February 6, 2017
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, February 6, 2017
Event Story Lines
Long Day Down Under. Porsche 911 GT3 R Customer Teams Excel At Bathurst.
Porsche customer teams achieved superb results on the spectacular Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia on Sunday. At the wheel of the 911 GT3 R fielded by Competition Motorsports, North America's only Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), along with Porsche Junior Matt Campbell (Australia) as well as Marc Lieb (Germany) and David Calvert-Jones (Australia) finished second overall and won the Class A-GT3 Pro-Am after a spirited chase through the field. Other class victories at the prestigious race, which was contested by 14 automobile manufacturers, went to the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Walkinshaw GT3, the 911 GT3 Cup of Steve Richards Motorsport and the Cayman GT4 Clubsport of PROsport Performance.
For the 911 GT3 R, the third major long distance race of the year after the 24-hour classics of Dubai and Daytona also concluded with a success. In Dubai, Herberth Motorsport had notched-up a sensational overall victory. That was followed in Daytona when Alegra Motorsports won the GTD class in the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It was a perfect start to the season for the 500+hp customer sports racer featuring the new ultra-modern four-liter flat-six engine with direct fuel injection.
It was 5:45 am local time on Sunday morning when the 52- car strong field took off into dark for the season-opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on the 3.86-mile long storied racetrack in the Australian state of New South Wales. The early race start and the extraordinary combination of 23 fast and slow corners on the rollercoaster circuit in Bathurst, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, put incredible demands on drivers.
For the Factory supported Walkinshaw Porsche 911 GT3 R, the race came to an abrupt end after just two hours. As a newcomer to the Porsche factory squad, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) was the traditional start driver. He was able to keep out of trouble on the difficult racetrack, edging his way forward lap by lap in the dark. After one hour he was running in second-place. His teammate Earl Bamber (New Zealand) continued the charge and swept into the lead. But while attempting to lap a slower competitor, he collided, damaging the steering of the 911 RSR. Repairs would have taken too long and the dream of a Bathurst victory for the 2015 outright Le Mans winner and his teammates was dashed. The third driver Kévin Estre (France) did not get a chance to drive.
Sebastian Golz, Project Manager GT Customer Motorsport, Porsche Motorsport.
“That was a tremendous race weekend with ups and downs. We managed to adapt the 911 GT3 R to this challenging racetrack over the practice sessions and during the qualifying, so we were competitive in the race right from the start. The number 911 made it to the front, but unfortunately had to retire after a collision. So the number 12 stepped up to the mark and battled its way to second-place and class win after a fantastic final sprint. Congratulations to all of our customer teams who, regardless of the class they were contesting, tackled the challenges of this race successfully.”
Mark Webber, Porsche ambassador.
“It was a sensational experience for me to return to Bathurst after 22 years and watch this incredible race. It was a very long day for the drivers and teams and everyone got a fright at one point or another. That's totally normal on such a unique racetrack. I'm thrilled about the hard-earned second-place for the number 12 car and also about the tremendous effort of the other Porsche customer teams. They all did a great job.”
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 R.<
“My stints were good. During the second stint I unfortunately nudged a Mercedes. I wanted to overtake it to snatch the lead but he didn't budge an inch and I didn't want to risk anything. So I decided to pull back and keep my position. But I was on the dirty side of the track and I couldn't avoid touching the car. Luckily nothing more happened.”
Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Second-place and class victory feels pretty good. We had to cope with a lot of minor setbacks, probably more than any other team, and that alone makes this a super result.”
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I'm very pleased with this result. In my last stint I made a big mistake when my foot slipped from the brake pedal and I hit an opponent. But I was lucky. It was my first race with the 911 GT3 R and this team. They all supported me brilliantly and I was able to learn a great deal from such great race drivers as Marc and Patrick.”
David Calvert-Jones, Driver, No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“What a race. This was my fourth time at Bathurst but none was as exciting as this. It's fantastic that all the work that we put into the team has been rewarded with such a result. Everyone worked perfectly together today. That was the key to success.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I was in the lead and wanted to lap a slower vehicle. The driver obviously didn't see me; he turned in and hit me. My steering was so badly damaged that we had to throw in the towel. It was clearly my fault. I was just too impatient; I should have waited longer. I'm so sorry for the team. It's such a shame. Up to that point everything was going really well for us.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“During the first laps of my stint I tried to avoid taking any risks. Although I was faster than the cars ahead of me I didn't attack. Only after the field had sorted itself out did I pick up the pace slightly. Everything ran well. It was a good start to this difficult race. Of course we're disappointed that we couldn't finish it. In the days leading up to the race our team worked perfectly together and had every opportunity to finish far up the front.”
Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Bathurst is one of the toughest races of the year. With so many cars out on the track it's important to survive the first hours. We didn't manage to do this today. I hope we get another chance next year.”
Hat Trick? 2017 FIA WEC Porsche 919 Hybrid Program Announced.
The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will be entering the 2017 season with the starting numbers 1 and 2 as they look to defend their title in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the highlight of the series. Organizers FIA and ACO confirmed the entry of two vehicles and the members of the new driver squad in an online press conference.
The hybrid racing car with starting number 1 will be driven by Neel Jani (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Germany) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain). Jani is defending WEC World Champion as well as a 2016 Le Mans winner. Lotterer claimed the title of World Champion in 2012 behind the wheel of an Audi and brings with him the experience gained from three overall victories at Le Mans, while Tandy formed part of the winning Porsche team in Le Mans in 2015.
The sister car with starting number 2 will be shared between 2015 World Champion Timo Bernhard (Germany) and the two New Zealanders Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. Bamber claimed victory with Tandy at Le Mans in 2015, while the same year saw Hartley share the title of World Endurance Champion with Bernhard.
Porsche has completely reworked the Class 1 prototype 919 Hybrid propelled by more than 900 hp (662 kW) and will start the 2017 season with its sights set on winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Championship for the third time in a row.
In both 2015 and 2016, Porsche swept the board, winning the team's 17th and 18th overall victory in Le Mans and securing the title of both Manufacturers' and Drivers' World Champion.
The evolution of the Porsche prototype will be unveiled on March 31 at the Autódromo Nazionale di Monza. Following this, all teams will perform official test drives on April 1 and 2 at the FIA WEC Prologue in Italy. Team Principal Andreas Seidl will continue to serve as acting technical director.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
“We want the hat-trick. Each and every one of the nine endurance races presents a challenge. Reliability is the basic requirement; six hours of navigating around the many cars in the different categories, each driving at different speeds, makes each race unpredictable - and ultimately it is often only seconds that separate the winner from the rest of the field. At four times the duration of the other races, Le Mans forms the pinnacle of the series. This 24-hour race pushes both men and machine to their absolute limits. Toyota is set to be a very strong contender in the top-tier LMP1 category for the 2017 season. We will face up to them with a meticulously enhanced Porsche 919 Hybrid and a team of six first-class drivers.”
World Stage. Porsche 919 Hybrid is Ideal Platform for Technological Pioneers.
With its unique efficiency regulations for Class 1 Le Mans prototypes (LMP1), the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) represents an ideal platform for Porsche - and it was these regulations that fueled the company's return to elite motorsport in 2014. The regulations provide engineers with an unusual degree of freedom to introduce different drive concepts and require forward-looking technologies such as hybridization, highly efficient engine downsizing and consistent use of lightweight construction. As a result, the WEC provides the ideal stage for Porsche AG to develop and test innovations for road-going sports cars.
The hybrid drive on the 919 combines downsizing turbo technology with efficient direct fuel injection for the two-liter V4 combustion engine and uses a lithium-ion battery to store electrical energy from two different energy recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). The 919 Hybrid is the only prototype to recover energy during acceleration as well as braking. It boasts a system output of more than 900 hp (662 kW) and Porsche has already channeled a number of the Hybrid's features into the development of its road-going sports cars. The most obvious example of this is the 800-volt technology for the purely electric concept study Mission E, which, among other things, enables extremely short battery charging times. This four-door sportscar study is set to enter series production before the end of the decade.
Save the Date. 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship Schedule.
|March 31||Unveiling of the Porsche 919 Hybrid in Monza, Italy|
|April 1-2||Monza Prologue (Italy)|
|April 16||6 Hours of Silverstone (Great Britain)|
|May 6||6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)|
|June 4||Le Mans Test Day (France)|
|June 17-18||24 Hours of Le Mans (France)|
|July 16||6 Hours of Nürburgring (Germany)|
|September 3||6 Hours of Mexico (Mexico)|
|September 16||6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas (Austin, Texas)|
|October 15||6 Hours of Fuji (Japan)|
|November 5||6 Hours of Shanghai (China)|
|November 18||6 Hours of Bahrain (Bahrain)|
|Porsche Cars North America.||@Porsche|
|Porsche North America.||@PorscheNARacing|
|Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars.||@PorscheRaces|
|Porsche Racing – 919 Hybrid.||@Porsche_Team|
|Porsche 911 RSR.||#911RSR|
|Porsche 911 GT3 R.||#911GT3R|
|Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.||#911Cup|
|Porsche 919 Hybrid.||#919hybrid|
|GT3 Cup Challenge USA.||#GT3USA|
|GT3 Cup Challenge Canada.||#GT3CAN|
Future Porsche Events.
|Pirelli World Challenge|
|Event:||Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Street Circuit|
|Dateline:||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|Date:||Saturday-Sunday, March 11th-12th|
|Track Length:||1.8-miles, 14-turn|
|Race Duration:||Two, 1-Hour Races|
|Class:||GT/GTA (Porsche 911 GT3 R)|
|GT Cup (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup)|
|GTS (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR)|
|Round:||GT/GTA. 1 and 2 of 10|
|GT Cup. 1 and 2 of 8|
|GTS. 1 and 2 of 12|
|Next Round:||Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach Street Circuit, Long Beach, California, April 9, 2017|
|IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama|
|Event:||65th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway|
|Date:||Race 1. Thursday, March 16|
|Race 2. Friday, March 17|
|Track Length:||3.74-miles, 15-turn|
|Race Duration:||Two, 45-minute races|
|Class:||Platinum (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, MY 2017)|
|Gold (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, MY 2014-2016))|
|Round:||1 and 2 of 14|
|Next Round:||Grand Prix of Birmingham, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama, April 22-23, 2017|
|IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship|
|Event:||65th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway|
|Date:||Saturday, March 18|
|Track Length:||3.74-miles, 15-turn|
|Class:||GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)|
|GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)|
|Round:||GTLM. 2 of 11|
|GTD. 2 of 12|
|Next Round:||Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach Street Circuit, Long Beach, California, April 8, 2017|
|FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)|
|Event:||The Prologue, Autodromo Nazionale Monza|
|Date:||Friday - Saturday, March 24-25|
|Track Length:||3.6-miles, 11-turn|
|Class:||LMP-1 Hybrid (Porsche 919 Hybrid)|
|LMGTE-Pro (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2017)|
|LMGTE-Am (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2016)|
|Round:||Official Pre-Season Test Days|
|Next Round:||Six Hours of Silverstone, Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, England, April 17, 2017|
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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