Motorsport News

January 9, 2017


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: Monday, January 9, 2017

Porsche Motorsport Schedule in North America. Upcoming Event.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event: 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Thursday - Sunday, January 27-30, 2017
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 24-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
  GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 1of 11
  GTD. 1 of 12
Next Round: 55th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway, January 28-29, 2017

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines


It Begins. New Porsche 911 RSR Opens 2017 Season with ROAR Test In Daytona.

The 2017 motorsport season has begun. The Porsche GT Team is well prepared for the Rolex 24 at Daytona - the season-opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The factory squad used this January 6-8 official test, “The Roar Before the 24”, to setup the new Porsche 911 RSR for its race debut at the world famous long distance classic in Florida on January 28-29. Under changeable weather conditions, the 911 RSR racers with the starting numbers 911 and 912 covered a total of 1,824 miles (2,936 kilometers) on the Daytona International Speedway, the legendary racetrack characterized by its fast banked corners and a tight infield. Six works drivers took part in the Daytona tests for the Porsche GT Team.

Porsche will campaign the 911 RSR this season in both WeatherTech Championship GTLM class and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMGTE-Pro class. The successor to the most successful GT race car in recent years, having secured 22 victories and eight championship titles between 2013 and 2016, is a completely new development. The suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission have all been designed from scratch for the 2017 season. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the motor, which is now positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out approximately 510 hp. Thanks to the modern, lightweight normally aspirated engine, the designers were able to install a larger rear diffuser than in years past. Combined with a top-mounted rear wing, the level of downforce and the aerodynamic efficiency have been significantly improved.

Over the three test days, Patrick Pilet (France), Dirk Werner (Germany) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) completed 890-miles (1,431 kilometers) at the wheel of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. Their team colleagues Kévin Estre (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria) covered 935-miles (1,505 kilometers) in the sister 911 RSR with the starting number 912. Driving for the Porsche GT Team, these driver trios will tackle both the Role 24 and the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, scheduled for March 18. This will be Werner and Vanthoor first Rolex 24 as Porsche "works" drivers.

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports.

“The test miles that we covered over the last three days in preparation for the race were very important. We managed to tick off all the points we'd scheduled for ourselves and now we have a much better understanding of the car on this racetrack. In addition, we experienced changeable and very diverse track conditions. It was dry and wet, warm and cold - precisely what you need in race preparations to be primed for all eventualities. We feel very well prepared for the race and the premiere of our new 911 RSR. In this respect, these three days in Florida were very successful.”

Fast Learners. Manthey Racing Quickest in GTD Class with Porsche 911 GT3 R. Porsche.

Five Porsche 911 GT3 R customer programs brought cars to the Roar Before the 24 in preparation of the January 28-29 Rolex 24 At Daytona. It was the one-off effort of Manthey Racing that set the bar for the weekend for the GT Daytona (GTD) class. The No. 59 was the quickest during the test session in the Pro-Am style category led by one of Porsche's newest works drivers, Sven Müller (Germany). Manthey has a long history with the German marque but is new to the IMSA class. This will be Müller's first Rolex 24 as a factory driver.

Overall, five Porsche factory drivers will focus on the Pro-Am style GTD class this year. North America's only "works" driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) will wear the familiar colors of CORE autosport at Daytona International Speedway driving for the No. 54 911 GT3 R in the South Carolina-based program. It will be CORE's first Rolex 24 in the GTD class.

Wolf Henzler (Germany) made his return to North America and to TRG driving the No. 991 over the weekend. This was the first test for California-based operation and 2003 overall winners of the Rolex 24 having announced its return to the German brand late in 2016. More familiar with his surroundings is factory driver Jörg Bergmeister. The tall German is back with Park Place Motorsports for the second season in the No. 73.

Michael Christensen (Denmark) had his first laps in the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R during the "Roar". The factory driver will lead a group of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge champions at the twice around the clock classic. 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Platinum Cup champion Daniel Morad (Toronto, Canada), 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup titlist Jesse Lazare (Montreal, Canada) and last year's GT3 Cup Challenge USA Gold Cup champion Michael de Quesada (Tampa, Florida) - as well as Alegra team principal and 2007 Rolex 24 GT class winner Carlos de Quesada (Tampa, Florida) - join him in the team's return to the Rolex 24. Both Morad and Lazare are 2015 graduates of the Porsche Young Driver Academy.

Porsche Legend Offers Light to Future. Eidson Earns Inaugural IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship.

Jake Eidson has secured a full-season drive in the 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, in part through the expanded IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and supported by Porsche and Yokohama.

The scholarship is named after legendary Porsche driver Hurley Haywood, one of the most accomplished sports car endurance racers in history. He earned five overall victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two wins at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida - all in Porsches - during his remarkable driving career, which spanned five decades. Haywood was a mainstay of the illustrious Brumos Porsche team as a driver and a leader for more than four decades. He currently serves as the chief driving instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Eidson, 21, from Littleton, Colorado, will begin the 2017 season March 15-17 at Sebring International Raceway during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida event week. He will drive in the Platinum Cup class for defending Platinum Cup Team Champions Kelly-Moss Road and Race.

Aspiring racers between the ages of 16 and 25, with no previous full-time Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama experience, are eligible to earn the scholarship. Eidson will receive from IMSA, with support from Porsche and Yokohama, these rewards with a combined value of approximately $70,000.

Eidson is moving to sports cars full time in 2017 after an outstanding career in junior open-wheel formulas. He finished second in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda in 2015 after placing third in the series in 2014. He earned six victories and 22 overall podium finishes in his two seasons in the competitive championship.

After a successful karting career, American-Australian Eidson started in open-wheel formula car racing in 2011 in the New South Wales Formula Ford 1600 championship. He also raced in the United States in Skip Barber competition, winning the Winter Series championship in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and the Summer Series championship in 2012.

Those strong results helped Eidson earn a Team USA Scholarship to compete in the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy events in 2013 in England. He finished fifth out of 50 entries in the Festival and seventh out of 110 entries in the Hayes Trophy.

Eidson is the first recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, which was expanded from a program IMSA, Porsche and Yokohama started in 2014. Previous IMSA Scholarship recipients were Victor Gomez IV (2016), Elliott Skeer (2015) and Michael Lewis (2014), all of whom remain active in North American sports car racing. Eidson made his first and only sports car start in August 2016 at Road America in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, finishing an impressive second behind series champion Lazare in both rounds while driving for Kelly-Moss Road and Race.

Kelly-Moss Road and Race, based in Madison, Wisconsin, is one of the most successful teams in the 12-year history of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. The team won the Platinum Cup championship in 2014 and 2016, with drivers Colin Thompson and Jesse Lazare capturing the Platinum Cup Drivers Championship in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Jens Walther, president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America.

“The Hurley Haywood Scholarship is an exciting addition to the opportunities being offered through the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series. IMSA has cast a broad net over the sports' feeder systems and found a true gem in Jake Eidson. His experience and success in open-wheel racing will serve him well in our intensely competitive one-make series and in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. We wish him well as the first recipient to receive this honor.”

Jake Eidson, Driver/ Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship Recipient.

“The support from IMSA, Porsche and Yokohama made the difference of whether or not I could race this season. Their support means everything. I'm extremely excited and thankful for everything they have provided. It's a big expectation to live up to, working with Kelly-Moss. They have a very successful history, and all they do is win. That's our goal, too. They do everything they can to be competitive, and that's all you can expect from a team.

It was great just to talk with Hurley Haywood. I know about his very, very rich history in sports car racing and with Porsche. It was overwhelming in a good way and an experience I'll never forget. ”

Randy Hembrey, IMSA senior series manager, Development and Single-Make Series.

“Jake showed tremendous talent in his only Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race weekend last season, racing among the quickest, most skilled veterans of the series. We're happy he has decided to advance his career in the IMSA paddock with assistance from the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship. The Scholarship has reached a new level this season with the inclusion of and support from the legendary Hurley Haywood, who has played such an integral role in the development of countless Porsche drivers. We're also grateful for the addition of more commercial partners, adding even more value to the Scholarship program.”

Duane Sampson, Motorsports Manager, Yokohama Tire Corporation.

“Support of this scholarship is one of the cornerstones of Yokohama's deep commitment to motorsports and development of racing talent in North America, and we're honored to be associated starting this year with a legend like Hurley Haywood. Jake proved last August at Road America that he will be a regular threat for victories and the Platinum Cup championship this season, and we're eager to see his move to sports cars blossom in this competitive, exciting championship.”

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 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
   
Event Hashtag. #Roar24
   
Series Hashtag.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3CAN


Future Porsche Events.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event: 55th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Saturday - Sunday, January 28-29
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 24-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
  GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 1 of 11
  GTD. 1 of 12
Next Round: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida, March 18, 2017


Porsche Motorsport Video News Releases.
https://vimeo.com/159661478

Photography.
http://press.porsche.com/media/gallery2/v/photos/motorsports/happenings

Porsche Cars North America Media Site.
http://press.porsche.com/

Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Site.
http://www.porsche.com/usa/eventsandracing/motorsport

Porsche North America Race Team Portal.
porscheusa.com/racing

Porsche Motorsports Media Information.
Current news, images and notes relating to Porsche can be found on our press kit. Please contact Dave Engelman or Tom Moore for the latest Porsche Motorsports media kit.

Contacts.

Dave Engelman
Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
Office. 770-290-3617
Mobile. 404-386-4665
dave.engelman@porsche.us

Tom Moore
Motorsports Public Relations
Office. 615-778-1614
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.

At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000-plus motorsport wins to date.

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