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Porsche Motorsport around the world – Newsletter 2 – 2012

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

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet 12h Sebring

Sebring 12 Hours: Successful start for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

The tradition-steeped race on the airfield circuit of Sebring (17 March) marked the start of the new World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series. In the WEC, works drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet clinched second place in the GTE Pro class for Felbermayr-Proton at the wheel of the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet 12h Sebring

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012
Title: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Felbermayr-Proton: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet 12h Sebring

In the amateur GTE Am category, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti made a faultless start to the season with a victory in last year’s 911 GT3 RSR. Bad luck, however, for the Porsche drivers in the ALMS: Flying Lizards Motorsports’ 911 GT3 RSR piloted by Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marco Holzer was rammed by a Ferrari in the formation lap. Bergmeister and his colleagues still managed to yield tenth place.

Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers and Martin Ragginger claimed ninth in the Falken Tire Porsche after an engine change.

Tribute: Hans Herrmann inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

The organisers of the Sebring 12 hour race pay tribute to the performances of extraordinary race drivers by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Hans Herrmann in Sebring Hall of Legends - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

In the lead up to this year’s race, Hans Herrmann received this very rare honor.

Legendary achievements: Hans Herrmann and Porsche - Source: Porsche AG

Legendary achievements: Hans Herrmann and Porsche - Source: Porsche AG

The former Porsche works driver, born 1928, won the Sebring classic twice, contributed to Porsche claiming the manufacturers’ world title in 1969 and 1970, and clinched the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans with Richard Attwood in 1970.

Convalescence: Works driver Timo Bernhard on the way to recovery

Timo Bernhard - Source: Porsche AG

Timo Bernhard - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche factory pilot Timo Bernhard has to take several weeks of time out. During testing with an Audi in Sebring (USA), he went off the track at high speed through no fault of his own and slammed backwards into the barrier. At hospital an injury to his cervical spine was diagnosed. An operation is not necessary. However, Bernhard has to remain in the USA for some time and is wearing a neck brace for support.

“I’ll take things easy so that I can get fit again quickly,” says the Porsche works driver. “My wife Katharina has joined me here in Florida and she’s helping me with the necessary check-up examinations. As soon as the doctors give me the clearance to fly, we’ll be back in Germany.”

Carrera Cup Asia: Tenth season features largest grid in history

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Porsche AG

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Porsche AG

With 27 competitors, the Carrera Cup Asia enters its tenth season with the largest grid line up in its history.

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

In Shanghai and Singapore the Asian Carrera Cup runs as support to the Formula 1.

Carrera Cup Australia: Champion Craig Baird unbeatable in Melbourne

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Craig Baird Carrera Cup Australia

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012
Title: Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Craig Baird Carrera Cup Australia

Three races, three victories and the points lead. After a faultless weekend as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne (16/18 March), Craig Baird elbowed Alex Davison from the top of the points’ table. Davison had led the series after winning two races at the first weekend in Adelaide (3/4 March).

Todd Kelly of the Jack Daniel's Racing team March 03, 2012 Start Carrera Cup Australia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Todd Kelly of the Jack Daniel's Racing team March 03, 2012
Start Carrera Cup Australia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Ex-Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen gave an impressive performance at his guest drive in Melbourne yielding two fourth places. This marked the first time at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for the German. Next round: 4 to 6 May in Perth, WA.

During the Australian Grand Prix, round 2 of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia at the Albert Park, MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia, Thursday, March 15, 2012.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen - Round 2 of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Additional race on Saturday

Start Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland - 04 Lausitzring 2011 - Source: Porsche AG

Start
Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland - 04 Lausitzring 2011 - Source: Porsche AG

The German Carrera Cup takes off: In addition to the 80 kilometre race on Sunday, competitors in 2012 also contest a 60 kilometre sprint on Saturday. Also new this season is the B classification for amateurs as well as a rookie category for new-comers up to 25 years old. The price money increases by 100,000 Euro to now total more than half a million Euro. Nine race weekends with an event on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife as the highlight make up the calendar. The season kicks off on 28 April in Hockenheim.

Carrera Cup Japan: New junior driver – season highlight alongside Formula 1

Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Again in 2012, a talented young driver is given the chance to launch his career in the Carrera Cup Japan. 18-year-old Ryo Hirakawa competes with the support of Porsche Japan in a 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Garmin Team. Hirakawa comes from formula racing and contests his first GT season. He faces tough opposition from the likes of GT aces Igor Sushko and Shinichi Yamaji from the Japanese Super GT.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Garmin Team: Ryo Hirakawa Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Garmin Team: Ryo Hirakawa Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Two Porsche Centres join the series for the first time, with Excellence Motorsports running the 100th 911 GT3 Cup imported into Japan. Okayama hosts the first of eleven races on 1 April. Season highlight: The race as support to the Japan Grand Prix in Suzuka, 5/7 October.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Shinichi Yamaji Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Shinichi Yamaji Carrera Cup Japan - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

Race notes: Record grids in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA

GT3 Cup Challenge USA - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

GT3 Cup Challenge USA - Season 2012 - Source: Porsche AG

and the GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil with 39 and 37 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup respectively.

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012 Title: GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil

Motorsports: Season: Season 2012
Title: GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil

 

+++ After just the tenth of twelve races in the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East 2011/12, Abdulaziz Al Faisal from Saudi Arabia is the champion.

PORSCHE GT3 ROUNDS 7 AND 8 REEM CIRCUIT FEBRUARY 2012 - Season 2012 -Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Abdulaziz Al Faisal GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East - Source: Porsche AG

PORSCHE GT3 ROUNDS 7 AND 8 REEM CIRCUIT FEBRUARY 2012 - Season 2012 -Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Abdulaziz Al Faisal GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East - Source: Porsche AG

+++ Manthey Racing contracted Porsche works driver Marco Holzer for the International GT Open to race a new 911 GT3 RSR in the pan-European championship. His teammate is Britain’s Nick Tandy. The pair competes against their works driver colleague Patrick Pilet, who shares driving duties with Raymond Narac in a 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad.

SOURCE: Porsche Motorsport / Porsche AG Media  Press Database  

Communication Porsche AG
Motorsportpress

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in ALMS, American Le Mans Series

 

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Daytona 24 hour race makes Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup pilots shine

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup

Makes cup pilots shine at 24 hour race in Daytona

Stuttgart. At the famous 24 hour race in Daytona/USA in a field stronger than ever before, pilots from the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup impressed with outstanding performances.

At his first attempt, René Rast (Germany), the Supercup champion of 2010 and 2011, won the long distance classic in Florida with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup together with Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) and Americans Andy Lally and John Potter.

Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands, title winner of the world’s fastest international one-make race series in 2008 and 2009, scored second place with Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) as well as Marc Goossens (Belgium), Spencer Pumpelly and Steven Bertheau (both USA). 

“A dream has come true with this victory,” said René Rast, winner of five Supercup rounds last year, including the Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. In recognition of his outstanding achievements last season, Porsche gave Rast the opportunity of competing in Daytona.

Jeroen Bleekemolen stated:

“That was undoubtedly the most intensely competitive 24 hour race I’ve ever driven. To finish second here is a fantastic effort from the entire team.”

Jonas Krauss, Manager of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, was also very pleased with his drivers’ performances on the Daytona International Speedway.

“Our pilots have done an excellent job in this world-class field,” he said.

“The fact that René could win at his Daytona debut and Jeroen also climbed the podium in second clearly shows that some of the best GT pilots in the world are contesting the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and they can hold their own anywhere.”

 

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Other Supercup pilots in Daytona were Britain’s Sean Edwards and Nick Tandy, who finished in 18th place.

Position 24 was occupied by Frenchman Kévin Estre, the 2011 “Rookie of the Year” in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Porsche also gave him the chance to start in Daytona in recognition of his strong performance as the most successful Supercup newcomer by far.


The three Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb, who shared the GT podium in Daytona with René Rast and Jeroen Bleekemolen, also first proved themselves in the Porsche makes cup series. Wolf Henzler was the Supercup champion of 2004, and Marc Lieb clinched the title in the 2002 Porsche Carrera Cup.

SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Press Database    Communication Porsche AG Motorsportpress

 

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Triple victory for Porsche in strongest GT field in history at Daytona 24 Hours, USA

 

 GT Podium

Press Release

29/01/2012

Magnus Racing, (l.-r.): Rene Rast, Richard Lietz, Andy Lally, John Potter

Stuttgart. The 24 hour race in Daytona remains Porsche territory:

At the cliff-hanger 50th anniversary of the long distance classic in Florida/USA, the Zuffenhausen sports car manufacturer celebrated a convincing triple triumph in the GT class against strong opposition from the likes of Audi, BMW, Corvette and Ferrari.

(l.-r.): Andy Lally, John Potter, Richard Lietz, Rene Rast

Victory went to Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Magnus Racing with teammates René Rast (Germany) as well as Americans Andy Lally and John Potter.

Porsche Factory Pilot Richard Lietz (Austria) – Magnus Racing

Magnus Racing – René Rast (Germany)  

  Magnus Racing – American Andy Lally  

Magnus Racing – American John Potter.

#44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

After a thrilling finale in front of record crowds on the Daytona International Speedway, Lietz saw the flag 9.412 seconds ahead of his factory pilot colleague Wolf Henzler.

#67 TRG Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

The previous year’s winner from Germany shared the cockpit of TRG Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Marc Goossens (Belgium), Spencer Pumpelly (USA) and Steven Bertheau (USA).

Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Marc Goossens (Belgium),                                   Steven Bertheau (USA), Factory Pilot Wolf Henzler, Spencer Pumpelly (USA)

Scoring third place was Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) with Americans Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the legendary starting number 59 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by the Daytona-winning squad Brumos Racing.

Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) with Americans Hurley Haywood,           Leh Keen and Andrew Davis – Brumos Racing Team

Today we all witnessed why Daytona is one of the world’s most fascinating races,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

“For me that was a 24 hour sprint. The front-runners were incredibly close right to the flag. I’m very pleased to see that we had virtually no technical problems with our cars and the teams and drivers did such a magnificent job under difficult conditions.

Congratulations and well done to you all.”

Joerg Bergmiester, Patrick Long, Marc Lieb, Marco Holzer, Patrick Pilet, Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz – Porsche Factory Pilots

Porsche’s head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, commented after this latest success:

“The 50th running of this classic was unbelievably exciting. For much of the time, there were ten GT cars in one lap. The spectators were again treated to some fantastic motorsport. And it’s great of course to celebrate an impressive victory in front of such spectacular crowds. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup again brilliantly underlined its outstanding reliability at this extremely difficult race.”

With its latest win, Porsche has now scored 22 overall and 74 class wins, making it the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race.

The anniversary race of the endurance classic in Florida, at which the new Porsche 911 ran as the safety car, was stronger than ever before. In the GT class alone, 45 cars lined up to start.

“To beat so many great drivers, the crème de la crème of GT pilots, is simply awesome,” said the winner Richard Lietz.

“Winning this race for Porsche is a highlight of my career, comparable only to my two victories in Le Mans.”

His teammate René Rast, the two-time champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, to whom Porsche gave the chance to compete at Daytona in recognition of his excellent performance last season, said:

“Everything ran smoothly. We didn’t experience a single technical problem. That was only the second 24 hour race of my career and undoubtedly the toughest. During one of my stints I spent three and a half hours at the wheel. That was incredibly exhausting.”

In the gripping final phase, Wolf Henzler again pulled out all stops, but the leading Richard Lietz managed to stave him off to the flag.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Wolf Henzler

“He was just too quick today,” Henzler stated. “But to climb the podium again after my win last year is a huge success for me.”

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Brumos Racing, which took off into the race from pole position, Marc Lieb pitted shortly before the flag for a ‘splash and dash’ refuelling stop.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Marc Lieb

Despite having led the race for long distances up until this point, he was unable to rejoin the fight for victory.

“We experienced a bit of bad luck towards the end with our race strategy,” he said. “But although I was rather disappointed initially, it’s still a great team effort to come third against such an incredibly strong GT field.”

Andrew Davis, Leh Keen and Marc Lieb – Brumos Racing

Turning the fastest race lap of the entire GT field, Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany) turned heads at the classic on the Daytona International Speedway.

Porsche Factory Pilot – Marco Holzer

Alex Job Racing #23

He didn’t, however, manage to reach the flag.

“Everything was running beautifully with our car until the retirement,” he commented.

“But we had a bit of bad luck under the yellow flag. Three times we came in to refuel just before a caution phase and lost laps because of it. That’s rough.”

Lady Luck wasn’t with Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) either.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports

With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports, which they shared with American Seth Neiman and Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland), they were holding their own with the front-runners early on, but fell back and had to settle for 15th place at the flag.

Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller (D/USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

“Early on in the race we were running in the top three,” said Patrick Long. “Our pace was very fast.

But Seth’s collision with a Daytona prototype put us out of serious contention.”

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Flying Lizard Motorsports

GT class

1. Lietz/Lally/Rast/Potter (A/USA/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 727 laps

2. Henzler/Bleekemolen/Bertheau/Goossens/Pumpelly (D/NL/USA/B/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 727 laps

3. Lieb/Haywood/Davis/Keen (D/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 726 laps

4. Edwards/Bremer/Liddell (USA/DK/GB), Camaro GT.R, 726 laps

5. Beretta/Bertolini/Vilander (MC/I/SF), Ferrari 458, 726 laps

6. Franchitti/Bomarito/Hinchcliffe/Tremblay (GB/USA/CAN/USA), Mazda RX-8, 722 laps

7. Pilet/Farnbacher/Keating/Simonsen (F/D/USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 721 laps

11. Armindo/Curtis/Lewis/Sofronas/Willsey (F/USA/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 713 laps

14. Avenatti/Faieta/Poordad/Sweedler/Wagner (USA/USA/USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 707 laps

15. Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller (D/USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 706 laps

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SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG Motorsportpress

 

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

Porsche

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

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

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

The race

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

The circuit

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

The Porsche drivers

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

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

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

US racing legend Hurley Haywood (USA)

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

Audi factory pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Switzerland)

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

Two-time champion René Rast (Germany)

 “Rookie of the Year” Kévin Estre (France)

What they said before the race

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

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

Jörg Bergmeister:

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

Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) 

Patrick Long:

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

Patrick Long (USA)

Marc Lieb:

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

Marc Lieb (Germany)

Wolf Henzler:

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

Wolf Henzler (Germany)

Marco Holzer:

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

Marco Holzer (Germany)

Richard Lietz:

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

Richard Lietz (Austria)

Patrick Pilet:

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

Patrick Pilet (France)

 

Porsche successes

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

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

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

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

The schedule

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

Other interesting facts

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

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

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

The calendar

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

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

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

Porsche

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

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

  • Food and Beverage (3 meals per day)

  • Lounge area

  • Track feed from the race

  • Team/Sponsor presentations

  • Driving Simulators for xBox

  • Gift bag

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

”Patrick Long added:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darren Law

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

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

Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Facts and Figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

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

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

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

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

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Press Database

Public Relations and Media
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American Le Mans Series, rd 9 / Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, rd 6 – Road Atlanta, USA

Fifth grid spot for fastest Porsche

Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister

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

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (USA)

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

Porsche factory pilot Patrick Pilet (France)

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

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

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

Bryan Sellers (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany)

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

Martin Ragginger (Austria)

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad

 

Darren Law (USA)

Porsche factory pilot Marco Holzer (Germany)

Seth Neiman (USA)

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

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

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


Qualifying result

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

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

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

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Facts and Figures

This is the American Le Mans Series

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

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

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

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

SOURCE:  Porsche AG Media Database
Public Relations and Media
Motorsportpress

 

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

Richard Lietz (l), Marc Lieb (r)

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

Patrick Pilet (l), Wolf Henzler (r)

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

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

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

Marc Lieb (r)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicolas Armindo

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

Christian Ried

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

Marc Goossens

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

 

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

 

Marco Holzer and Patrick Pilet

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

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

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

The Le Mans Series

Contested for the first time in 2004, the Le Mans Series (LMS) is open for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations are based on those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Five six-hour races are contested this season throughout Europe.

GTE Pro class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers (previously known as the GT2 class) is traditionally the best supported: Modified standard sports cars with up to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms.
GTE-Am class: Like the GTE-Pro, but with 2010-vehicle specifications. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that each vehicle may have just one professional driver.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kg.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp, GT-class homologated engines and a 900 kg minimum weight.
FLM class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to the class. Points are only allocated for placings in each class. Championship titles are awarded for drivers, manufacturers and teams in all five classes. With four title wins in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010,

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

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

 

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