Tag Archives: Head of Porsche Motorsport
Porsche 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR are coming to the “ring” FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, Nürburgring Test Drives
Porsche aims to repeat last year’s victory at Florida’s sports car classic, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA
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.
Porsche keen to repeat last year’s GT victory, Sports Car World Championship WEC, rd 3, Le Mans 24 Hours/France
Stuttgart. It was a debut made to order: At its first ever outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year, the Porsche 911 RSR brought home a double victory. At the 82nd edition of the world’s most famous long distance race, contested on the Circuit des 24 Heures on 14/15 June, Porsche Team Manthey will again field a pair of 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. Taking up the challenge alongside the factory squad, Porsche customer teams from Europe and America again contest the GTE-Am class, which Porsche also won last year. The classic event in provincial France, where Porsche is chronicled as the most successful manufacturer with 16 overall victories, is regarded as the highlight of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC).
First contested in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the toughest automobile race in the world and represents the greatest challenge motorsport has to offer. What makes this classic so unique is also the 13.65 kilometre “Circuit des 24 Heures”, one of the oldest and fastest race tracks in the world with 38 corners and the legendary five-kilometre long Mulsanne straight. Almost 75 percent of a lap is driven at full throttle.
Double points are awarded for round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC at Le Mans. Tackling the GTE-Pro class in the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR are Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). Sharing the #92 cockpit are their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and last year’s winner Richard Lietz (Austria). Customer teams take on the GTE-Am class with a pair of 911 RSR: For the Dempsey Racing-Proton outfit, Patrick Dempsey (USA) and Joe Foster (USA) join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA). Christian Ried (Germany), Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) compete for Proton Competition. The customer squads IMSA Performance Matmut and Prospeed Competition each bring two Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in last year’s spec to the start. IMSA Performance Matmut has contracted an all-French driver line-up with Erik Maris, Jean Marc Merlin and Eric Hélary as well as Raymond Narac, Nicolas Armindo and David Hallyday. Taking on the challenge for Prospeed Competition are Cooper MacNeil (USA), Bret Curtis (USA) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) as well as Frenchmen Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR which Porsche has campaigned in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship since 2013 is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut last year the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach scored a brilliant double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the 911 RSR received improvements in many areas. In addition to winning the WEC season opener at Silverstone, this racer has also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring. Through the balance of performance ruling, the 911 RSR for Le Mans must now weigh 25 kilograms more than last year’s contender, with the restrictors reduced from 29.6 to 29.3 millimetres.
Free practice on the Circuit des 24 Heures is held on Wednesday, 11 June, from 16.00 to 20.00 hrs, followed by the first qualifying session from 22.00 hrs to midnight. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Thursday, 12 June, from 19.00 to 21.00 hrs and from 22.00 hrs to midnight. The start flag for the 24 hour pursuit drops on Saturday, 14 June, at 15.00 hours. The 56-strong field is sent on its way by ex-Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.
Eurosport International and Eurosport 2 alternately broadcast the complete race live. The last two hours of free practice as well as the three qualifying sessions and the warm-up are also televised live. Also aired during the week are various programmes highlighting the world’s most famous long distance race with news, interviews, portraits and background reports. Detailed TV information is available on http://www.eurosport.com.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:
“Le Mans is the highlight of the year. For our teams and drivers this race represents an exceptional challenge – and we’re feeling highly motivated and very well prepared. After our double victory at the season-opener in Silverstone, our car now has to carry 25 extra kilograms of ballast and the diameter of the two restrictors is now 0.3 millimetres smaller than last year’s. When considering the additional changes made, as against 2013, at one or the other competitor one has to question to what extent is the Balance of Performance actually balanced. We feel it is a matter of utmost urgency in the spirit of the sport to find a regulation for the classification of vehicles where you don’t have to fear being punished for a good performance, like what happened to us after Silverstone. Nevertheless, we’ll work extremely hard to do a good job at Le Mans – just like last year.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91):
“I’ve raced at Le Mans since 2002 and it’s a fantastic feeling to be back again this year. It’s the season highlight for me. This race has a very special atmosphere and it’s always incredibly demanding. More than anything I enjoy the extremely fast corners, they’re the most fun. Last year we came second behind our teammates and I wouldn’t mind at all if we switch positions this year.”
Patrick Pilet (#91):
“Le Mans is a very special race, especially for me as a Frenchman. It’s always an incredible feeling to go racing on such an extreme circuit in front of so many fans. Aside from the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans is the greatest race on Earth. We are well prepared and our 911 RSR is a strong contender, especially on the long straights. It would be fantastic if we could turn this into a win. We were so close last year.”
Nick Tandy (#91):
“Ever since I began racing for Porsche at Le Mans in 2010 it has been my goal to secure a podium spot here. You only get this chance once a year and I’ll do everything within my power to make it happen. For a race driver, Le Mans is a magical place. Even when you arrive in the paddock you get a sense of the great history. And the Circuit des 24 Heures is something very special with its unique combination of race track and normal country roads. It’s an honour for me to drive again for Porsche at Le Mans this year.”
Marco Holzer (#92):
“At my first race in Le Mans in 2010 we managed to achieve a podium finish with third place. When I think back to the cheering crowds at the award ceremony it still sends shivers down my spine. I’d very much like to experience this feeling again and our chances don’t look too bad. We have a great car and a strong team behind us. But in Le Mans you can’t afford to make one mistake. You have to be totally focussed otherwise you can forget it.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):
“As a Frenchman you simply have to race at Le Mans. And you want to win. Your family is watching at the track, your friends are there supporting you. This makes it hugely motivating to achieve everything you’ve set out to do. As a child I dreamed of Porsche. I launched my racing career with Porsche. If I could now win Le Mans with Porsche, well that would just be the best thing in the world. But first we have to face 24 gruelling hours where pretty much anything can happen.”
Richard Lietz (#92):
“I have many wonderful memories of Le Mans, especially my wins in 2007, 2010 and 2013. It’s the greatest race in the world. I love it. If I couldn’t be here as a driver, I’d buy a ticket and watch the race as a spectator. Earlier, only victory in Le Mans counted. Since 2013, it has become part of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship which means that if you can’t win then you have to make sure you bring home as many points as possible. The connection between Porsche and Le Mans is pure racing fascination. Getting the chance to compete at Le Mans for Porsche, the most successful manufacturer in the history of this race, is motivation enough. You automatically do your absolute best to win.”
Patrick Long (#77):
“Le Mans is always a huge challenge. Everyone wants to win, regardless of the category they’re contesting. I’m really looking forward to racing with Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster and helping the whole team to fulfil their dreams at Le Mans. Last year we narrowly missed out on a podium spot. This time we’re determined to make it.”
Communication Porsche AG
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)
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).
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.”
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.”
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.”
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)
“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)
“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 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)
“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)
“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)
“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.”
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:
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.
Product and Technology Communication
Porsche 919 Hybrid arrives at the Sarthe, Sports Car WEC, Pre-race test Le Mans 24-Hours/France – LMP1
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.
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.
Because about nine kilometres of the legendary circuit are on public roads, normally it is impossible to test at the “Circuit de la Sarthe”.
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.
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.
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.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #14
“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.“
“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.“
“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
“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.”
“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.“
“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.”
Source: Product and Technology Communication, Porsche AG
Porsche teams conduct successful Le Mans test, Sports Car WEC, test day Le Mans 24 Hours, France, GT
Stuttgart. At the traditional test day on the Circuit des 24 Heures on Sunday, teams and drivers entered the last and decisive preparation phase leading up to the Le Mans 24 Hours. The legendary long distance classic will be run on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Championship (WEC). Porsche Team Manthey’s two Porsche 911 RSR, which scored a double class win at their first Le Mans outing last year in the GTE Pro class, concluded a testing programme without any technical problems in dry and partly sunny conditions.
The three Porsche customer outfits Dempsey Racing-Proton, IMSA Performance Matmut, and Prospeed Competition, also used the test day to set up their cars for the challenging 13.629 kilometre circuit. They are contesting the GTE Am class. The Le Mans 24 Hours runs for the 82nd time this year and is regarded as the highlight of the season.
Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France), and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) took the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR through its paces. Their works driver colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France), and Richard Lietz (Austria), who celebrated his third Le Mans victory last year, shared driving duties in the second 911 with starting number 92 run by the Porsche Team Manthey squad. The team entrust the two factory-911 to the same driver line-ups for the race.
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:
“Basically our drivers are happy with the handling of the 911 RSR. Now we’ll focus on preparing for the race. Unfortunately Joerg Bergmeister had to make a brief excursion into the gravel trap and slightly damaged the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR when he avoided another car. It didn’t make sense to do the repairs here. We’ll take a good look at it when we get home, after all, we want to drive this car in a fortnight at the 24 hour race. I don’t think all the manufacturers laid their cards on the table today, so as to avoid risking being penalised. It would have been better to find a regulation where you don’t have to be afraid of being punished for a good performance, like what happened after our double victory at the season-opener at Silverstone. The current situation doesn’t do a season highlight like the 24 Hours of Le Mans justice.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91):
“Basically a test day is to gain as much information as possible. Unfortunately I missed the braking point in the Ford curve and actually wanted to drive straight ahead through the gravel trap to avoid hitting the kerbs at the edge. But the car took off, flew far and landed hard. For this reason, the afternoon session fell flat.”
Patrick Pilet (#91):
“It’s always wonderful to be back in Le Mans. It’s my all-time favourite track. And today I immediately felt great here. Our car has a great set-up and I’m certain that we’ll tackle the race well prepared.”
Nick Tandy (#91):
“This test in particular is always a good chance to see how the car handles on this rather unique track. Towards the end of the morning session we began to change certain things on the set-up. It’s important on such a day to make the best use of the little time you have. I’m sure we’ve done this today.”
Marco Holzer (#92):
“I didn’t contest Le Mans last year so it felt great to turn some laps on this fantastic circuit again. This morning we had a lot of dirt on the track which gave very little grip, but over the course of the day the conditions improved. Today it was all about exploring how our tyres behave on this very special circuit and how the grip level changes. We managed to do what we had planned and we can now head to the race feeling quite confident.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92):
“We tried out several things on the car, but the many safety car phases, which were intended as a practice for the race, made this somewhat difficult. Still, this test day was a good preparation for the race. We learned a lot and I hope that we can use what we’ve learned in two weeks.”
Richard Lietz (#92):
“The test day ran well and we made the best use out of it. First and foremost it was about seeing how the tyres and the car worked together on a circuit that at times runs on a normal country road. I feel we’ve made progress and I’m looking forward to the race.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is contested on 14/15 June as round three of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC on the Circuit 24 Heures in Le Mans/France. Double points towards the championship are awarded for drivers, teams and manufacturers.
Source: Communication Porsche AG, Motorsport Press
An action-packed year awaits the racing legends of the Porsche Museum
Stuttgart. This year, the Porsche Museum will again be showcasing racing vehicles from the marque’s successful history at the most prestigious classic car events around the globe. Calendar highlights for the ‘Rolling Museum’ will include the Mille Miglia and the Goodwood ‘Festival of Speed’. The brand ambassador’s key dates for 2014 are already set:
From 15th to 18th May the Porsche Museum will be entering an impressive starting field for the 1,000 miles of the legendary Mille Miglia. Competing in the famous long-distance road race will be a 550 Spyder, two 356 Coupés and a 356 Speedster. The drivers of the unique vehicles will include Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, and racing legend Jacky Ickx. For both drivers and vehicles the Mille Miglia is still a challenge today, as the new route of 1,750 kilometres is covered in just four days and leads in the main through differing weather zones.
From the 6th to 7th July, the Porsche Museum’s classic racing cars will participate in the traditional ‘Paul Pietsch Klassik’. Over a course of 450 kilometres two-time rally world champion Walter Röhrl and Le Mans winner and DTM champion Hans-Joachim Stuck will be driving a 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and a 911
Speedster across the south-west of Germany.
The Goodwood ‘Festival of Speed’ is inconceivable without a Porsche. An annual event since 1993 on the estate of Lord March in West Sussex, it takes place this year from 26th to 29th June. The ‘Festival of Speed’ is the largest event of its kind anywhere in the world. The spectators can look forward to seeing numerous famous classic Porsche cars. The focus this year is on the ‘Turbo’ theme. The cars to be seen will therefore include a Porsche 959 Group B, a 964 Turbo, a 993 Turbo and a Porsche 935, known as the ‘Baby’ due to its scaled down 1.4-litre engine. Also awaiting the visitors are two special Porsche 917s: the Porsche 917 KH, which brings back memories of the first overall Porsche victory at Le Mans, and the Porsche 917/30, which was developed for the CanAm race series.
Coinciding with Porsche’s return to the 24-hour endurance race with the Porsche 919 Hybrid, a number of famous Porsche vehicles will also be appearing at the Le Mans Classic from 4th to 6th July. This summer the Porsche Museum is sending four participants to France – a 911 Carrera RSR Targa Florio, the Porsche 935/77 Group 5 racing car, a 911 Turbo Cabriolet and a 911 Turbo 3.0.
From 10th to 12th July, the Porsche Museum will then be lining up several historic legends at the ‘Ennstal Classic’, where this year Porsche will be the main theme. With a hill prologue, tours through the Tauern Mountains and a city grand prix, the three-day event provides a festival of motoring for drivers and spectators. In addition to a number of Porsche 356 cars, one of which will be driven by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, a 911 2.2 Targa will also compete. The visitors will have the chance to admire the skills of former racing drivers such as Walter Röhrl in a 718 WRS, Jacky Ickx in the legendary 550 A Spyder and current Porsche works driver Marc Lieb in a GT1’98 as they take part in the ‘Chopard Grand Prix von Gröbming’.
The Porsche Museum will also be taking its classic cars to the ‘6th Schloss Bensberg Classic’, which takes place around the Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg from 18th to 20th July, and from 14th to 17th August it will be present at the famous ‘Pebble Beach – Concours d’Elegance’ event in California. From the 21st to 24th August the Porsche Museum will then be lining up in the ‘Sachsen Classic’ in Saxony. In the course of this classic car rally, vehicles including a 356 Speedster, a 911 Targa and a 911 Turbo will cover a course of 610 kilometres from Zwickau to Chemnitz all around the Vogtland region.
With its concept of the ‘Rolling Museum’ Porsche is taking a very special approach. Practically all of the museum exhibits are roadworthy and thus fulfil the original purpose for which they were built: to be driven. And the specialists of the Porsche Museum workshop ensure that both before and during every tour of duty the rolling ambassadors of Porsche history are well prepared and in top fit form for every event. Unlike almost any other motoring museum the Porsche Museum thus stands for variety and vibrancy. Instead of a conventional, static exhibition, as a result of the exhibits being continuously rearranged it offers a constantly changing scene in Zuffenhausen.
More details are available online at http://www.porsche.com/museum.
Communication Porsche AG
Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.“
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.“
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.
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.“
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.“
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.“
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.”
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.“
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.“
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
Porsche pilots hope for improvement in the World Endurance Championship, rd 2 at Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium
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 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).
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.
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 (#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.”
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
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
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
“The decision was a very exciting one,” says Porsche Head of Racing, Hartmut Kristen.
“The finalists were all on an impressive level. In order to select the two candidates with the greatest potential, our engineers carefully examined every single lap.
Stuttgart. Alex Riberas Bou (18) from Spain and America’s Connor de Phillippi (19) are the new Porsche juniors for the 2013 racing season. The two young hot shots, who have already achieved successes in karting and various Formula race series, will contest the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in 2013.
After their excellent performance this past season, the Austrian Klaus Bachler (21) and Michael Christensen (22) from Denmark will receive support from Porsche again in 2013 as Porsche Juniors competing in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Porsche supplies the four rookie drivers with the bulk of their budgets and provides coaching for the talented youngsters on and off the track.
In an extensive selection process, Alex Riberas Bou and Connor de Phillippi came out on top against young pilots from all over the world.
Factors taken into account were fitness, mental strength and technical understanding. At the finale on the race track in Vallelunga (Italy), the best six candidates had to prove they could work alongside engineers, drive consistent times over a race distance as well as underline their speed in qualifying laps on fresh tyres.
“The decision was a very exciting one,” says Porsche Head of Racing, Hartmut Kristen. “The finalists were all on an impressive level. In order to select the two candidates with the greatest potential, our engineers carefully examined every single lap.
Both Alex Riberas Bou and Connor de Phillippi have the talent necessary to be successful in the sports car scene and to follow in the footsteps of Klaus Bachler and Michael Christensen.
Our current Porsche works drivers have shown that the Carrera Cup is an excellent platform for a professional international career.”
The Porsche Juniors themselves will choose the teams with whom they want to contest the Carrera Cup Deutschland. On and off the track, the pilots receive assistance similar to the internationally successful Porsche factory drivers. Fitness tests with constantly adapted training plans as well as media coaching and sponsor obligations are also part of the programme.
Alex Riberas Bou comes from Barcelona in Spain. As a child he initially played soccer for FC Barcelona, and then went on to secure his first successes in kart racing at the age of 13. In 2010, he switched to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and immediately pocketed second in the rookie classification. For the 2011 and 2012 seasons, he established himself as one of the top drivers in the highly competitive Formula series. Aside from soccer, motocross, trial, skiing and squash, the Spaniard is an avid fan of historic Porsche vehicles.
“My biggest dream has come true. I’ve always been a huge Porsche fan,” says the 18-year-old junior pilot. “Although I’ve only raced karts and Formula cars until now, I immediately felt at home at the wheel of the Porsche 911. I can’t wait for the 2013 season and the things I will learn over the winter months from Porsche and my future team.”
Connor de Phillippi lives in the Californian town of San Clemente south of Los Angeles. He began racing karts at the age of five and over the course of the next nine years he notched up 21 national championships. In 2008 he made the jump to Formula racing.
Straightaway, he secured the title in the Skip Barber West Coast Series and became champion of the Skip Barber National Championship in 2009. In 2010 the American with Italian roots took the next step on the career ladder and concluded the Formula Star Mazda series ranking third overall. 2011 yielded him vice-championship honours followed by third overall in 2012. Not surprisingly, the dark-haired Californian coast resident loves wake boarding and body surfing in his spare time. On land, Connor de Phillippi keeps himself in top shape on the bike and snowboard.
“It’s unbelievable to now be a part of this programme,” says de Phillippi. “It’s a huge step for me to now race in Europe. But as everyone knows, there is no better school in GT racing than to pit yourself against the top specialists in the Carrera Cup Deutschland. Porsche works driver Patrick Long also took this route. He is one of my biggest role model. I hope to be his teammate one day.”
Klaus Bachler and Michael Christensen now move into the second stage of the Porsche junior support programme concept. For next season, the pair is promoted to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as support to Formula 1. Bachler concluded his maiden season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland ranking eighth in the championship and secured a podium result at his home race in Austria. Christensen claimed third place on the Lausitzring and crowned his season with a victory at the finale in Hockenheim. This earned the Dane seventh place in the championship.
“I’m very pleased that Klaus Bachler and Michael Christensen quickly earned their stripes in the Carrera Cup Deutschland,” says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche racing. “Both show huge potential and are following the path that we had hoped for in our Junior Programme. Their learning curve is steep. I’m certain they will also enjoy success in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.”
SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Communication Porsche AG
- VIDEOS: PORSCHE JUNIOR PROGRAM – Six finalists at evaluation drive in Vallelunga, Italy (dedeporsche.wordpress.com)