Motorsport News

May 31, 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 June 5, 2017

Upcoming Event

Ultra 94 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama

Event: SFormula 1 GP of Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Dateline: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Date:

Race 1. Saturday, June 10

  Race 2. Sunday, June 11
Track Length: 2.71 mile, 13-turn Road Course
Race Duration: Two, 45-minute races
Class:

Platinum (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, MY 2017)

  Gold (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, MY 2014-2016)
Round: 3 and 5 of 12
Next Round: Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York, June 29 - July 2

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines


CORE Results. First Year GTD Team Leads Porsche 911 GT3 R Customers at Detroit.

Customer teams brought three Porsche 911 GT3 R racecars to Detroit Michigan's Belle Isle street circuit for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic - Round 5 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship - on June 3. Of the three, CORE autosport earned the best result in the one-hour, 40-minute feature. CORE is neither a new team to IMSA nor a new team to Porsche but they are a first year IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class entry.

The Jon Bennett (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina) driven No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R qualified 13th in class and moved up five positions to finish in eighth-place in the GTD class to lead a line of all three Porsches. The result for the Rock Hill, South Carolina-based team made it Porsche's highest finishing customer effort and showed the operations steady climb toward the top of the Pro-Am driver format class.

Porsche factory ace Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) ran the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports 911 GT3 R to ninth-place in class. The motorsport arm of Park Place Porsche, Texas' largest Porsche dealer, started at the back of the field after their qualifying effort was negated by a rule infraction during the session. The hard charging black and red machine followed the orange, white and blue CORE car through the field to earn five positions at the checkered flag.

Alegra Motorsports, the Rolex 24 At Daytona GTD class-winning the No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R, entered Porsche “Young Professional” Mathieu Jaminet (France) and Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate Daniel Morad (Canada). The green, gold and white car was the highest starting Porsche in sixth-place on the grid and quickly fought its way up to contend for the podium entering the race's only pit stop. However, a pit lane rule violation on that stop forced a “drive-through” penalty, which Jaminet served immediately, with the team falling from second-place to 12th in class as a result. They regained two positions to finish in 10th-place, directly behind the No. 54 and the No. 73.

The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Sahlen's Six Hours at The Glen at Watkins Glen International in New York. The storied event will see the GTLM class and the factory Porsche GT Team's 911 RSR return to competition on July 2 after the traditional 24 Hours of Le Mans sabbatical.

Intense Test. Porsche LMP Team Puts 919 Hybrid Through Le Mans Paces

The Porsche LMP Team with the two Porsche 919 Hybrids covered 156 laps at the official test day at Le Mans. Besides its six regular LMP1 works drivers - Neel Jani (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Denmark) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) in car number 1 and Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) sharing car number 2 - Marc Lieb (Germany) also drove on Sunday. Lieb won last year's Le Mans 24-Hours race together with Jani and Romain Dumas (France) at the wheel of the 919 Hybrid and is joint reigning world champion with them both.

The best 2017 lap time of a Porsche 919 Hybrid at the official Le Mans test was three-minutes, 21.512-seconds which means an improvement by seven tenths of a second compared to the 919's best test lap time in 2016. This was achieved despite restrictions enforced by new regulations concerning the aerodynamics in particular. The Porsche LMP Team refrained from simulating qualifying at the test and finished fourth and fifth quickest behind Toyota after eight hours of testing.

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.

“Now Le Mans 2017 is on. The return to the Sarthe definitely brings back the nicest memories for us. Of course, we would like to follow up on these recollections. The test result is difficult to read as we stuck to our plan and focused on race preparation. On Tuesday, we'll have a rollout with the Le Mans cars here on the Circuit Bugatti. Afterwards the majority of the team will be sent home to take a deep breath before we return and enjoy the hype at scrutineering next Sunday in the Le Mans town center.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.

“We've had a mixed test day. We were focusing on race set-up and refrained from simulating qualifying. Although we didn't achieve the mileage we wanted, we still learnt important lessons for the race regarding tire choice and tire wear. Toyota's speed was impressive, we could not match that. In the coming days we will analyze today's data and draw our conclusions to improve our cars' performance. We unfortunately lost a lot of test time with our number 2 car. Due to an oil leak we had to change the combustion engine over lunch. At 3:38pm, after only two-and-a-half hours repair time, the car was back on track. What caused the leak is still to be analyzed but the team did a great job. Now we go full throttle on the road to the Le Mans race week.”

Neel Jani, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“You can't compare Le Mans to any other race circuit in the world, that's why the test day is so important. At the beginning the track was extremely dusty, especially on the 9 km (5.5-mile) section where we use normal roads. But later we were able to conduct proper preparation.”

André Lotterer, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“The basics of our car was okay from the start which allowed us to work on our set-up list. We stayed on our program and studied the performance of the tire over several stints. Compared to Toyota, we're probably missing a little over a single flying lap - but then we didn't attempt this ourselves.”

Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“It is just amazing to be with the 919 Hybrid back on track at Le Mans. I am so much looking forward to the race in two weeks' time.”

Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“For us it was a bit difficult today to find a good balance for the car. But I believe we know the direction we have to work towards now.”

Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“At the beginning, the track was very slippery but then we found the right path with our set-up work. It would have been nice to get more time to fine-tune our 919 but the team worked very hard to change the engine. I had the impression there were more inexperienced drivers on-track than usual. Due to them not knowing the track well created some difficult situations.”

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

“Today we had lots of yellow flags and safety cars plus some home-made interruptions. In the morning I hit a bollard (short post) causing some damage and cost time. Later we were in the garage for a long time to change the engine.”

Marc Lieb, Reserve Driver, Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“I'm very glad that the ACO made the participation of reserve drivers during the test day mandatory. It is a huge privilege to drive a fantastic car like the Porsche 919 Hybrid on a wonderful track like this. If necessary, I'm ready to step in but in favor of my colleagues, I hope this will not be required.”

Countdown to Le Mans. Porsche 911 RSR Works and Customers Ready at Test Day.

At the official pretest on the 8.47-mile (13.629-kilometer) Circuit des 24 Heures, the Porsche GT Team has entered the critical phase in preparing for the world's toughest automobile race. Sixty cars and 180 drivers will take up the prestigious pursuit around the clock on June 17 - 18, which marks the 85th running of the French classic. Two of these contenders are the new 911 RSR. The 510 hp racecar, which Porsche Motorsport developed in Weissach, Germany based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sportscar, celebrates its much anticipated debut at Le Mans in the fiercely contested LMGTE-Pro class.

In changeable conditions and pleasant temperatures of 68-degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), all six GT works drivers, who will drive the 911 RSR at the long-distance Le Mans classic in France, worked on the setup of the new cars and on testing Michelin Tire options. Richard Lietz (Austria), Frenchmen Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki share driving duties in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR. During the two four-hour test sessions, the trio covered a distance of 737-miles and drove the fastest lap in the LMGTE-Pro class. The sister car with the starting number 92, driven by Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany), covered a distance of 610-miles and posted the second quickest time. The 24-hour circuit with its legendary corners like Mulsanne and Tertre Rouge as well as its almost 3.11-mile-long Mulsanne straight is unusual in its mix of racetrack and normal roads. This, too, throws special challenges at the pilots and their cars.

At the pretests, the focus for the three Porsche customer teams fielding four 2015-spec 911 RSR in the LMGTE-Am class was on the setup and tires. The spotlight was on the No. 77 911 RSR run by Dempsey Proton Racing with the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) who celebrates his debut at the world famous long-distance classic. Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), as another Porsche factory driver, competes for the Proton Competition customer team, fielding two 911 RSR. The third customer squad is Gulf Racing.

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.

“The first tests at Le Mans with the new 911 RSR were very clearly on the tire situation and the setup. After the first laps our drivers provided us with a very encouraging feedback. The car feels good, the drivers feel comfortable, the 911 RSR responds logically to all our set-up changes. Right from the start everything ran according to plan. The fast lap times gave us a good comparison to our simulations and an insight into the grip conditions on this non-permanent racetrack. We now know where we stand, even if not exactly how we compare to the competition. This is because today's testing programs were simply too different.”

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports.

“Today we put our new 911 RSR on the Le Mans track with a low downforce trim for the first time. Hence, we had to work through some issues with the setup and tire choice. We did this successfully. The new driver crews worked well together so that we were able to wrap up the race preparation. In the race week we'll be able to concentrate on details and the team procedures.”

Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.

“That was a positive test for us and critical for the race preparation. With three drivers we all have to feel good in the car, we have to cope with the circuit and most of all with the setup. So our team had a lot to do but we're heading home feeling good.”

Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.

“This test was an important part of our preparation. There is not a lot of practice time during the race week, so we had to sort out important issues like aerodynamics and tires and had to make sure within a very short time to work in the right direction. That's a big challenge and possibly pivotal for the race.”

Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.

“It's been one year since we drove at Le Mans. These tests were predominantly about seeing how the new 911 RSR reacts to this racetrack. My first lap at Le Mans with the brand-new car was a very emotional moment for me. We used this test day very well and we can confidently look forward to the race.”

Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.

“This test day was a very important step in our preparation for the most important race of the year. We used today to better familiarize ourselves with the Le Mans aero kit and to get used to this very special circuit after being away for a year.”

Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.

“This test was crucial. Le Mans is a very special circuit, which requires a special setup for the 911 RSR, different tires and a different aero kit. The Le Mans race week doesn't give us a lot of time to adjust to the special conditions here, and hence every test kilometer is important.”

Dirk Werner, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.

“This is the first time that we've driven our 911 RSR on this circuit. For me those were my very first Le Mans laps with Porsche. We've worked our way through everything on our comprehensive list at these tests. We put particular emphasis on working on the setup and the tires. Now we look forward to the race.”

Matteo Cairoli, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

“To drive the 911 RSR at Le Mans - this was just a dream not long ago. And now this dream has come true. This test was a taster for what is about to come. I enjoyed every kilometer today.”

Patrick Long, Driver, No. 93 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR.

“A part of the Le Mans circuit is normally open to everyday traffic and that's why we can't just come and test anytime. So this made it all the more important to set up our 911 RSR for the race in a very short time.”

Montreal Cup. IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Runs Annual F1 Support Event.

Even Scott Hargrove would admit that a victory in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama doubleheader at Montreal, Quebec's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on June 10 - 11 is no sure thing - there's simply too much solid competition.

But if you check the results of the 2017 season-opener - two 45-minute sprints at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park's (CTMP) Castrol presents the Victoria Day SpeedFest - you'll notice that Hargrove swept them both. And if you look at the pair of Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama races at Montreal in 2016: Tsawwassen, British Columbia's Hargrove, the 2014 Platinum Cup season champion, won those, too.

So the numbers certainly favor Hargrove, who is leading the points in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Pfaff Motorsports No. 9 going into Rounds 3 and 4 of series competition. But Hargrove knows he has a target on his back, and there are some fast, talented drivers taking aim at that top spot.

After all, the honor of competing on the legendary 13-turn, 2.71-mile (4.361 km) street circuit is motivation enough, but add to that the fact that the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama is supporting the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, and every driver would love to have a podium finish from Montreal to add to the resume. And that especially applies to the local drivers. There are three racers entered in Platinum Cup, and two in Gold Cup, who hail from Quebec.

Etienne Borgeat from Montreal will be in the No. 2 GT Racing car. Borgeat is one of eight Platinum Cup drivers also competing in the Platinum Masters championship, a separate contest for drivers ages 45 years and over. Borgeat finished a solid fourth overall in round four of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama in Montreal in 2016.

Besides Borgeat, Montreal's Patrick Dussault will be competing in Platinum Cup in the No. 77 Lauzon Autosport/GT Racing entry, as will Berthierville, Quebec's Martin Harvey, driving the Wingho Racing No. 08. Harvey moved up to Platinum Cup this season, which utilizes brand-new 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, from his Gold Cup entry of last season.

Likely some of Hargrove's strongest competition is to come from Remo Ruscitti of Vancouver, British Columbia, in the OpenRoad Racing No. 69 car, and Zacharie Robichon of Ottawa, Ontario, in the No. 98 Mark Motors entry. Those two, plus the No. 31 Policaro Motorsport/Alegra Motorsports racer Michael de Quesada (Tampa, Florida), pushed Hargrove the hardest at CTMP.

Eighteen-year-old de Quesada will be a driver to watch as the season progresses. His car is part of the Alegra Motorsports team, which fielded 2016 championship-winning Platinum Cup driver Daniel Morad's entry. Both de Quesada and Morad were among the co-drivers of the Alegra Porsche 911 GT3 R that won the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona's GT Daytona class.

Drivers will compete in two 30-minute races on the renowned street circuit, 15 minutes shorter than usual, which features a combination of long, fast straightaways, chicanes and a tight hairpin corner. Round 1 is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, June 10. Round 2 is scheduled for 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday, June 11. Practice and qualifying are set for Friday, June 9.

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in the world's most produced and iconic racecar, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The championship is one of 20 global Porsche single-make Cup racing series and is the perfect platform for aspiring drivers to ascend to the highest levels of GT competition, such as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Social Media.
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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
24 Hours of Le Mans #LM24
 
Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3CAN
PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 @CaymanGT4CSEast
Clubsport Trophy East #GT4CSE
Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA @PirelliCupUSA


Future Porsche Events.

FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Event: 24 Hours of Le Mans, Circuit del la Sarthe
Dateline: Le Mans, France
Date:

Saturday, June 17 - Sunday, June 18

Track Length: 8.469-miles, 38-turn
Race Duration: 24-Hours
Class: LMP-1 Hybrid (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
  LMGTE-Pro (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2017)
Class: LMGTE-Am (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2015)
Round: 3 of 9
Next Round: 6 Hours of Nürburgring. Nürburgring, Germany, July 16. 2017
 

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Event: Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen International
Dateline: Watkins Glen, New York
Date: Sunday, July 2
Track Length: 2.459-miles, 11-turn
Race Duration: 6-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
  GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 5 of 11
  GTD. 6 of 12
Next Round: Sports Car Grand Prix, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, June 9, 2017
 

IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
IMSA ULTRA 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama

Event: Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen International
Dateline: Watkins Glen, New York
Date: Race 1. Friday, June 30
  Race 2. Saturday, July 1
Track Length: 3.4-miles, 20-turn
Race Duration: Two, 45-minute races
Class: Platinum (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, MY 2017)
  Gold (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, MY 2014-2016)
Round: USA. 7 and 8 of 14
  Canada. 3 of 12
Next Round: USA. Road Race Showcase, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 5-6, 2017 Canada. Streets of Toronto, Toronto City Street Course, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 15-16, 2017


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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.

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