Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 2: 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic
Stuttgart. The Sebring 12 Hours is the oldest and toughest sports car race in the USA. Three Porsche 911 RSR will tackle the GTLM class at the 63rd running of the prestigious classic contested on the Sebring International Raceway on 21 March.
For the Porsche North America works team and the Falken Tire customer squad, eight works drivers will do their utmost to repeat Porsche’s win from last year on the airfield circuit in the heart of Florida, which is notorious for its bumpy surface. With 18 overall victories and 67 class wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Sebring 12 hour race.
Last year’s winners Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) as well as Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) share driving duties in the number 912 vehicle.
Tackling the race for the Falken Tire customer outfit are the Porsche works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), reinforced by Bryan Sellers (USA). Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA) contests the GTD class at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT America fielded by Muehlner Motorsports.
The Porsche vehicles
The Porsche 911 GT America, built specifically for the GTD class of the 2014-inaugurated Tudor United SportsCar Championship, features a four-litre, six-cylinder engine and also produces 470 hp. The vehicle is an improved version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the most successful and widely-produced race car in the world.
Comments before the race
Patrick Pilet (#911): “Sebring is a very special race on a very special circuit. It’s always a hard fight for victory and the avid fans give the whole event a fantastic ambience.”
Nick Tandy (#911): “It’s always a highlight to compete in Sebring, regardless in which series you compete for the rest of the year. On this storied track you truly breathe sports car history and that fascinates me.”
Richard Lietz (#911): “Sebring is a race that throws extremes at you. You can’t afford to make the slightest error – if you do you have no chance.”
Earl Bamber (#912): “It didn’t go so well for us at Daytona, so now I’m hoping we can make up lost ground in the championship at Sebring.”
Jörg Bergmeister (#912): “Sebring is a real classic. To drive at the limit on this bumpy track takes everything from a driver. But it’s always huge fun.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#912): “At Daytona we weren’t able to really underline the potential of the 911 RSR over the whole distance. Now I’m hoping we can do this in Sebring and fight for victory.”
Wolf Henzler (#17): “Last year Sebring was the first race with the 911 RSR for my Falken Tire team. Since then we’ve won Petit Le Mans and now I reckon our chances for victory in Sebring look good as well.”
Patrick Long (#17): “Even though I’m concentrating on my WEC campaign with Patrick Dempsey, I’m looking forward to the chance of supporting Wolf and Bryan in Sebring.”
This is the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), P (Prototype) and PC (Prototype Challenge). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT America contesting the GTD class.
Tag Archives: Wolf Henzler
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
Porsche holds manufacturer point lead with strong team effort, Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 3: Long Beach, USA
Porsche holds manufacturer point lead with strong team effort
Stuttgart. Factory trio of Porsche 911 RSR entered in Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach fought both the city streets of Southern California and the competition, and left retaining the lead in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Manufacturer Championship point standings.
The No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria) took the checkered flag in fourth-place with the team car, the No. 912 of Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark), fifth in class.
The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA) finished eighth.
The race hinged on a single pit stop with approximately one hour remaining in the 100-minute race, by far the shortest race of the season. First, the No. 911 stopped and Richard Lietz relinquished the car to Nick Tandy with fresh Michelin tires and a full fuel load from their fifth place qualifying position.
One lap later, the No. 912 stopped with Patrick Long taking over from Michael Christensen who was running sixth at the time. After the rotation, the No. 911 gained one spot moving to fourth while the No. 912 did the same, moving to fifth. From the sole pit stop to the conclusion of the third round of the championship, Nick Tandy ran a mostly unchallenged race to cross under the checkered flag 27 seconds behind the winners.
The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR with factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga.) also gained one spot on their starting position finishing eight with efficient pit work.
The eighth-place follows a fifth earned during the debut of the privately entered 911 RSR at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
Nick Tandy: “The result is better than our pace this weekend as we improved on our qualifying position. We scored two high points places for the team and gained points back on the championship leader. It’s not a podium but it’s two cars in the top-five, so it’s good.”
Richard Lietz: “I think we did the maximum we could do. We didn’t have the speed today to stay with the guys in front of us but we did our best. I think it was positive but we need to work to find the additional speed.”
Patrick Long: “I am happy we persevered with a lot of challenges today. Fourth and fifth are not first and second but it’s a long season so we need to put points on the board. I didn’t have a radio for the whole stint so I didn’t know if the BMW was on the lead lap. I just pushed as hard as I could at the end. It was a good hard, clean fight with Bill Auberlen. Michael did a really solid job and we just made the best of what we had this weekend.“
Michael Christensen: “That was fun. Obviously, it was a little bit of a train most of the stint. That’s how it is, it’s tough to get by on a street circuit but I did my best to move forward.”
Wolf Henzler: “We have to sit down now after this race and look at what we did and what we can do better. We still need to understand the car better and how it reacts to setup changes on the Falken tire. I think we will have something better for Laguna Seca.”
1. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 75 laps
2. Müller/Edwards (D/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 75
3. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 75
4. Lietz/Tandy (A/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 75
5. Christensen/Long (DK/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 75
6. Priaulx/Auberlen (GB/USA), BMW Z4 GTE, 75
8. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 74
Round 4 of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship will take place on May 4 in Laguna Seca, California.
Please note: The Twitter channel @PorscheRaces provides live updates with the latest information and photos from race tracks around the world.
SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG – Motorsport Press
Porsche 911 RSR make up positions after start, Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France
Stuttgart. The race is on: On Saturday at 15.00 hours, the honorary starter of the Le Mans 24 Hour race Jim France, the founder of the American Grand-Am Series, sent the 56 cars on their way.
Watched by Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG, and Matthias Müller, Porsche AG Chairman of the Executive Board, two Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche AG Team Manthey as well as five customer team-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR headed into the 81st edition of the most famous long distance race in the world.
In the first hour of the race, in which there was a long caution period due to an accident, Porsche works driver Marc Lieb (Germany) moved up into second place in the GTE-Pro class at the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92.
His works driver colleague Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) made up three places in the 911 RSR with the starting number 91 also run by Porsche AG Team Manthey and now ranks fourth.
In the GTE-Am class three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR sit in the lead: Front-runner is Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA), followed by his factory pilot colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Paoli Ruberti (Italy).
Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC
Communication Porsche AG
American Le Mans Series, round in Sebring, Florida USA
Stuttgart. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Falken Tire squad, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and his teammate Bryan Sellers (USA) and works driver Nick Tandy (GB) finished the opening round of the American Le Mans Series season on the GT podium in third place.
With this result, they were the best of the Porsche pilots on the bumpy 17-turn Sebring circuit which hosts America’s oldest endurance race.
The team qualified in 12th place in class, but Henzler timed his acceleration at the green flag perfectly, scooting to sixth place in the 500 meters between the start line and turn one. Then, with perfect pit stops and some great driving in traffic from all three racers, the customer Porsche entry outran and outlasted factory teams from Corvette, BMW, SRT Viper and Aston Martin.
“When the week began, I wouldn’t have thought we had a chance to make it on the podium as we didn’t have the speed of the others. Our Porsche was consistent, with the engine, brakes and handling all perfect, and we made up positions one at a time until we moved into the top three.
We are very satisfied with third place. We tested several times here, and that certainly helped, but we have more work to do for the season. One of the secrets to our success today was the fast and consistent driving of my colleagues Bryan and Nick,” said Henzler, the 2008 ALMS co-champion.
The other Porsche customer team in the GT class was the Paul Miller Racing orsche 911 GT3 RSR, with factory drivers Richard Lietz (AUS) and Marco Holzer (GER) joining Bryce Miller (USA), finished in sixth place. Holzer, who will drive this car all season with Miller, was pleased with the performance of his Porsche for the last half of the race
“This was not an easy race for us as our setup in the beginning needed modification, but we picked up our pace and made up four positions in the second half to give Paul Miller Racing its best Sebring finish ever.
Bryce and Richard drove great, and a sixth position gives us valuable points for the season,” said Holzer.
In the GTC class for matched Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars, no less than seven cars led the class during the 12-hour race, with the #66 TRG Porsche with Damien Faulkner (IRL) in the lead late in the race when an air gun failure during a tire change allowed the #22 Alex Job Racing Porsche being driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL) to take the lead with 90 minutes remaining.
Bleekemolen, former Porsche Mobil1 Supercup champion, who shared the driving duties with Cooper MacNeil and Dion von Moltke (both USA), then took the car to the checkered flag to win the class.
Round two of the American Le Mans Series takes place on 20 April on the street circuit in Long Beach, California USA.
1. Milner/Gavin/Westbrook (USA/GB/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 333 laps
2. Bruni/Beretta/Malucelli (ITA/MC/ITA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 333
3. Henzler/Sellers/Tandy (GER/USA/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 332
4. J.Mueller/Martin/Auberlen (MC/BEL/USA), BMW Z4, 330
5. Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel (GER/BEL/USA), SRT Viper, 329
6. Holzer/Miller/Lietz (GER/USA/AUS), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 329
7. D.Mueller/Hand/Edwards BMW Z4 (CH/USA/USA), BMW Z4, 321
8. Senna/Muecke/Turner (BRA/GER/GB), Aston Martin Vantage V8, 318
9. Lamy/Della Lana/Johnson (POR/CAN/USA), Aston Martin Vantage V8, 309
10. Kendall/Wittmer/Bomerito (USA/CAN/USA), SRT Viper, 303
1. Bleekemolen/MacNeil/von Moltke (NL/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 315 laps
2. Pumpelly/Wong/Canache, Jr. (USA/USA/VEN), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 315
3. Edwards/Cisneros/Seefried (GB/USA/GER), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 314
1. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Richard Westbrook, Chevrolet, 24 points
2. Gianmaria Bruni, Olivier Beretta, Matteo Malucelli, Ferrari, 20
3. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Nick Tandy, Porsche, 17
4. Joerg Mueller, Maxime Martin, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 14
5. Ryan Dalziel, Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher, SRT Viper, 12
6. Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer, Bryce Miller, Porsche, 10
7. Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, John Edwards, BMW, 7
8. Darren Turner, Stefan Muecke, Bruno Senna, Aston Martin Vantage V8, 7
9. Jonathan Bomarito, Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer, SRT Viper, 6
10. Pedro Lamy, Paul Della Lena, Billy Johnson, Aston Martin Vantage V8, 5
Manufacturers – GT
1. Chevrolet, 24
2. Ferrari, 20
3. Porsche, 17
4. BMW, 14
5. SRT Viper, 12
Teams – GT
1. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 24
2. RISI, Ferrari, 20
3. Team Falken Tire, Porsche, 17
4. Rahal RLL, BMW, 14
The American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The field is divided into five classes that start together but are classified separately:
GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers traditionally receives the most support: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series like the 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 a 900 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.
SOURCE: American Le Mans Series Porsche AG Media Database
Communication Porsche AG, Motorsport Press