October 18, 2016
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, October 18, 2016
|Next Porsche Motorsport Event:
|FIA World Endurance Championship
||6 Hours of Shanghai, Shanghai International Speedway
||Sunday, November 6
||LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
||LMGTE Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
||LMGTE Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
||6 of 9
||Six Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain, November 19, 2016
Event Story Lines
On Top of the Mountain. Porsche 919 Hybrid Extends Championship Lead in Japan.
Porsche finished in third and fifth-place with its two 919 Hybrids in a thrilling six-hour race at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan. The result was strong enough to help the German marque hold its lead in both the manufacturers' and drivers' championship classifications. Toyota achieved the victory on home soil at the seventh of nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The competition was so close that at the conclusion of six hours, and 244 laps, all three manufacturers entered the LMP1 category were within 18 seconds of each other.
For much of the endurance race, Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) in the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid had a chance to win the race but ultimately finished in third-place. The reigning world champions had started from second on the grid. This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans winners and current championship leaders, Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany), had started from sixth-position in the No. 2 entry. They fought throughout the race finishing fifth. Because their closest rivals in the drivers' championship took more points this round, their lead in the title chase shrunk to 23 points.
In the manufacturers' standings, Porsche (263 points) has increased its lead over Audi (204). Toyota follows with 174 points and there are two more six-hour races to come.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
"Since Le Mans, we have won all the WEC races. Today it is a podium finish, but after an exciting race. In the end only seconds decided the first three places. Congratulations to Toyota for their win on home soil. Respect to Audi for a strong performance as well. We were able to improve our position in the manufacturers' standings. Now we head to the final stages of the season, we are looking forward to the last two races of the season."
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.
"Congratulations to Toyota on a well deserved victory. We fell a little short today for getting a better position. Thanks to a strong performance from the three drivers and the entire team, halfway through the race our number 1 car was able to catch up to the two front-runners. But with our last set of tires we ultimately didn't have the potential to fight for the race win. Our number 2 car had a difficult race and for some time could not go the speed of the leading cars. We will do everything to analyze why this was and make sure it doesn't happen again at the next race in Shanghai. Nevertheless, we have managed to increase our manufacturers' championship lead in Fuji, which is the track that suits the characteristics of our 919 the least. In the drivers' championship the number 1 crew still has a comfortable lead."
Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
"I took over from Mark after the start stint and it was all okay. Later I had a nice and very fair fight with Stéphane Sarrazin in the Toyota. I overtook him twice. The first time he managed a counterattack but the second time I really got passed him. I even closed the gap to the leading Audi but then had to leave the racing line to avoid contact with an LMP2 car and picked up lots of rubber there. That's normal endurance racing business, but here in Fuji you often have a huge amount of marbles. Afterwards I had to clean my tires and then the gap increased again. All three of us had a great race today. It was very tight at the top and Fuji 2016 was a great advertisement for endurance racing."
Brendon Hartley, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
"I was the third driver in the car and had a pretty smooth stint. When I got back into the car I had a nice fight with the Toyota. In the end he was in front and didn't change tires at the last pit stop. We did change tires and were obviously hoping to benefit from the competition's tire degradation, but that didn't happen and we remained third. After three race wins in a row we of course would have preferred another one, but regardless it was a very strong race today."
Mark Webber, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
"The start and first lap of the race was pretty clean racing for everyone. Then we settled into the grove. The Audi and Toyota were faster than us in the beginning but we stayed in the game and improved when the track temperatures came down a bit. On my second stint I got some time back on the Toyota and to the Audi who apparently had a problem at the pit stop. The race was coming to us a little bit. For a very long time the three cars at the front could equally have won the race. Congratulations to Audi."
Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
"At the start I didn't take any risks and then during my first stint I had big problems with the rear being very difficult to control. After we had changed the front bodywork the car's balance improved a lot. On my second stint I had significantly more grip. Of course, I'm not happy with today's result."
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
"We lost too much time at the beginning of the race. I drove a double-stint - the first half was okay, but in the second half there were pieces of rubber from the tires that got stuck in the front hood and disturbed the aerodynamics. After we changed the nose of the car, I could drive at the same pace as the leading Audi. If we want to win the World Championship, we need to make progress."
Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
"It was really difficult for us today. The car was not easy to drive, we missed the right balance and were too slow."
All points' standings: http://www.fiawec.com/courses/classification.html
All results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
American Long Earns Top-5 at Fuji. KCMG 911 RSR Takes Second Consecutive Podium
Porsche customer teams are continuing on their successful path in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaigning the Porsche 911 RSR. After Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) led Abu Dhabi Proton Racing to the LMGTE-Am class win in Mexico City, another customer team, KCMG went on to clinch second-place in Austin, Texas and they also secured another podium spot on Sunday in Fuji, Japan. Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) joined Christian Ried (Germany) and Joel Camathias (Switzerland) to cross the finish line in third-place in the 470 hp Porsche 911 fielded by the team from Hong Kong. Rounding off the fine performance from Porsche customer squads on the 2.84-mile racetrack at the foot of Mount Fuji, Gulf Racing claimed fourth-place.
Long, North America's only Porsche factory driver, led the Abu Dhabi Proton Racing team to another top-five performance. The fifth-place finish came on the heels of Long coming within a few turns of his second Pirelli World Challenge drivers' championship the week before in Monterey, California. He finished second in that championship driving a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
In the fiercely contested LMGTE-Pro class, the Porsche works drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) were unable to join in the fight for the top places. The pair ultimately brought home seventh-place in the 911 RSR run by Dempsey Proton Racing.
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
"The beginning of the race was really difficult for us. We experienced a minor problem and as a result we lost touch to the top guys. Then we fell further back after touching another competitor. Afterwards it was simply a matter of getting over the line."
Wolf Henzler, Driver, No. 78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR.
"We can be pleased with third-place. Our team once again fought a great fight and thanks to fast pit stops the squad kept us in the race for a podium spot. Unfortunately we weren't able to go for victory at the end, we were simply a little too far off the leader. I hope that we can be back up there at the next race in Shanghai. I'm very confident about this."
Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
"Today was rather sobering. We simply didn't get to grips with our tires - in one stint they were good, then poor in the next. So it was virtually impossible for us to find a good balance for our 911 RSR."
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
"Unfortunately, the result speaks for itself. Now we have to stay motivated for the last races in Shanghai and Bahrain. Maybe we'll experience something like a small sense of achievement there."
Webber To Represent. Veteran Porsche Driver and F1 Winner to Retire
On October 13, Mark Webber announced that he would retire from professional motorsports effective the end of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season. The veteran, who joined Porsche's 919 Hybrid program following his retirement from Formula One, will become an official Porsche special representative. The six-hour race in Bahrain on November 19 will be the last time the reigning World Champion from Australia will compete as a works driver. Afterwards new tasks await the nine-time Formula One Grands Prix winner. The 40-year old Webber will represent Porsche at global events and as a consultant will contribute by lending his experience to the motorsport programs of the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart, Germany. This includes talent research as well as driver training for up and coming professionals and the huge number of worldwide Porsche amateur racers. Alongside rally legend Walter Röhrl, Webber is now the make's second representative in this role. Both are distinguished by a successful racing career as well as by a huge affinity to Porsche.
Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG.
"Mark Webber stands for everything that Porsche implies: sportsmanship, power of endurance, straightforwardness and focused work for success. He is full of beans and always a thoughtful listener. I want to thank Mark for his great performance in the World Endurance Championship and am pleased he will remain tightly connected to Porsche in the future."
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
"Already in the important period of building up the program, Mark has strengthened us with all his experience and he seamlessly integrated himself into the team. Behind the wheel he is a fair fighter, never shy of even the toughest wheel-to-wheel battle. At the same time, he thinks strategically and is team orientated. This mixture makes him invaluable as an endurance racer. Winning the 2015 drivers' world championship together with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley almost seemed to be a logical consequence. Also thanks to his performance, we hope to win the world championship titles for manufacturers and drivers again in 2016."
"I have arrived where I belong. Porsche is the brand I always loved most and the one that suits me the best. The 911 is iconic - it has got elegance, performance and understatement, and is never intrusive. It is just the right car for every scenario. I will miss the sheer speed, downforce and competition, but I want to leave on a high and I'm very much looking forward to my new tasks."
"It was a big change from Formula One to LMP1 and an entirely new experience. But it came at the right time for me. I found I liked sharing a car and the chemistry between Timo, Brendon and me is special and something I'll always remember. It will be strange getting into the race car for the very last time in Bahrain but, for now, I will thoroughly enjoy every moment of the remaining races."
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|FIA/ World Endurance Championship
||6 Hours of Bahrain, Fuji International Speedway
||Sunday, November 19
||LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
||LMGTE Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
||LMGTE Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
||9 of 9
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