February 20, 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 20, 2017
Event Story Lines
The Public Life of Hurley Haywood. Porsche Legend Named Mitty Grand Marshal.
Porsche will be the featured marque when Speedfest at the Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty and sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) returns to Road Atlanta April 21-23. And the event's grand marshal will be a racer who is closely tied to the brand: Hurley Haywood.
Haywood's association with Porsche began more than 45 years ago; during that time he's driven Porsches to victory five times at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, three times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and twice at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The most successful endurance driver from North America is now a regular on the vintage race circuit, he has competed many times with HSR, the race sanctioning body behind the Classic Motorsports Mitty, including at the inaugural Classic 24 Hour at Daytona.
Haywood will be signing autographs for fans at the Mitty on Saturday afternoon, April 22, in the infield's Classic Motorsports tent. That will be followed by a special party for VIP ticket holders, sponsors and special guests, who will have the opportunity to spend time with him and hear colorful stories from his racing career. 200 VIP tickets, as well as regular admission tickets for the race weekend, are available www.themitty.com .
This year's Mitty will also offer the ultimate adventure for Porsche fans, a road tour from the Porsche Experience Center to Road Atlanta on Friday, April 21. The Porsche Experience Tour presented by Michelin is limited to just 50 cars and will include a tour of the auto manufacturer's enthusiast-focused headquarters in Atlanta. Following that, participants will drive the Georgia back roads to Road Atlanta for a parade lap of the track.
The weekend's centerpiece HSR vintage racing will continue to offer plenty of appeal for Porsche fans, with the Porsche Classic devoting two different feature races to the marque. The Mitty will also welcome the return of the HSR Classic RS Cup series, which rekindles the thrill of the original 1970s International Race of Champions (IROC) Porsche race series featuring Porsche 911 Carrera RSRs.
In addition to his Grand Marshall duties at The Mitty, Haywood was the official starter for this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona and will be Grand Marshall of the upcoming Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 18.
Haywood is an Ambassador of Porsche Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Florida), for decades known as Brumos Porsche, and currently serves as Chief Driving Instructor for the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to being a Porsche spokesperson, the Hurley Haywood Scholarship was announced earlier this year to help provide a young IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge driver partial funding to compete in the one-make series. A new recipient will be named each year.
Factory Lineup Finalized. Gianmaria Bruni Added As Porsche Works Driver.
With the signing of Gianmaria Bruni, Porsche has bolstered its GT factory driver squad for the 2017 sports car racing season. As one of the most successful and experienced sports car drivers in recent years, the 35-year-old Italian will start testing for Porsche beginning in June and contest races in North America starting in July.
The ex-Formula 1 driver celebrated his greatest success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Bruni clinched GT victories at Le Mans in 2008, 2012 and 2014. In the WEC, he won the LMGTE-Pro championship title in 2013 and 2014. His list of successes includes the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (2010) and the Spa 24 Hours (2015). Bruni also took home the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011 and 2012 as well as title victories in the Le Mans Series (2011) and the GT Open (2012).
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.
"We're delighted to welcome Gianmaria Bruni, one of the world's top GT pilots, into our squad. He fits perfectly into our strong circle of works drivers and will join us for the second half of the season."
Florida Time. IMSA Teams Test for Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.<
Porsche teams will return to Florida February 23 - 24 to prepare for the next round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The two-day test at Sebring International Raceway will pit four Porsche 911-based programs against the 3.74-mile, 17-turn facility in anticipation of the 65th Running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 18. While a popular testing site for the German marque - the newest Porsche 911 RSR ran a single test of over 5,000 miles at the Sebring, Florida-area track during the winter - this is the only "official" series test at the former airfield.
Four teams running Porsche 911-based racecars will test alongside 30 other entries. The Porsche GT Team, the official factory program, will bring one of its two Porsche 911 RSRs to fine-tune for Round Two of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The No. 912 will be piloted by "works" drivers Patrick Pilet (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Dirk Werner (Germany) for the test.
Three teams will run the 911 GT3 R, Porsche's entry into the GT Daytona (GTD) class, over the course of the two days. Alegra Motorsports, winner of the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, brings the No. 28 for drivers Carlos de Quesada (Tampa, Florida), Daniel Morad (Canada) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia). de Quesada and Morad raced the car at Daytona while Pumpelly, an experienced and championship-winning Porsche driver, was calling strategy for the team. CORE autosport has Jonathan Bennett (Charlotte, North Carolina), Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina) and Nic Jönsson (Buford, Georgia) gathering information for their first-year program with the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Park Place Motorsports, backed by Texas' largest Porsche dealer, will test the No. 73 with Porsche factory Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), team principal Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) and 2016 Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate Matt McMurry (Phoenix, Arizona).
Cars will be on track for the first of four practice sessions on 9:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, February 23. A total of 15-hours of track time will be available before the final checkered flag falls at 5:00 p.m. ET, Friday, February 24.
Extra Innings. CJ Wilson Takes First Steps to Full-Time Driving in GT3 Cup Challenge.
When CJ Wilson hung-up his cleats from professional baseball earlier this year, he made no secret that he was going to spend his "retirement" behind the wheel of a racecar. The owner of CJ Wilson Racing - a program running a pair of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsports in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS class - has turned his full athletic focus to driving. During the Rolex 24 At Daytona race weekend, Wilson announced he had purchased a 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and would enter it under his team's banner in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in 2017.
The former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher took his first steps towards that goal recently during a two-day test at Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas. Working closely with driving instructor and team driver Marc Miller (Holland, Michigan), Wilson began lapping the road course in one of the team's Cayman GT4 Clubsports graduating up to the "Cup car" over the course of the test.
The test proved successful as Wilson was able to acclimate himself to the one-make series' spec Yokohama racing tire and narrow the gap to the target lap time set by Miller. Additionally, the team ran a full race distance to help give Wilson a concept of the mental and physical demands required for the 45-minute sprint races that comprise the two-race weekends of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge events.
CJ Wilson, Driver/Owner, CJ Wilson Racing.
"It's great to take another step towards my goals. We had a chance to burn through two sets of tires today and I made a lot of progress. Having Marc as my coach was incredibly helpful because we have a lot of faith in each other and communicate using the same terms. Having sat in driver debriefings for the past six years with the race team, I was able to take all the input logically and make progress each session. The only odd thing about the test is that nobody else was here, which was the first time I have ever been on a track completely alone, so when we did a race simulation I had to use my imagination. TWS is a really fast and bumpy track. Looking forward to getting back in the car in ten days and pick up where I left off."
Marc Miller, Driving Coach, CJ Wilson Racing.
"CJ did great job, but I expected as much. He is logical and methodical which makes him easy to help and that translated into a very quick progression along the learning curve. Like any professional athlete though he is never truly satisfied because he wants to be perfect. He took quickly to the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. It is confidence inspiring and such a capable platform so that suited him well in getting up to speed. Overall, it was a successful first outing and I look forward to working with CJ this season. I expect he will have a solid debut at Sebring. He better or I'm likely fired."
Porsche Entries at Sebring International Raceway.
Total Car Count. 4 Porsche Motorsport-produced cars will be at Sebring, Florida during the official series at Sebring International Raceway.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
|GTLM Class - One (1) Porsche 911 RSR.|
|No. 912 Porsche GT Team||Patrick Pilet (France)/ Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium)/ Dirk Werner (Germany)|
|GTD Class - Three (3) Porsche 911 GT3 R.|
|No. 28 Alegra Motorsports||Carlos de Quesada (Tampa, Florida)/ Daniel Morad (Canada)/ Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia)|
|No. 54 CORE autosport||Jonathan Bennett (Charlotte, North Carolina)/ Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina)/ Nic Jönsson (Buford, Georgia)|
|No. 73 Park Place Motorsports||Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/ Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California)/ Matt McMurry (Phoenix, Arizona)|
|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.
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