May 3, 2015
Tudor United SportsCar Championship, GTLM Round 4 of 10, Monterey, California
Tudor United SportsCar Championship, GTD Round 3 of 10, Monterey, California
Monterey, California, May 3, 2015. Porsche again stood on both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championships' GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) podiums today in the Monterey Grand Prix. The weekend's success at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) was largely the result of driver performances in two race iterations of the seventh-generation of Porsche's venerable rear-engine sports car. In both classes, Porsche factory drivers Patrick Pilet (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) overcame early adversity to capture Team Porsche North America's first podium of 2015 in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. Christensen also shared the No. 912 works entry with German Jörg Bergmeister to take fifth-place in class. In the GTD class, Park Place Motorsports capped off a weekend featuring its first TUDOR pole position with its first win in the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America shared by Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta).
Porsche 911 RSR
Porsche's factory driver program has been the benchmark for manufacturer racing efforts for decades. Today's two-hour and forty-minute race on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit proved why. With the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) racing it's second round this weekend in Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps, the 20 works drivers were spread across two continents and seven official factory entries. Michael Christensen was tapped to do double-duty in this weekend's fourth round of the GTLM title chase sharing the No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR with Pilet and the No. 912 with Bergmeister. When the No. 911 fell back early in the pit stop rotation, Pilet dug deep to bring the car from eighth back into the top-three on a track renowned for its difficulty to pass. Christensen, who had started the No. 912, took over and continued to fight and held onto the podium position at the checkered-flag. Bergmeister, who took the second stint in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, also drove an inspired race after falling back early in his stint. In the closing stages of the race, the German overtook three cars to earn a fifth-place result.
Team Falken Tire ran as high as third with factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Braselton, Georgia's Bryan Sellers. Ultimately, the only customer campaigned Porsche 911 RSR would finish eighth.
Porsche 911 GT America
Park Place Motorsports unloaded on the Monterey Peninsula with a very fast Porsche 911 GT America. The racing arm of Park Place Porsche, the largest Porsche dealer in the state of Texas, captured its first TUDOR Championship pole position in convincing style on Saturday with Lindsey behind the wheel. The high expectations for today's race, round three of the season for the GTD class, came into question when Lindsey was forced out of position on the start and fell to third-place. However, he retook second-place and the first round of pit stops executed by the team returned the Santa Barbara, California-driver to the GTD class point. Once in the hands of veteran racer Pumpelly, the program was locked onto its first podium taking the honors.
Three other Porsche 911 GT Americas - a car designed exclusively for the North American market and the GTD class - finished in the top-eight at MRLS. Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winners Ian James (Phoenix, Arizona) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) took third-place with the No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche. In sixth-place was the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America shared by John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Andy Lally (Atlanta). Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Leh Keen (Atlanta) drove the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche to seventh.
Team Porsche North America honored the passing of François Michelin in today's race. Long considered an innovator and the driving force behind Michelin's rise as a global leader in the tire industry, the loss is being felt across the automotive family. Out of respect, Porsche raced today with a black ribbon over one edge of the Michelin decals on the pair of works Porsche 911 RSR entered in Monterey.
Marco Ujhasi, Project Manager, Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Motorsport: "It was a challenging weekend in general. We came here with three drivers because of the date conflict with the WEC race at Spa. That required a unique strategy. We had a good start to the race and were very quick early. We fell back on the first pit stop with the number 911 car and it was an awesome drive, perhaps the best drive I have ever seen in a GT car, for Patrick Pilet to bring the car back to the top-three. Michael also did a great job to bring that car home with a podium. It was an unbelievable performance on the driver side from that car and also from Jörg in the number 912. It was amazing to see what driver performance we have. This was the best that we could have hoped to achieve for the weekend."
Patrick Pilet, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "It was difficult, like always, to overtake because the cars of the GTLM class are so close but I was pretty aggressive in the traffic. I had no other choice so I took some risks. The car was running well. It is a good result for us because we could not expect better today. It is good for the championship. It is good to be back on the podium."
Michael Christensen, Nos. 911/912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "It is a challenge to go back and forth between the cars. But, in the end I think it worked out well. You try and prepare as well as you can before hand. But, obviously, it is going to be difficult. We did a very good job on the 911. We did not get as good a result in the 912 car but I think P5 is still good."
Jörg Bergmeister, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "We pitted a little earlier than the others for the last stop and, with the new Michelin tires, we were able to pass three cars, including the two Corvettes. We managed to finish fifth. So we ended the day okay."
Wolf Henzler, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "The race started very exciting for me. At the start everyone accelerated and all of a sudden I saw to the left side the Corvette in front of me was slowing down. It was very close. That hurt our start and I was not able to remake any positions. I think we learned something over the weekend. Every session we made a change but we could have continued in that direction. It is good to know and we will continue."
Bryan Sellers, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "In a lot of ways it was a good weekend but in a lot of ways it was a very frustrating weekend. We made a lot of changes in the car and found some things that really changed the car for the better. The race was difficult. The Falken crew had a really good stop and moved us to fourth but then Wolf got hit and we went backwards. It is so tough to pass here that track position was everything and we just didn't have it today."
Patrick Lindsey, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America: "The start was pretty bad for us. Two or three GTD cars got around me. We caught a yellow and that made it a two-stop race for us. On the restart I was able to get back into the lead and then stretch it out. That was really the key to us. If it weren't for the guys on the pit box though and our crew over the wall that executed just awesome pit stops, I would have been in a world of hurt. They gave me the chance to shoot out front and get a lead. And Spencer got in the car and did what Spencer does best which is go out, run hard and win races. It is great to get the monkey off our back. This is just the first win to get out of the way. I feel like there are a lot more to come."
Spencer Pumpelly, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America: "This was a team effort from start to finish. Patrick drove a really good opening stint. We had an early yellow and the decision was made to keep Patrick in the car. If he had not been so quick we probably wouldn't have been able to follow that strategy and that really is what put us in a position to win. That and great pit stops. True team effort today!"
GT Le Mans Results
1. No. 24 John Edwards (USA)/Lucas Luhr (Germany, BMW Z4 GTE - 108 laps
2. No. 25 Bill Auberlen (USA)/Dirk Werner (Germany), BMW Z4 GTE - 108 laps
3. 5. No. 911 Patrick Pilet (France)/Michael Christensen (Denmark), Porsche 911 RSR - 108 laps
4. No. 62 Pierre Kaffer (Germany)/Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy), Ferrari F458 Italia - 108 laps
5. No. 912 Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/Michael Christensen (Denmark), Porsche 911 RSR - 108 laps
8. No. 17 Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Bryan Sellers (USA), Porsche 911 RSR - 108 laps
GT Daytona Results
1. No. 73 Patrick Lindsey (USA)/Spencer Pumpelly (USA), Porsche 911 GT America - 103 laps
2. No. 48 Christopher Haase (Germany)/von Moltke (USA), Audi R8 LMS - 103 laps
3. No. 23 Ian James (USA)/Mario Farnbacher (Germany), Porsche 911 GT America - 103 laps
4. No. 63 Bill Sweedler (USA)/Townsend Bell (USA), Ferrari 458 Italia - 103 laps
5. No. 007 Christina Nielsen (Denmark)/James Davison (Australia), Aston Martin V12 Vantage - 102 laps
6. No. 44 John Potter (USA)/Andy Lally (USA) Porsche 911 GT America - 102 laps
7. No. 22 Cooper MacNeil (USA)/Leh Keen (USA), Porsche 911 GT America - 102 laps
About Porsche Motorsport North America Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), located in Santa Ana, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and the sole sales and service provider for the German sports car maker's North American customer sports programs. Porsche is the largest manufacturer of race cars with a wide range of products from the 911 GT3 Cup car to the ultimate 911 RSR. PMNA sells these models to customer teams in North America and provides them with parts, service and expertise in between races and at the track. The PMNA service truck is a fixture at most race tracks in the U.S. and Canada, staffed by factory engineers to service all of Porsche's customer teams.
About Porsche Cars North America Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 270 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 189 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 66-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency. At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
For Porsche apps: http://www.porsche.com/usa/entertainment/apps/
Note: Photos and video footage are available to accredited journalists on the Porsche Press Database at http://press.porsche.com/
Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
Motorsports Public Relations Consultant