – be it team-work, performance or reliability. But we know very well that we cannot catch up overnight with the advantage our competition has in terms of experience, and we have quite a lot of homework to do before the season’s opening race on 20th April in Silverstone.“

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Off the track another important point has been clarified. The Porsche 919 Hybrid has finally been homologated for the six megajoule class. This classification defines the amount of recuperated electrical power which can be boosted per lap. At the same time, the megajoule class defines the amount of fuel which can be used per lap.

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1:

“To decide on the best megajoule class requires a complex calculation. To put it simply, you can say we have designed our energy recovery systems as big and heavy as the overall car concept allowed. With the amount of energy we can recuperate this way, we fit well into the six megajoule class.“

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brandon Hartley

Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, as well as Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development, gathered first hand information about the project’s progress at the track from Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.

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Drivers’ quotes

Romain Dumas (no. 14):

“We made huge progress. In my opinion, the Prologue was even better than we ourselves expected it to be beforehand. But the expectations from the outside world are enormous. It is impressive how we have been welcomed here. But we keep focussing on the next target: to finish the 6 Hours of Silverstone.“

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Neel Jani (no. 14):

“Our development speed was as strong as the mistral wind on the long straights here at Paul Ricard. Overall our results are fine. We were able to solve problems and to discover new ones, which will be looked at now. The partnership with Romain and Marc fits. In terms of set-up, we work in the same direction.“

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Marc Lieb (no. 14):

“In every regard it was a good test for the whole team. And it was also very important to gain first hand experience of the speed differences between the cars. In Silverstone this will be much more intensive: Paul Ricard is quite a long race track and during testing not all of the cars are running at the same time.“

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Timo Bernhard (no. 20):

“To me this was the most important test of all. Certainly if I compare the state of the car now to the roll out last June, but more importantly regarding the team spirit and how we work together. Not least of all what you can tell from the test results is very good news for the fans, as all three LMP1 cars are so close together.”

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Brendon Hartley (no. 20):

“Operating as a Porsche works driver for the first time and in the top class of Le Mans Prototypes was an impressive experience. Having topped the time sheets is certainly not the most important thing in our test programme, but personally for me it is the icing on the cake.“

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Mark Webber (no. 20):

“This test here was a big milestone. To enter two cars for the first time was a tremendous amount of hard work for the crew on the operational side. Smooth running was a well-deserved award and a good tonic for the guys after a long week. Every day we run we find more areas to improve, which is very encouraging. The track lay-out at Paul Ricard seems to suit our car very well. I’m curious to find out how we can perform in Silverstone.“

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Mark Webber

Notes:
One of the attachments is the press kit for Porsche’s return to top level motorsport, including technical details of the 919 Hybrid and driver portraits.
The attached video clip features current footage of the car on track and interviews from Paul Ricard and is royalty free for publishing.

Further news and comprehensive TV footage material will be available for download from Monday, 31st March, on the Porsche press database.

@PorscheRaces is the new Twitter channel of Porsche Motorsport. This brief messaging service informs you about upcoming Motorsport events by Porsche Motorsport, and during races it reports live from the pits about driver changes, weather conditions, tyre selections and background information.

 

Source: Porsche AG

Product and Technology Communication
Motorsport Press

 

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VIDEO: Porsche LMP1 Regulations and Technology

2014 will see the introduction of completely new rules for the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

These rules will restore prototype sport to the status which has always been a hallmark of the highest class in long-distance motor racing: putting tomorrow’s technologies through their paces today in the toughest of motorsports tests.

The LMP1 Regulations and Technology

The LMP1 Regulations and Technology

Find out about the technical challenges in the new WEC regulations for the Porsche 919 Hybrid, our contestant for the 2014 24h of Le Mans in this video.

 

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Works engagement with 919 hybrid and 911 RSR, Most comprehensive racing programme of all time

Works engagement with 919 hybrid and 911 RSR

Porsche 919 R Hybrid

Porsche 919 R Hybrid

Stuttgart. Porsche heads into the 2014 season with the most extensive motorsport programme ever. In addition to its new LMP1 project, Porsche Motorsport sends two GT works teams to compete on race tracks around the world. Porsche AG Team Manthey again fields two Porsche 911 RSR in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC), as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet

Porsche North America contests the new Tudor United Sportscar Championship with CORE autosport as the race team, with the new season kicking off at the Daytona 24 hour race on 25 January.

Matthias Müller, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Matthias Müller, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Porsche Motorsport’s driver squad has also grown to record size.

For the upcoming season, Porsche has signed on 20 drivers including four Porsche juniors and a scholarship candidate chosen from the international one-make race series. All current Porsche factory pilots have received a contract for the 2014 season. “We’ve never had such a large driver line-up in the history of the company,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

Porsche 919 hybrid named, LMP1 driver squad complete
Porsche AG announces its driver line-up and the vehicle name for its return to the top category of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2014, with the season highlight in Le Mans: On the occasion of the Porsche Night of Champions this Saturday in Weissach, the young New Zealander Brendon Hartley (24) and long-standing Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (33) from Germany have been confirmed as regular drivers in the LMP1 race car, officially called the “Porsche 919 hybrid”. Already signed on for the LMP1 project are the drivers Timo Bernhard (DE, 32), Romain Dumas (FR, 36), Neel Jani (CH, 30) and the Australian Mark Webber (37).

Driver squad Porsche LMP1, Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley (l-r)

Driver squad Porsche LMP1, Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley (l-r)

Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG, stated:

“We are very proud of our strong international driver line-up. Three of the six drivers come from our own Porsche driver squad, two were even Porsche juniors. This is something we are particularly proud of.” Hatz continued: “The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s embarkation into the hybrid future. With hybrid sports cars like the Cayenne as a SUV, the Grand Touring Panamera, and the 918 Spyder three-litre super sportscar, we are on the right track. But to continue leading the way in the future and to merge sportiness with sustainability, we need to keep learning. Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC regulations for the works-entered class 1 prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future.”

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions 2013

Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1, explained:

“We had a substantial number of applicants from all classes for the two 919 hybrids. We were looking for experience, sheer speed, technical understanding, and we wanted team players because this is more important in endurance racing than in any discipline.”

Strong driver squad wrapped up with Hartley and Lieb 
Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas were the first drivers to be selected. The two bring the experience of seven overall victories each from 24 hour races – Nürburgring, Daytona, Spa and overall victory together in Le Mans with Audi. In July 2013, the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani joined the team, with Mark Webber onboard since the end of the 2013 Formula 1 season. Brendon Hartley and Marc Lieb now complete the squad.

Hartley left his homeland early to advance his racing career in Europe. Following on from successes in the Formula Renault and Formula 3 came the long-awaited Formula 1 contract – as a test driver but with precious little chance to race. Hence, parallel to his F1 commitments, Hartley turned to sports car racing. He said: “I’m incredibly proud that Porsche has chosen me. I was deeply impressed at my first outing in Le Mans. But to compete there in the LMP1 for an iconic company like Porsche is another dimension completely.”

Marc Lieb was 20 years old when his career as a race driver at Porsche took off: In the year 2000, he won the Porsche Junior driver selection. In addition to a raft of class victories, he also scored five overall wins at 24 hour races, four times on the Nürburgring, once at Spa. “I have been fortunate enough to celebrate victories with Porsche all over the world,” said Lieb, “even in the GT class at Le Mans. People there always asked when we would return to the LMP1 class. Since the project was given the go-ahead, I only wanted one thing: to be involved. Le Mans and Porsche, I can’t even begin to describe how excited this makes me feel.”

Mark Webber disclosed:

“For me a lot of it is familiar, a lot is foreign, everything is special. I’m absorbing every bit of information I can and I’m already looking forward to the next tests.” The nine-time Grand Prix winner took the wheel of the 919 hybrid for the first time several days ago in Portimão, Portugal.

Timo Bernhard has a few more kilometres to his credit. He said:

“I’ve been with Porsche for 15 years and I feel an immense responsibility that comes with the return to LMP1. In the development, all your skills as a driver are required. The first premise is not to drive fast, it’s more to feel what the car is doing and to share even the smallest details with the engineers.”

Romain Dumas, who celebrates his 36th birthday today on the Night of Champions, underlined:

“We are a good team for the development of the 919 hybrid. We have a lot of work ahead of us. The 2013 class victory with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz in the factory-run Porsche 911 RSR was really great, but now we’re heading into new territory, and with all the complex technical innovations, our new squad faces an enormous challenge.”

Neel Jani summarises:

“It has always been my goal to one day fight for overall victory in the WEC and Le Mans. To do this you have to be part of a good works squad, and this is where I am right now. To compete for Porsche is a great honour and it comes with a lot of responsibility. We want to write a new chapter in the great history of Porsche motorsport, even if it takes time. The technology is completely new and we need to grow together as a team.”

Frédéric Makowiecki signed as Porsche works driver
Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki (33) will join the ranks of Porsche Motorsport’s GT squad this coming season and pilot a 911 RSR. Makowiecki, who prefers to be called Fred Mako, is a regular competitor behind the wheel of Porsche race cars. He has collected more than nine years of experience in the cockpit of the 911. One of his greatest achievements was clinching the title of the Porsche Carrera Cup France in 2010.

Frédéric Makowiecki (FR)

Frédéric Makowiecki (FR)

“Frédéric Makowiecki is one of the fastest and most experienced GT pilots,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen. “He has a great deal of experience on virtually all international race tracks and he knows precisely how to drive a Porsche 911 fast. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

Porsche acquires majority holding in Manthey Racing GmbH
Porsche has acquired a 51 percent stake in Manthey Racing GmbH and as such continues to expand its long and successful collaboration with the race outfit from Meuspath at the Nürburgring. “I’m sure this will help us to prepare even better for the challenges we are facing together in the WEC and I look forward to working with Olaf Manthey, Nicolas Raeder and Martin Raeder,” says Wolfgang Hatz.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Martin Ragginger wins Porsche Cup
After a successful season in international GT racing, Austrian Martin Ragginger (25) can celebrate winning the Porsche Cup as the best Porsche private driver in the world. On the occasion of the Night of Champions on 14 December in the R&D Centre at Weissach, Ragginger accepted the Porsche Cup from Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG.

After earning 5,940 points this past season, Ragginger also takes home a new Porsche 911 Carrera S with a total value of more than 120,000 Euros. Second-placed Klark Quinn (AUS) is the recipient of 30,000 Euros, with Robert Renauer given 25,000 Euros for third place. The Porsche Cup comes with a total purse of 253,000 Euros. As the brainchild of Ferry Porsche, this trophy has been awarded every year since 1970 to the best private Porsche race driver. Pilots earn points towards the Porsche Cup in 18 international race series as well as at selected long distance races.

Professional racer Martin Ragginger, who contested his first kart race at the age of nine, competed in six race series during 2013. He celebrated his greatest success of the season at the 24 Hours of Dubai, winning the A6-AM class for GT3 vehicles. Ragginger also tackled the ADAC GT Masters at the wheel of a 911 GT3 R and concluded the season in fourth overall. The Austrian earned more points towards the Porsche Cup in the VLN on the Nürburgring, at the Campionato Italiano GT, in the Grand-AM and in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Trailing Ragginger by just 110 points, Klark Quinn (31) came a close second in the fight for the Porsche Cup. Quinn secured the 2013 Australian GT Championship title, winning three out of twelve rounds of the Australian series, and climbing the podium eleven times. At the twelve-hour race at Bathurst, Australia, he achieved third place at the wheel of a Porsche 991 GT3 R fielded by his team “VIP Petfoods Racing”.

After an exciting season, Robert Renauer clinches the third spot on the Porsche Cup podium. The 28-year-old from Jedenhofen in Bavaria earned Cup points at 17 races. In the ADAC GT Masters, the qualified car salesman secured second place in the overall classification with his team Tonino powered by Herberth Motorsport. Renauer went on to score more points at rounds of the Campionato Italiano GT, as well as in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the GrandAM Rolex Sportscar Series.

Start: Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Deutschland 2013

Start:
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Deutschland 2013

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup continues with Formula 1
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup continues to run as part of the Formula 1 weekends. The successful partnership, which began back in 1993, has now been extended for another three years, up to and including the 2016 season. For more than two decades, the flagship of Porsche’s one-make race series has been regarded as one of the major launching platforms for an international GT career.

“The Supercup is the crown of Porsche’s brand trophy series. It has everything that makes international motor racing great. Many of our works drivers are the best sports car pilots in the world and they came from the Supercup,” says Porsche Motorsport boss Hartmut Kristen. “We’re delighted to be able to continue offering our partners and fans exciting racing in such an attractive environment like the top league of motorsport.”

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup heads into its 22nd season on 11 May 2014 in Barcelona. Nine events with a total of ten races make up the calendar. A highlight of the season will be on 12 October at the Supercup debut on the new Formula 1 circuit in the Russian Olympic city of Sochi.

The 2014 Supercup calendar:

11.05. Barcelona/Spain
25.05. Monte Carlo/Monaco
22.06. Spielberg/Austria
06.07. Silverstone/Great Britain
20.07. Hockenheim/Germany
27.07. Budapest/Hungary
24.08. Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium
07.09. Monza/Italy
12.10. Sochi/Russia (2 races)

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Neel Jani races the LMP1 Porsche, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours

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Stuttgart. Another driver has been confirmed to contest the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The ex-Formula 1 test pilot Neel Jani (29) from Switzerland will join Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) for testing and from 2014 onwards will take the wheel of one of the two new LMP1 vehicles from Weissach.

Jani’s contract with Porsche extending over several years begins on 1st July. In addition to test driving the Porsche, the experienced sports car pilot will complete his planned race schedule for 2013 with the Rebellion team in the American Le Mans Series and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC.

Neel Jani began his career in the classical way at the age of 12 in karting and at age 16 went on to race single-seaters. In 2002 he concluded the European Formula Renault 2000 championship as runner-up.

The following season he clinched vice championship honours in the European Formula Renault V6 series. In 2003 and 2004 Jani was a Formula 1 test driver for Sauber and in 2005 he scored two GP2 victories. During the winter season of 2005/2006, he secured second overall for Switzerland in the global A1GP series and in 2006 was signed on as test and reserve driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team. In 2007 he switched to the American Champcar Series and clinched three podium places. For the 2007/2008 season he returned to the A1GP, took home the title after four victories and went on to secure yet another runner-up title the following year. In 2009 Jani contested the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time and finished twelfth in the LMP1 class. Since 2010, he has competed for the Rebellion Racing team.

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“To compete for Porsche in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC and at the Le Mans 24 Hours is a dream come true,” says Neel Jani. “I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel for the first time and contributing my test driving experience.

Porsche is incomparable with any other marque in sports car racing and I’m proud to now be a part of the Porsche works team. My goal is to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and secure the WEC World Championship title with Porsche. I don’t just want to build on Porsche’s successful history, I want to add a new chapter.”

 

“Neel Jani is extremely talented and is currently one of the best sports car pilots altogether. I’m delighted that we can already confirm three drivers for the 2014 season of the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

 “Neel fits very well into our Porsche motorsport family. He is incredibly fast, he has a wealth of experience in international long distance racing as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours and he’s a real team player,” adds Fritz Enzinger, Head of the LMP1 project.

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche wins both GT classes in Le Mans, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Porsche won the fiercely-competitive GT classes. This is the class victories number 99 and 100 for Porsche at the world’s most famous long distance race.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

The new Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) won the GTE-Pro class.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

From three races this was the first victory for the race car from Weissach. With the second 911 RSR, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) made the double victory for Porsche perfect.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad with Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay and Christophe Bourret scored victory.

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, IMSA Performance Matmut, Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret, Jean-Karl Vernay

SOURCE: Porsche AG

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche 911 RSR sets the second fastest lap time in warm-up, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France

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Porsche. The Porsche AG Team Manthey squad has concluded the preparations for the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday morning with the second fastest lap time in the GTE-Pro class.

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It was posted by the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92 shared by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

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The #91 Porsche 911 RSR with their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) scored the fourth quickest time.

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In the GTE-Am class, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) achieved the top time. He shares the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton squad with Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Joe Foster (both USA).
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The Le Mans 24 Hours takes off today at 15.00 hours. Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the entire race live. On the internet the race can be viewed live on http://www.fiawec.com.

Quotes after the warm-up

Timo Bernhard (# 91): “We have checked the car again and everything is fine. Our times in each sector were good. I’m pleased that it will soon get going. We’re feeling confident for the race.”

Richard Lietz (# 92): “We practiced driver changes and went out with a full tank to find the braking points and to see how the car handles. We didn’t make any changes to the set-up. The warm-up is a great chance for drivers and teams to refocus again on the race.”

Romain Dumas (# 92): “The warm-up was the first time this weekend that I drove on a dry track, so it was important for me. The car felt good. We are all very confident for the race.”

Patrick Long (#77): “I used the warm-up to try out the medium tyres for the first time and that made a big difference. Unfortunately we were on the wrong tyres in qualifying but that’s the past. Patrick didn’t get a chance to drive because of the red flag. But that’s not so bad, he knows what to do. We have a good car for the race and we’re feeling very optimistic.”

Result warm-up
GTE-Pro class
1. Vilander/Kobayashi/Beretta (SF/J/MC), Ferrari 458 Italia, 3:58.796 min.
2. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:58.796
3. Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari 458 Italia, 3:59.935
4. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 4:00.593
5. Bertolini/Al Faisal/Qubaisi (I/KSA/UAE), Ferrari 458 Italia, 4:03.317

GTE-Am class
1. Long/Dempsey/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:58.358 min.
2. Nygaard/Simonsen/Poulsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 4:01.401
3. Henzler/Milesi/Gibon (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.312
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.658

SOURCE:

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

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France: Best Porsche 911 RSR 3rd on grid at Le Mans debut

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Stuttgart. At its first Le Mans 24 Hours outing, the best Porsche 911 RSR takes up the race on Saturday from the second grid row in the GTE-Pro class. In qualifying for the long distance classic in France, which was held for the first time 90 years ago,

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Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) improved their time in the last lap and planted the #92 Porsche 911 RSR on third place.

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Their factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) concluded the qualifying in seventh at the wheel of the number 91 vehicle. Both 911 RSR are fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey.

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As the best Porsche in the GTE-Am class, the 911 GT3 RSR of the Proton Competition team in which Christian Ried (Germany) shares driving duties with his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti, achieved the second quickest time.

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The 911 fielded by IMSA Performance Matmut with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) as well as Frenchmen Pascal Gibon and Patrice Milesi set the fifth quickest time. At his first Le Mans start with Porsche,

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Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) starts from seventh on the grid with support from Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster (all USA).

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The Le Mans 24 Hours takes off of Saturday at 15.00 hours. Eurosport broadcasts the entire race live on its channels Eurosport International and Eurosport 2.

On the internet, the long distance classic can be followed live on http://www.fiawec.com.

Quotes after the third qualifying

Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG:

“We are quite pleased with this result. Our aim was to beat Ferrari and we have achieved this. We’re only five-hundredths of a second shy of the first grid row which gives us hope for the race.”

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport:

“The changing weather conditions and many interruptions made for a pretty exciting qualifying. You could actually forget about a normal programme. Marc’s improvement to third place in the final lap has shown how important it was to push to the end today.”

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

“My qualifying was quite messed up. I went out on the first set of tyres but got held up by slower cars and had to reduce speed because the yellow flags came out. The same happened with my second set – first traffic, then yellow-flagged. In my third fast lap I went all out and was a bit late on the brakes in the first corner. That was the end of my qualifying. But Marc’s time underlined what would have been possible. This makes me confident for the race.”

Patrick Pilet (# 91):

“Our chances look good for the race. For me as a Frenchman Le Mans is the highlight of the year. To win here would be the greatest. We have a good car and we’ll do our utmost in the race.”

Timo Bernhard (# 91):

“The conditions were wrong today to learn anything significant about our car. I drove my five mandatory night laps. We could face such mixed conditions in the race, so it was important to see if everything was okay with the car. At the time I was sitting in the car it made no sense to risk too much.”

Marc Lieb (# 92):

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“I spent about an hour at the wheel and was able to get used to the difficult conditions. The track was almost dry towards the end, only slightly damp in the second chicane. There I had to be careful on the brakes. Our car’s balance is good, not yet perfect, but we have definitely made great progress.

That I drove over the finish line three seconds before the end of the session and achieved the third fastest lap time was of course perfect timing. This is also a big motivation for the race. A huge thank you to my team. The boys have worked really hard over the last weeks and months to make our new 911 RSR even better.”

Richard Lietz (# 92):

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“A good grid position in Le Mans is a matter of prestige, even if it doesn’t play a major role in the race. But when you come with a new car, like us, you naturally want to be as far up the front as possible, so we are delighted with third place.

Marc has made it more exciting and drove a great time right when everyone thought it was over.”

Romain Dumas (#92):

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“In Le Mans the regulations stipulate that all competitors must turn five qualifying laps during the night. Since I didn’t get to drive yesterday, I turned my five laps today. At the time I went out, the track half dry, half wet. That wasn’t much fun.”

Wolf Henzler (#67):

“I was on wets, but the track was too dry for that towards the end. I should actually have gone out on slicks, but when the conditions are so difficult and it is night time, you obviously don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76):

“It’s not decisive whether you take up a 24 hour race from fifth, sixth or seventh place. That’s why we didn’t go all out to try and improve our time under such tricky conditions. We’ve added many new parts for the race and will attempt to finish as far up the field as possible.”

 

Christian Ried (#88):

“These conditions made it tough for everyone. You drive out, it starts to rain, you come in, the rain stops – this doesn’t give you the insights you need for the race. Today, it was really just a matter of us all turning our mandatory laps at night.”

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Result 3rd qualifying
GTE-Pro class
1. Bell/Makowiecki/Senna (GB/F/BRA), Aston Martin, 3:54.635 minutes
2. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 3:55.445
3. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:55.491
4. Fisichella/Bruni/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:55.909
7. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.573

GTE-AM class
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 3:57.776 minutes
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:58.889
3. Campbell/Goethe/Hall (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 3:59.805
5. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:00.053
6. Collard/Perrod/Crubile (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:00.682
7. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:00.916
8. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:01.713

SOURCE:

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

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche AG Team Manthey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Porsche AG Team Manthey - M13_1373

Quotes after the first qualifying

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91):

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

Patrick Pilet (# 91):

Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard

Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard

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

Timo Bernhard (# 91):

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

Marc Lieb (# 92):

Marc Lieb, Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

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

Richard Lietz (# 92):

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

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

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

Romain Dumas (# 92):

Romain Dumas

Romain Dumas

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

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Wolf Henzler (#67):

 

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

Jean-Karl Vernay (#76):

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

Patrick Long (#77):

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

Patrick Dempsey (#77):

Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Dell Piero-Proton

Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Dell Piero-Proton

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

Paolo Ruberti (#88):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SOURCE:  Communication Porsche AG Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche “Mission 2014. Our return.” Interactive microsite highlighting Porsche’s comeback into top motor racing

Interactive journey through time into the history of Porsche Motorsport

Stuttgart. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche returns to the pinnacle of endurance motor racing in 2014 with a newly designed sports prototype. The greatly anticipated comeback will be accompanied by a multimedia microsite entitled “Mission 2014. Our Return.” on porsche.com/mission2014.

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

It takes fans on an interactive journey through 60 years of Porsche Motorsport history showcasing previously unreleased films, photo galleries and stories. Phase one of the three-stage Web Special highlights the legendary venues of Porsche’s racing history and brings the greatest moments of motorsport back to life.

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

Each week, new content is added, outlining why Porsche and motorsport are inseparably connected. In addition to historical film documentaries, interviews with drivers, engineers and former race directors allow a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes.

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

The microsite “Mission 2014. Our Return.” is found under porsche.com/mission2014

© Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

Source: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

 

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First Porsche Press Video from Spa-Francorchamps rd 2 of the World Endurance Championship (WEC)

Press Release

03/05/2013

World Endurance Championship, round 2 in Spa-Francorchamps

Spa: More than just Eau Rouge

Stuttgart. A first video from Spa-Francorchamps of round 2 of the World Endurance Championship (WEC)  e weekend.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Porsche pilots hope for improvement in the World Endurance Championship, rd 2 at Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Stuttgart. In the qualifying for the six hour race of Spa-Francorchamps, round two of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars on the storied circuit in the Ardennes,

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche works pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) planted their Porsche 911 RSR on the sixth grid spot in the GTE-Pro class. For Saturday’s race, they share the cockpit of the number 91 car with Timo Bernhard (Germany).

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Richard Lietz, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Richard Lietz, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Their works driver colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) take up the race one position behind them. The third driver in the 470 hp # 92 GT racer is Richard Lietz (Austria). Porsche AG Team Manthey field both Porsche 911 RSR.
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From this season on, the qualifying in the WEC is conducted following a new format: For the first time, two drivers must qualify one car. The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed laps of each of these drivers.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Joerg Bergmeister (#91)

“I made a small mistake in my second lap. Otherwise I could have gone a little faster. But I still pitted so that I didn’t wear the tyres too much for Patrick.”

Patrick Pilet (#91):

“The car ran very steadily and that’s good for the race. We’re not too far back and I hope that we can do even better tomorrow.”

Romain Dumas (#92):

“That qualifying wasn’t perfect. But I’m sure we’ll look better in the race.”

 

Marc Lieb (#92):

“Our car performed better than in practice so that’s a small step in the right direction. Let’s see what tomorrow’s race brings.”

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Porsche AG Team Manthey

Qualifying result
GTE-Pro class
1. Makowiecki/Bell/Senna (F/GB/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:19.811 minutes
2. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.042 seconds
3. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.278
4. Turner/Mücke/Dumbreck (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.296
5. DallaLana/Stanaway/Lamy (CAN/NZ/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.430
6. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.432
7. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.049

GTE-Am class
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:21.265 minutes
2. Potolicchio/Aguas/Malucelli (I/P/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.030 seconds
3. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.284
4. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.480
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.425
7. Narac/Vernay (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.156

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The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database Photo

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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World Endurance Championship, round 2 in Spa-Francorchamps Latest Photos

Patrick Pilet, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Joerg Bergmeister (l-r), Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Joerg Bergmeister (l-r), Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. Latest photos from free practice 1 in Spa-Francorchamps, where round 2 of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) is contested on Saturday.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

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Patrick Pilet, Romain Dumas, Joerg Bergmeister, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz,Timo Bernhard (l-r), Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet, Romain Dumas, Joerg Bergmeister, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz,Timo Bernhard (l-r), Porsche AG Team Manthey

 

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SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Databse
Communication Porsche AG Motorsport Press

 

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BREAKING NEWS: Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the LMP1-Porsche, World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans

Stuttgart. The first two drivers to contest the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 hour race are confirmed.

Le Mans overall winners Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) will take the wheel of the new LMP1 vehicle from Weissach in the 2014 season.

Already this year the two Porsche works drivers Bernhard and Dumas will commence testing the new Le Mans racer.

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas

“Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are regarded as some of the fastest and most experienced sports car pilots in the world. I’m very pleased that we have these two men contesting the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours for us from 2014”, says Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board – Research and Development at Porsche AG.

“I particularly appreciate about the two is their competence as test drivers. For this reason the pair is already closely integrated in the development program of our new car and will embark on an intensive test schedule from the middle of this year”, says Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project.

 

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Timo Bernhard comes from Porsche’s own junior development programme. In 1999, Porsche recognised the talent of the then 18-year-old and coached him in the Porsche Junior Team to become a professional race driver.

In 2002, Bernhard was signed on as a works driver and since then has notched up victories and championship titles all over the world. In 2010 he was voted “Race Driver of the Year” by Germany’s automobile club ADAC for his outstanding achievements. Bernhard is the only race driver to have clinched overall victory at all four of the most famous sports car classics.

He won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010, in 2003 the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2004, and a total of five times at the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring – another record.

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Timo Bernhard & Romain Dumas in Silverstone

Romain Dumas joined the circle of Porsche factory drivers in 2004. Previously he attracted attention in the Formula 3, Formula 3000, at international GT races as well as the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.

He is one of the most experienced pilots at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All together, Dumas has contested his favourite race at La Sarthe twelve times. With Timo Bernhard, he scored overall victory there in 2010 at the wheel of an Audi. Together, the pair also celebrated huge successes in the U.S. in the RS Spyder sports prototype.

In 2007 and 2008, the two Porsche works drivers convincingly clinched the title in the American Le Mans Series. Bernhard shared the cockpit with Dumas at four of his five wins at the Nürburgring 24 hour race. Moreover, in 2010 Dumas celebrated overall victory in Spa at the wheel of a Porsche 911.

Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project

Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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New Porsche 911 RSR scores 4th at its race debut, WEC, Rd 1 in Silverstone,Great Britain

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Stuttgart. The new Porsche 911 RSR narrowly missed out on a podium spot at its first race outing.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

At the six hour race in Silverstone, the season-opener of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Romain Dumas (France) occupied fourth in the GTE-Pro class with the 470 hp race car from Weissach.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

At the wheel of the second 911 RSR, also fielded by the newly-formed Porsche AG Team Manthey, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) took the flag in sixth.

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

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

On the storied British race track, the Porsche 911 RSR, based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, took up the race after a good qualifying result from the second row of the grid and could match the pace of its strongest opponents for some time.

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

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

At times, Patrick Pilet was running third with the #91 car, before an unscheduled pit stop cost him more than two laps and pushed him down the field.

 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Halfway through the race, Romain Dumas was also on track for a podium place in third with the #92 car. Later, his teammate Richard Lietz even moved into second place – but at the end of the day it was not enough for a top three placing.

Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board – Research and Development:

Wolfgang Hatz, Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG, Porsche 911 RSR

Wolfgang Hatz, Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung Porsche AG, Porsche 911 RSR

“That was the first race for the new car and the new team. The organization of the squad worked well. Of course, there are areas where we have room for improvement, but it’s like a football team, we first have to get everything running smoothly.Technically, everything worked on the 911 RSR apart from a one small thing which we will have fixed by the next race.

As far as the performance is concerned, we still have room for improvement. Naturally we also have to work on the car, it has a little too much oversteer.

But all in all I regard it as a positive weekend. It wouldn’t have been good if the car had experienced lots of problems, but that was not the case. We saw that the 911 RSR can turn consistently quick lap times over the race distance. Now if we do our homework, I think we’ll finish further up the field at the next races.”

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport:

“Both new 911 RSR reached the flag at their race debut, and there were no major technical problems. With a new team, of course there is still some fine-tuning to be done, that’s normal. We are looking forward to the next race and hope that the car will make another step forward there.”

Marc Lieb (#92):

 Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Marc Lieb, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“We gained many important insights in the race. The car underlined its potential. Now we just need to work a little more on that.”

Richard Lietz (#92):

 Richard Lietz, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Richard Lietz, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“We were looking good in the fast corners, but we need to sort out the oversteer exiting the slow corners. But our engineers should be able to correct this by the next race. If so, the podium is within reach.”

Romain Dumas (#92):

“An interesting race. We learned a lot. On the straights we are a little slower than our opponents which makes overtaking very difficult. Still, there are many positives things we can take from this race.”

Joerg Bergmeister (#91):

 Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“That wasn’t our dream result. But we’ve learned a lot this weekend. The conditions were not the easiest, because we had no time to practice on the dry track for setting up the car.”

 Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Patrick Pilet, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“It’s bad luck that we lost more than two laps, but the mechanics did a good job. In any case, we’ve found a good basis to work on and we are optimistic for the rest of the season.”

Timo Bernhard (#91):

“Heading towards Le Mans that was a very valuable race for us. Our performance wasn’t too bad. Without the front axle problem a podium place would have been within reach.”

 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Proton Competition, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti

In the GTE-Am class, Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti scored fifth place in last year’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the customer team Felbermayr-Proton.

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Round two of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) takes place on 4 May in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium).

Race result
GTE-Pro class
1. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 171 laps
2. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 170
3. Dalla Lana/Macowiecki/Lamy (CAN/F/P), Aston Martin Vantage, 170
4. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 170
5. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 170
6. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 168

GTE-Am class
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DEN/DEN/DEN), Aston Martin Vantage, 169 laps
2. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (FRA/FRA/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, 166
3. Potolicchio/Aguas/Peter (I/VEN/A), Ferrari F458 Italia, 165
4. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 165
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 165
7. Narac/Bourret/Tandy (F/F/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 163

The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

SOURCE:  World Endurance Championship  Porsche AG Press Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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VIDEO: New 2013 Porsche 911 RSR in the second grid row, WEC rd 1 in Silverstone, Great Britain

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

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

Stuttgart. The new Porsche 911 RSR heads into its race debut from the second grid row of the GTE-Pro class.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

In qualifying for the six hour race on the tradition-steeped British race circuit, on which the World Endurance Championship (WEC) kicks off the new season on Sunday, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) posted the third quickest average time.

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

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

Sharing the number 91 cockpit for the race is their works driver colleague Timo Bernhard (Germany). The 470 hp 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and is fielded by the Porsche AG Team Manthey squad.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

From this season on, the qualifying in the WEC is conducted following a new format: For the first time, two drivers must qualify one car.

The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed laps of each of these drivers.

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“As far as the set-up is concerned we have found some potential because prior to this qualifying we had very little time in the dry,” said Joerg Bergmeister.

“So we had to take a bit of a risk and almost found the right point. I think we’ll get it under control in time for the race.” Patrick Pilet commented: “In a six hour race, the qualifying times are not everything. I’m looking forward to Sunday and can’t wait for the first race with the new 911 RSR.”

 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

In the second Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92, the factory pilots Richard Lietz (Austria) and Romain Dumas (France) achieved the fourth quickest average time. For the race, the pair receives support from Marc Lieb (Germany).

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“That was the first time that I drove the car on the dry track this weekend,” stated Richard Lietz. “We knew it would be difficult. But much more important than the result was that I got a good feel for dry conditions with new slicks. I was very happy with my laps.”

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

His teammate Romain Dumas said: “That was an interesting qualifying. We are going well with our new car, but we’re still certain to learn a great deal over the season.”

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Romain Dumas, Porsche AG Team Manthey

“The qualifying went quite well so far. We were lucky that it stayed dry,” said Porsche’s Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “The whole team is now raring to tackle the first race with the 911 RSR.”

 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey- Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Qualifying result
GTE-Pro class
1. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:00.556 minutes
2. DallaLana/Macowiecki/Lamy (CAN/F/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.216 seconds
3. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.742
4. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.886
5. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.946
6. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.237

GTE-Am class
1. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:01.158 minutes
2. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DEN/DEN/DEN), Aston Martin V., + 0.382 seconds
3. Gerber/Griffin/Cioci (ZAF/IRL/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.238
6. Narac/Bourret/Tandy (F/F/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.860

The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

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SOURCE:  World Endurance Championship   Porsche AG Media Press Database   https://presse.porsche.de.

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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Race debut of the new Porsche 911 RSR, World Endurance Championship, rd 1 in Silverstone, Great Britain

World Endurance Championship, round 1 in Silverstone, Great Britain

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Stuttgart. At the six hour race on the Silverstone Circuit, which signals the start of the 2013 World Endurance Championship (WEC) season on 14th April, the Porsche 911 RSR celebrates its race debut. Running the campaign on the storied 5.981 kilometre circuit in the British Midlands is the Porsche AG Team Manthey works team with Olaf Manthey at the helm.

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

The Porsche drivers

Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) take up the GTE-Pro class in the 911 RSR with starting number 91.

Porsche 911 RSR , Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Porsche 911 RSR , Porsche AG Team Manthey: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Patrick Pilet

Sharing driving duties in the cockpit of the number 92 vehicle are their factory driver colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Romain Dumas (France).

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Two customer teams tackle the GTE-Am class with last year’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: Driving the Proton Competition entry is Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda, with an all-French line-up of Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret and Jean-Karl Vernay competing for IMSA Performance Matmut.

The Porsche 911 RSR

The Porsche 911 RSR delivers 460 hp and is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car.

Timo Bernhard, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Timo Bernhard, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

As the successor to the winning 911 GT3 RSR, with which Porsche customers scored many victories and title wins since 2004, it is characterized by consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

The look of the new 911 RSR is dominated by the flared mudguards and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. The exceptional vehicle styling honours the anniversary “50 years of the 911”.

Timo Bernhard, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

Timo Bernhard, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche AG Team Manthey

The schedule

The six hour race takes off on Sunday, 14 April, at midday local time (13.00 hrs CET). Eurosport 2 televises the start of the race live at 13.00 hours (30 minutes) and returns to a live broadcast at 15.00 hours (30 minutes). The final hour is aired live from 18.00 hours on Eurosport 1. The race can be viewed live on the internet under http://www.fiawec.com.

Comments before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The whole team is ready and raring to tackle the first race with the 911 RSR. Our squad has worked extremely hard over the last months to make our new car competitive right from the start.”

Jörg Bergmeister

Jörg Bergmeister

Joerg Bergmeister (# 91): “I’m looking forward to my premiere in the WEC – in the most beautiful and spectacular 911 ever.”

Patrick Pilet

Patrick Pilet

Patrick Pilet (# 91): “To share the cockpit with such successful Porsche pilots like Joerg and Timo is a great and exciting challenge.”

Timo Bernhard

Timo Bernhard

Timo Bernhard (# 91): “I felt great at the tests in the 911 RSR. We have a good chance to win our class with this car.”

Marc Lieb

Marc Lieb

Marc Lieb (# 92): “The new 911 RSR is a significant step forward. I hope that the good test results can be confirmed at the first race.”

Richard Lietz

Richard Lietz

Richard Lietz (# 92): “We face very strong opposition from the works teams from Ferrari and Aston Martin. In Silverstone we’ll see where we stand.”

Romain Dumas

Romain Dumas

Romain Dumas (# 92): “I’m looking forward to racing the new 911 RSR with Marc and Richard and I’m confident that we’ll make a good start into the season.”

In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four different classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

SOURCE:   World Endurance Championship Porsche Media Database

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsport Press

 

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