Motorsport News

September 20, 2016


Dear Journalist:
Early each week, Porsche Cars North America will provide a weekend summary or pre-race event notes package, covering the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) or other areas of interest from the world of Porsche Motorsport. Please utilize this resource as needed, and do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

- Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Public Relations Team

Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Next Porsche Motorsport Event.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event. 9th Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda, Road Atlanta
Dateline. Braselton, Georgia
Date. Saturday, October 1
Track Length. 2.54-mile, 12-turn
Race Duration. Ten-Hours
Class. GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
  GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round. GTLM. 11 of 11
  GTD. 11 of 11
Next Round. 2017 ROAR Before the Rolex 24, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida, January 6-8, 2017
                       
Porsche Profile.

Event Story Lines


Porsche Stays Cool in Texas Heat. Porsche 919 Hybrid wins in Texas.

By taking the season's fifth win, Porsche has extended its lead in the manufacturers' point standings of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). At the sixth of nine championship rounds, held at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, the reigning world champions, Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) achieved their third victory in a row in scorching hot weather conditions. They had started from third-position on the grid. Meanwhile, coming from fifth on the grid, this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans winners, Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany), experienced a rather mixed race. They finished fourth in the six-hour race and defended their lead in the drivers' championship.

When the race got underway at 5:00 pm local time, ambient temperatures were over 95 degree Fahrenheit with high humidity, testing the drivers and mechanics' physical and mental limits. The cooler it became after sunset, the stronger the Porsche 919 Hybrid became. Thanks to a well-managed pit stop strategy, the winning trio took the lead three hours after mid-distance.

In total, this is the 12th victory for the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid prototype since its 2014 debut. For Bernhard/Hartley/Webber it is their seventh WEC success. Porsche now leads the manufacturers' standings with 238 points ahead of Audi (185) and Toyota (137). Dumas/Jani/Lieb lead the drivers' standings by 37.5 points ahead of the best Audi trio.

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.

"We knew during the entire event that these high temperatures were difficult for us. The fact we still managed to win such a race gives us hope for the remaining three rounds and our target to defend both championship titles. Soon we will be heading to Japan where we can clearly expect cooler conditions, which should help. All I can say is: Thanks to the team here on site and to our colleagues back home in Weissach. We have made another step on the path to winning the title again. This makes us very happy today and now we will be working painstakingly for Fuji."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.

"Congratulations and a big thank you to the entire crew for this great team effort. At the beginning of the race, when the tarmac was extremely hot, we didn't have the pace of the Audis. But thanks to a strong and error-free job by our drivers, the fastest pit stops of the field, dead-right strategic decisions and flawless technology, we have earned and deserved this win. It was hard work. On car number 2 we lost front downforce early on in the race, and this prevented them from fighting for a top position. Nonetheless we have managed another step on our mission to win both championships again. We will use the next three weeks to prepare for the final three races.""

Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"I think it's mega that we won our third consecutive race. We've had a difficult start to the season, but today delivered another error-free race. It was really hard work today! On my first stint the sun was very low and blinding, which wasn't nice. But the longer the race went and the cooler it became, the more we improved. We closed the gap to one Audi and then we were lucky to get a full course yellow when we were due to pit anyway."

Brendon Hartley, Driver, No. 1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"For us the race went very smoothly. It was clear to us that Audi would have an advantage in the high temperatures at the start, but we were hoping the race would come back to us and it did. After dark, the competition with Audi was much more even. We got the strategy with the full course yellow absolutely right."

Mark Webber, Driver, No. 1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"It was tough racing with fair battles today and Timo's and Brendon's drives were awesome. After the start we got into a rhythm. In the middle of the race the situation looked stable. The Audis in front were extremely quick in the heat, but this was no surprise. We knew we had to do a clean race and if they had stayed that strong we would have pushed them over the line. But then Audi had a problem and we have been lucky when the timing of a full course yellow played into our hands. Despite the heat, our guys in the garage did a great job again in the pit stops."

Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"I drove at the start and on my first stint in the afternoon's heat the car felt like driving on slicks in the wet. On my second stint I was unlucky with traffic. In total, two slow punctures plus the nose change were time consuming. The result is good for the championship and for Porsche, but for us the race wasn't nice. In Le Mans we were very lucky to win. Perhaps it is pay back time for this. But I think now that should be enough."

Neel Jani, Driver, No. 2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"I had a nice battle with the Toyota early on in the race when I did my first stint and it was good to overtake it. But grip was really a difficult topic today, because of the different rubber from the other series that raced before us. At some point, our car was almost undriveable, and the understeer was brutal. We had lost a lot of downforce at the front and didn't know why. Only after we had changed the nose cone did it became better. On top of that I had a slow puncture that cost more time. Apparently we aren't having a run of luck at the moment."

Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"On my first stint I lost time because the car was understeering. My second stint was a lot better. After we changed the front tires of the car we got rid of the rubber pick up and this understeer. Although I had mixed tires on the car - used ones and fresh ones - the 919 was so much better to drive afterwards. It wasn't our day, but the 919 ran reliably despite the heat. I was also fine with the cockpit temperature, because it had begun to get dark when I had my first stint."

All points standings: http://www.fiawec.com/courses/classification.html

All results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com

Texas Top Two Steps. Porsche 911 RSR Earns One-Two Finish in Austin.

At the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) won the penultimate GTLM class race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche North America works team. With five manufacturers, this category is the most hotly contested for the championship. Their teammates Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) clinched second with the 470 hp winning racer, which is based on the seventh-generation of the iconic 911 sports car from Weissach, Germany. This is the second win this season for the 911 RSR in the USA. The first victory came with the No. 911 on the city street course in Long Beach, California.

In temperatures reaching 95 degrees Fahrenheit, Pilet got the best start on the 3.4-mile, 20-turn Grand Prix circuit in the hills near the Texas capital. At the wheel of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, the defending IMSA GTLM champion snatched one position in the first lap and slotted into second-place behind the leading Ferrari. Making the most of his slipstream, Makowiecki also swept past a rival driving the No. 912. These three then proceeded to pull clear of their pursuers, putting the pair of 911s on course for podium results shortly after the start.

At the first pit stop, Tandy took over driving duties from Pilet, with whom he had won the Long Beach race earlier this season. In the 27th lap, he moved into the lead of the GT field. In the second 911 RSR, Earl Bamber maintained third place. In lap 35, the Ferrari again took the lead, but the 911 RSR kept the frontrunner under heavy pressure. With 25 minutes left of the 2-hour, 40-minute race, the Ferrari had to make an unscheduled pit stop, thus handing the lead at the hottest race of the year to Porsche. In the final phase, Earl Bamber overtook his leading teammate and secured the first win of the season for him and Makowiecki.

Equally as gripping was the GTD-class race in which customer teams campaign the 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R. The former Porsche Junior Alex Riberas (Spain), who had tackled the race from pole position for the Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing squad, defended his lead for much of the race. His teammate Mario Farnbacher (Germany) was on course to claim a seemingly safe second-place when the car ran out of fuel in the closing minutes of the event. In the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports 911 GT3 R, factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and his teammate Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) finished in fifth-place after starting third.

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

"That was an incredibly exciting race. It was a heated battle in which the tires played a major role. We profited somewhat from Ferrari's bad luck, but we then drove a clean race to the flag. All in all it was a great performance from the drivers and teams under difficult conditions. I'm very pleased."

Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

"A fantastic success for Porsche. I got away well off the line and passed the Ford. After that the race ran problem-free. Our car has proven hugely consistent over the entire season. We were able to successfully utilize the strength of the 911 RSR under these extreme conditions."

Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

"This race was perfect for Porsche. With the exception of the Ferrari we could control the whole field. I'm also delighted for our teammates in the 912. They really deserve this win. For us, it was great to be back on the podium."

Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

"This victory belongs to the entire team. We saw today that the 911 RSR was the most consistent car over the distance under such extreme conditions. First and second-place - a great success for Porsche."

Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

"We didn't necessarily have the fastest car today, but we could maintain a decent pace over the entire race distance. We've been working towards this win over the whole season. Finally everything came together. This is precisely the motivation we need heading to the season finale at Road Atlanta."

The eleventh and final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be contested October 1 on the storied Road Atlanta racetrack in Braselton, Georgia. The 19th Running of the Petit Le Mans is the home race for Porsche Cars North America, based in nearby Atlanta. Porsche North America earned an overall victory in the 10-hour, cornerstone race on the 2.54-mile race course.

Porsche 911 RSR COTA Accolades. Customer Porsche 911 RSR Adds WEC Podium.

The KCMG Porsche customer team secured second-place in the LMGTE-Am class at round six of this year's FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Austin, Texas on Saturday evening. For Porsche "works" driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), Christian Ried (Germany) and Joel Camathias (Switzerland), this marks the second podium result with the Porsche 911 RSR within two weeks. At the race in Mexico City, the trio saw the checkered flag in third-place with the 470 hp race car. North American fans a very familiar with Henzler who has raced extensively in the IMSA championships for Porsche customer teams.

The other Porsche customer squads also performed well at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and could match the pace of the LMGTE-Am class frontrunners over much of the six-hour race distance. In the second half of the race, however, they had to relinquish their hopes in the fight for a podium result. Gulf Racing finished in fourth-place, with Abu Dhabi Proton Racing having to settle for fifth after a long stint in the lead. This team, with the driver line-up of Porsche factory pilot Kévin Estre (France), Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) and David Heinemeier Hansson (Denmark), had recently celebrated its first WEC victory in Mexico City. Estre replaced North America's only Porsche factory driver, Patrick Long in the car this weekend as the Manhattan Beach, California-resident was competing in the Pirelli World Challenge event in Sonoma, California.

In the LMGTE-Pro class, the Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing finished the six-hour race without incident. Facing strong opposition in the GT field, the Porsche works drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) took the flag in sixth-place. Both drivers have competed for the Porsche North America factory effort in IMSA events in recent seasons.

The WEC rounded off a remarkable Porsche Festival on the Grand Prix racetrack on the outskirts of the Texas capital. Aside from the WEC, fans were treated to an action-packed weekend of racing in Austin which also included the IMSA SportsCar Championship, in which Porsche clinched a one-two finish in the GTLM class with the 911 RSR, as well as the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge which saw the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport capture a podium result. Spectators could enjoy five races with nearly 40 Porsche racing vehicles including the 911 RSR, 911 GT3 R, 911 GT3 Cup, Cayman GT4 Clubsport as well as 919 Hybrid models.

Wolf Henzler, Driver, No. 78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR.

"We were incredibly consistent from the first to the last lap and we made virtually no mistakes. Third in Mexico, second in the USA - obviously I'd now like to continue this logical progression in Japan."

Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

"Our start was good and we were running in the lead for a long time. But then we had a minor fire during a pit stop, and later we got a puncture. This cost us a lot of time. It's a shame because the pace of our 911 RSR was really good, especially towards the end of the race. Without these problems we would definitely have finished higher up the ranks."

Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

"Our team supported us with excellent pit stops. We had no technical problems and with the cooler temperatures towards the end our tires worked better. Still, in terms of pace, unfortunately, we couldn't achieve a better result today."

Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

"The main priority for us was to get over the line safely and not damage the car. It's tough when you do your very best in every lap and it's still not enough to fight for top places. But we have to think positively and hope that things go better for us at the next race."

Round seven of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be contested on October 16 in Fuji, Japan.

World Challenges. Long Impresses with Porsche 911 GT3 R at Sonoma.

Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) entered Rounds 18 and 19 of the 20-race Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) season with the points lead but a heady challenge from the competition. Porsche's only North American factory driver's weekend got off to a challenging start in the No. 58 Porsche Consulting Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R as the program looked for the right setup for Sonoma Raceway with the new-for-2016 racer. After finishing eighth in Race One on Saturday, Long rose to the challenge in Sunday's 50-minute race to finish fourth.

While the leap day-to-day is impressive enough, it was the veteran's drive that truly left onlookers awestruck. Having started 14th in the multi-class race, Long fought his way into the top-five and kept himself in contention for his second World Challenge GT championship. Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California), who has two victories of his own in 2016, earned two, top-six finishes in Sonoma driving the No. 98 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Porsche Young Driver Academy alumnus was fifth in Saturday's Round 18 and sixth on Sunday in the GT class. New to the series, Gunnar Jeanette (Salt Lake City) got his feet wet in the No. 97 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R with a 21st overall on Saturday and 16th on Sunday.

The GTA category had a swell of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs join Porsche veteran of the class Michael Schein. However, the Glen Cover, New York-resident continued to show the way in the non-professional driver category taking back-to-back wins in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports car. With a pair of third-place finishes, chasing Schein onto the podium in both races was Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois). MacNeil, like teammate Jeanette, was making his PWC debut. Tim Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) returned to the continent's premier sprint-format sports car series in the No. 54 911 GT3 R taking fourth on Saturday but retiring early on Sunday. The hometown team, Flying Lizard Motorsports, again brought its well-known livery to the GTA class on the metal and composite bodywork of the newest GT3 R with Aurora, Colorado's Andy Wilzoch. Wilzoch drove the No. 45 to sixth on the 2.385-mile course in both rounds. GMG Racing was well represented at Sonoma in multiple classes. Brent Holden (Newport Beach, California) retired early in Race 1 but fought back for a fourth-place finish in GTA on Sunday driving the No. 17 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The GT Cup class also grew for the weekend in the wine country of California. With five Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars making-up the one-make category, the sharp end of the grid continued with familiar faces. As he has done for much of the season, Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) took both race wins at Sonoma in the No. 17 GMG Porsche. His primary rival throughout the season has been fellow 2014 Porsche Young Driver Academy class member Sloan Urry (Park City, Utah) who took second both rounds. Mike Hedlund (Redwood City, California) has not been a full-season regular in the class but was a regular on the podium driving the No. 35 Flying Lizard 911 GT3 Cup car to third-place both days. Corey Fergus (Columbus, Ohio) in the Motorsports Promotions No. 00 raced to fourth each event and Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland) returned to the class after a stint in GTA with twin fifth-place results.

The teams will travel to nearby Monterey, California for the final round of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season on October 1-2.

Cup Clinched. Lazare Takes GT3 Cup USA Platinum Title with Two Victories at COTA.

Jesse Lazare clinched the Platinum Cup championship in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama by sweeping Rounds 13 and 14 on Sept. 15-16 at Circuit of the Americas.

Porsche Young Driver Academy participant Lazare leads Lucas Catania by 54 points, 253-199, with just 40 points available in the final two rounds of the season Sept. 28-30 at Road Atlanta.

Lazare, 19, from Montreal, earned his series-record 11th Platinum Cup victory of the season and has won six consecutive races. The previous record for Platinum Cup wins in a season was nine by Bob Faieta in 2008 and Ross Smith in 2010.

"This is such a great feeling because I didn't do this by myself," Lazare said. "There were so many factors that took place for me, having an outcome like this. Kelly-Moss, every crew member has been just outstanding. I'm so fortunate to get to work with them for the last two years."

Lazare beat Daniel Morad, the 2016 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Platinum Cup champion, to the finish in both 45-minute races. Lazare edged Morad by 1.476 seconds in Round 13 and by .919 of a second in Round 14.

Austin native and resident Will Hardeman scored the first two podium positions of his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge career by placing third in both races at his home track.

Jeff Mosing, also from Austin, won the Platinum Masters class in both races at his home track in the No. 01 TOPP Racing entry. Mosing is closing in on the series championship, as he leads Fred Poordad, 255-240, with two rounds remaining.

Sebastian Landy, from Great Falls, Virginia, swept both rounds of Gold Cup competition at Austin in the No. 49 TPC Racing Porsche. Landy used a last-lap pass of Gold Cup championship leader Michael de Quesada to cap a thrilling, race-long three-way fight for the lead that also included Phil Bloom.

De Quesada leads Landy by 15 points, 242-227.

Social Media.
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche North America. @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport - GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing - 919 Hybrid. @Porsche_Team
   
Model Hashtag.
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
   
Event Hashtag.
   
Series Hashtag.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3Canada


 

Upcoming Porsche Events

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event: 19th Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda, Road Atlanta
Dateline: Braselton, Georgia
Date: Saturday, October 1
Track Length: 2.54-mile, 12-turn
Race Duration: Ten-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
  GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 11 of 11
  GTD. 11 of 11
Next Round: 2017 ROAR Before the Rolex 24, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida, January 6-8, 2017
 
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge
Event: Road Atlanta 150, Road Atlanta
Dateline: Braselton, Georgia
Date: Friday, September 30
Race Duration: Two Hours, 30-minutes
Class: Grand Sport (GS) (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport)
Round: 10 of 10
Next Round: 2017 ROAR Before the Rolex 24, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida, January 6-8, 2017
 
Pirelli World Challenge.
Event: Pirelli World Challenge at Monterey, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Dateline: Monterey, California
Date: SprintX - Race 1 Saturday, October 8
  Sprint - Saturday, October 8
  SprintX - Race 2 Sunday, October 9
Track Length: 2.238-mile, 11-turn
Race Duration: Sprint - 50-Minute Race
  SprintX - Two, 60-Minute Races
Class: GT (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
  GTA (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
  GT Cup (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup)
Round: SprintX
  GT/GTA. 5 and 6 of 6
  Sprint
  GT/GTA. 20 of 20
  GT Cup. 19 of 19
Next Round: 2017 - Pirelli World Challenge of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Temporary Street Course, St. Petersburg, Florida, March 11-12, 2017
 
FIA/ World Endurance Championship
Event: 6 Hours of Fuji, Fuji International Speedway
Dateline: Fuji, Japan
Date: Sunday, October 16
Track Length: 2.83-miles, 16-turn
Race Duration: Six-Hours
Class: LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
  LMGTE Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
  LMGTE Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
Round: 7 of 9
Next Round: Six Hours of Shanghai, Shanghai, China, November 11, 2016


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Porsche Motorsports Media Information.
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Contacts.

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Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
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dave.engelman@porsche.us

Tom Moore
Motorsports Public Relations
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Mobile.  615-509-5000
tom@darkhorseautosport.com

About Porsche Cars North America Inc. | One Porsche Drive, Atlanta, GA 30354 USA
Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche 918 Spyder, 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars, the Macan and Cayenne SUVs, and Panamera sports sedans. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6 mile driver development track, business center, human performance center, and fine dining restaurant. PCNA employs approximately 300 people who provide parts, service, marketing, and training for 188 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 65-plus year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency. PCNA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

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