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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Monday, June 18, 2018

Atlanta, Georgia.
This Week:

  • Porsche Wins at Le Mans – Twice. 911 RSR Earns GTE-Pro and GTE-AM Titles.
  • Porsche at the Peak. Cayman GT4 Clubsport Class to Make Hill Climb Debut.
  • Porsche at 14,000 Feet. 16 Porsche Entries To Make Run Up Pikes Peak.
  • Le Mans Winner to Road America. Christensen Takes 24-Hour Title to Next PWC Race.


    Porsche Profile.
    Event Story Lines.
    Porsche Wins at Le Mans – Twice. 911 RSR Earns GTE-Pro and GTE-AM Titles.

    In its 70th Year as a builder of iconic sports cars, Porsche extended its history at the world’s most iconic sports car race winning both LMGTE GT classes of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the LMGTE-Pro category, the factory No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR, in its “Pink Pig” historic paint scheme, took the checkered flag on the Circuit de la Sarthe after completing 344 laps. The driver trio of Kévin Estre (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) held the lead for most of the race distance on the tradition-steeped 8.47-mile racetrack. The works drivers performance earned Porsche a record-extending 106th class victory at the French classic. In the Pro-Am style LMGTE-Am class, the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Dempsey-Proton Racing customer team also celebrated an impressive win. Putting in an inspired drive, Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) notched up the 107th class win for Porsche. At just 18 years of age, Andlauer has become the youngest class winner at Le Mans.

    As it often is, the LMGTE-Pro class was the most hotly contested at Le Mans this year. With six manufacturers entering multiple cars, Porsche brought four “works” 911 RSR to challenge for top honors. The Nos. 91 and 92 were campaigned by the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) arm of the factory program while the Nos. 93 and 94 – each in the 2018 factory livery – were run by the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship CORE autosport-led effort.

    The No. 91 shared by Richard Lietz (Austria), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) perfectly rounded out the two top steps of the podium for Porsche in the GTE-Pro class. The No. 91 earned pole position for the class and led early in the race adorned in the classis “Rothmans” paint of the 1980s. Technical problems with the No. 93 put the car into the garage for repairs during the night. The car driven by Patrick Pilet (France), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) lost 25 minutes in the process and ultimately finished in eleventh-place. For Romain Dumas (France), Timo Bernhard and Sven Müller (both Germany), the race was over after seven hours. Their No. 94 retired in the night with suspension damage.

    The All-American lineup headed by Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) narrowly missed a podium spot in the GTE-AM class finishing in fourth-place. Long, a two-time class winner at Le Mans, was joined by rookie Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) and Porsche veteran Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) in the No. 99 Proton Competition 911 RSR. Long’s WeatherTech GTD-class teammate and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark) took sixth-place in the No. 80 Ebimotors RSR. The pairing returns to IMSA competition in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R for the Six Hours of The Glen on July 1. The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR driven by works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Park Place Motorsports principal/driver Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) as well as Egidio Perfetti (Norway) was seventh in class. It was Lindsey’s debut in the race as he campaigns the WEC during the 2018/2019 “Super Season”. Like Long and Nielsen, Bergmeister and Lindsey will return to North America for the six-hour event at Watkins Glen in the Park Place GT3 R in two weeks.

    With these two triumphs at the 24-hour marathon in France, Porsche has extended its lead in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ classifications of the FIA WEC world championship.


    Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
    “An absolutely perfect weekend for Porsche. You can’t wish for more than this in our anniversary year. It’s impossible to plan such a thing, but when it happens it’s an indescribable feeling. Congratulations to the drivers, the teams and all the employees who made this success possible. It makes me very proud.”

    Oliver Blume, CEO of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG.
    “We prepared meticulously for this race and have worked towards this for months. The entire team did a perfect job. We’re incredibly proud of these victories in the GTE-Pro class and of winning the amateur classification. This is a fantastic achievement from our employees. Porsche belongs to Le Mans and Le Mans belongs to Porsche.”

    Michael Steiner, Research and Development at Porsche.
    “The Porsche 911 is and remains the best sports car in the world – it’s a true racer. It doesn’t get better than scoring a victory in the GTE-Pro class and victory in the GTE-Am class on our 70th birthday. This year we’re back at the front and that’s where we belong.”

    Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.
    “It’s a sensation. What a crazy fight out there on the track and a flawless performance from the team. That was an incredible feat, which we ultimately turned into a deserved victory. The class wins are a perfect gift for our 70th anniversary. The fact that we earned maximum points towards the world championship rounds off the whole result. Now the suspense has turned to joy.”

    Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport.
    “We got a perfect lap in qualifying and the result of today’s race has crowned a perfect weekend. Victory in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am class underlines that we’re doing everything right at Porsche in both factory and customer sport. We were able to extend our lead in the manufacturers’ classification and we also moved into the lead of the drivers’ category. All in all, a perfect day.”

    Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It’s simply unbelievable. I just can’t describe my feelings. Today is the best day of my life. We have won the world’s most difficult and wonderful race. That can’t be put into words.”

    Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It was an incredible race, I don’t know what to say. The car was fast right from the start. We had a little luck during a safety car phase and we managed to pull clear of the field a little. From that point on we focused on extending our lead. In the final third of the race we simply tried to avoid taking any risks and bring the car home safely. This worked perfectly.”

    Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “Today is one of the most beautiful, no, the most beautiful days of my career: I’ve won Le Mans. I can’t describe my emotions and I still can’t believe it. Kevin, Michael and I complemented each other perfectly. The entire team was just brilliant today.”

    Frédéric Makowiecki, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “Our car was very fast, but we simply couldn’t keep up with our sister car, which was incredibly consistent. For over an hour I battled hard with a competitor for second-place. That makes my job as a race driver really fun, but we couldn’t make up ground in this phase. I’m thrilled for the team with our second-place at Le Mans. We’ll be back next year to fight for victory.”

    Gianmaria Bruni, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “This double victory is fantastic – for Porsche and our team. We had a great race and a great fight with our number 92 sister car. We tried everything but our team colleagues didn’t make any mistakes and they deserve this win.”

    Richard Lietz, No, 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “Today is a banner day for Porsche – this double win is a wonderful gift for the 70th anniversary. It was a great race, and it doesn’t get much better than first and second-place. This shows that GT racing is the future and we need to invest in it.”

    Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It’s disappointing, of course, not to be further ahead. But we accept the good races with the bad. It was great to see that our car’s pace was good and we could match the frontrunners. Unfortunately, technical problems threw us back considerably. It just wasn’t our race this year.”

    Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “Unfortunately we lost precious time swapping out an alternator and we couldn’t regain that time. But I’m really pleased for Laurens Vanthoor. We share a cockpit in the IMSA WeatherTech series. In two weeks, two Le Mans winners will climb into the cockpit at Watkins Glen.”

    Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It was a difficult race. At times we were running with the leaders and had a very fast car. But a technical problem then threw us down the field. We were determined to finish the race and we finished in eleventh. But that’s how it is at Le Mans. We’ll try again next year.”

    Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR.
    “We experienced a race of mixed fortunes. At one point things looked really promising for us and we were within striking distance of second-place. However, unfortunately we were hampered by brake problems towards the end of the race and fell back. But we’ve gained a lot of valuable experience, which will help us in the future.”

    Patrick Lindsey, Driver, No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR.
    “This was an amazing experience even if it didn’t end the way we wanted. I know when I look back on my race career running the 2018 Le Mans with Jörg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti will be story I tell over and over. It’s truly an unmatched event in every way. I’m proud of our team and the effort we put forth. We ran up front until the last hour, a brake issue brought us in for a short time. The team reacted efficiently and showed why they’re a championship team. I think we will see the fruits of our labor soon. I’m ready for Le Mans 2019. This race is one that keeps you coming back, for better or worse.”

    Julien Andlauer, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
    “At 18 years of age I was given the chance to contest Le Mans for the first time and then we won. I’m very proud of the whole team and I can’t really believe it yet. Now I’m the youngest Le Mans winner, incredible.”

    Christina Nielsen, Driver, No. 80 Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR.
    “Sixth-place is a very good result, because this was our first time at Le Mans. We worked hard and made very few mistakes. I’m very proud of the whole team. We will improve and hopefully be back next year to compete.”

    Patrick Long, Driver, No. 99 Proton Competition with Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It was great fun driving the car here. I particularly enjoyed the night stints. The lights on the new 911 RSR are a great development. We’re very pleased about our sister car’s victory in the GTE-Pro class.”

    Patrick Dempsey, Co-owner Dempsey-Proton Racing.
    “I’m lost for words. Everyone did a fantastic job, it was a victory for the whole team. The race was incredible, we made no mistakes and our work was rewarded with this great success. I can’t tell you how incredibly proud and happy I am for Porsche, too.”


    Porsche at the Peak. Cayman GT4 Clubsport Class to Make Hill Climb Debut.
    In 1948, Porsche took its first race victory, a hill climb event just weeks after that original car was delivered to its owner. The small, agile Porsche 356 first built in Gmünd, Austria and later Stuttgart, Germany set the foundation for an enduring automotive company that has held true to its motorsport DNA since. Now, 70 years later almost to the day of that first hill climb title, Porsche comes full circle by debuting its first one-make class at North America’s premier time trial event: The 96th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). Scheduled to begin official runs up the 12.42-mile, 156-turn Pikes Peak on Sunday, June 24, the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama is an officially sanctioned and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) supported class.

    Eight “invitation-only” entries will contest for the class trophy. The eight drivers and teams are familiar names to Porsche racing fans but only two have ever raced “up the Mountain” before. The lack of experience will magnify the task of eight-time Pikes Peak class champion Jeff Zwart (Corona de Mar, California). Zwart, whose titles in the “Race for the Clouds” have all come in variants of the Porsche 911, has set aside his effort for a ninth victory this year to act as coach and official liaison for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama class.

    Three-time AMA Motocross and Supercross Champion, X-Game winner and stunt performer Travis Pastrana, driving the No. 199 Porsche Colorado Springs-entry, is one of the two aces with previous starts in the Colorado classic. The Davidsonville, Maryland-resident, who transitioned from two-wheel to four-wheel competition highlighted by stints in NASCAR and Global RallyCross, may be the most experienced hill climber in the crop with two past starts at Pikes Peak – including a Rally Group X win in his rookie race – as well as a record-setting run in the 2017 Mount Washington Hill Climb but his competitors are more familiar with the 385-horsepower machine. Mike Skeen (Charlotte, North Carolina) has also driven at Pikes Peak and has experience wheeling the Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Skeen, who is a regular Porsche driver in IMSA sports car competition, will be behind the wheel of the No. 21 prepared by CRP Racing.

    CJ Wilson (Fresno, California) – principal of Porsche Fresno – will make his Pikes Peak debut in the No. 982 being prepared by Rearden Racing team. Also out of the Rearden stable will be IMSA regular Till Bechtolsheimer of New York City in the No. 422. The trio of gentleman drivers in the Porsche Motorsport-built mid-engine sports cars up to the 14,115-foot finish line will be Dr. Alexander Marmureanu (Los Angles, California) in the No. 10 entered by Rearden Racing, Nicholas Kwan (Canada) at the wheel of the No. 420 being prepared by his own team, JF Racing of Area 27, and Canadian Tom Collingwood in the No. 69 also being readied by Kwan’s JF Racing program.

    IndyCar Series regular and 2011 Indianapolis 500-runnerup JR Hildebrand wraps the group of drivers invited to take part in the class. A late entry to the lineup, the Boulder Colorado-resident brings a wealth of motorsports experience but little in the way of rallying. He will share the Porsche Colorado Springs tent with Pastrana in the No. 66 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

    PMNA will have race support on site for the entire week of practice and qualifying (June 19 – 22) and the race (June 24, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. MDT / 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EDT). Yokohama and Mobil 1 will provide technical support throughout the week dedicated to the class while Porsche Design will partner for the race with all eight Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars. The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the race variant of the popular road-going Cayman GT4. Sharing over 80 percent of its components with the street car, the mid-mounted flat-six-powered machine debuted in 2016 winning its first North American championship, the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) GS class, with Bodymotion Racing. In 2017, the car was homologated into official GT4-specification and, with the required updates as well as performance modifications, took on the moniker of Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. Soon after, it won a second GS class title in CTSCC with RS1. In addition, the car took victories in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class with Flying Lizard Motorsports. RS1 returned to victory lane at the IMSA season-opening four-hour race at Daytona International Speedway winning overall with Spencer Pumpelly and 2017 class drivers champion Dillon Machavern. The Porsche Motorsport-produced car also competes in one-make class in Porsche Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA sanctioned events.

    Dr. Daniel Armbruster, president/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
    “Porsche Motorsport has been quite successful in North America, since we began in 1985. As stewards of this rich, 33-year history, we are taking this new endeavor here at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb very seriously. Porsche has a long, winning tradition competing in The Race to the Clouds, including with Jeff Zwart and works driver Romain Dumas, but we have not been here in an official capacity with Porsche Motorsport-built entries. The decision to partner with the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Educational Museum, Inc., Yokohama, Mobil 1 and Porsche Design to create the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama class was several years in the making. By holding the inaugural entries to eight, we believe we have a perfect cross-section of Porsche customers and partners for this exciting debut. Our goal is to make this a long and successful partnership for everyone.”

    Jeff Zwart, Porsche Motorsport Consultant, Eight-Time Pikes Peak Class Winner.
    “It is never easy to put aside a personal passion but I believe I am trading one for another this year. We have faced some challenges to get to this point but now we are into race week and I am feeling good about where we are with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama class. I think this is the start of something very good for the event and for Porsche. It won’t be easy for me on Sunday morning when the times begin to come in knowing I won’t get my shot this year. But this has been a rewarding experience and we will be back in 2019 with our car to challenge for a ninth title.”

    Travis Pastrana, Driver, No. 199 Porsche Colorado Springs Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
    “It's been several years since I went up the mountain and I'm really looking forward to getting another crack at it in a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. How cool is that? The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most iconic races in the world. The new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama class is an awesome way to get re-familiarized with the mountain in a fun but super competitive class. What a great line-up of drivers! Thanks to Porsche, Yokohama Tire and Pikes Peak for this awesome opportunity to compete again in the 'Race to the Clouds.' I'm super stoked and ready to roll."


    Porsche at 14,000 Feet. 16 Porsche Entries To Make Run Up Pikes Peak.
    While the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama is making its debut at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), the eight cars entered in the class are far from the only products produced by the German marque making a run up to the 14,115 ft finish line on June 24. Eight additional cars with a wide range of Porsche platforms are on the entry list for the 96th running of the “Race to the Clouds” in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Entries with Porsche connections – including one factory driver – will challenge for fastest time honors in four different divisions and classes.

    While not running a Zuffenhausen-built car in 2018, Porsche “works” driver Romain Dumas (France) will be attempting his fourth – third consecutive – win at Pikes Peak. The defending champion will challenge for outright victory as well as attempt to set a new track record with an all-electric race car produced by Porsche parent company Volkswagen. Dumas’ previous wins came in 2014, 2016 and 2017. The Frenchman – who raced in the LMGTE-Pro class this past weekend in the No. 94 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – is behind the wheel of the No. 94 Volkswagen I.D.R Pikes Peak in the Unlimited Division.

    Porsche veteran David Donohue (West Chester, Pennsylvania) will make his second appearance at Pikes Peak this weekend. The 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winner (driving a Brumos Racing-prepared Porsche Daytona Prototype) broke the ten-minute barrier in his debut last year with a run of nine-minutes, 49.954-seconds. The Client Relationship Manager for Porsche Cars North America brings a current generation Porsche 911 GT3 R, numbered 911, to the hunt this year for Time Attack 1 Division honors. Two additional Porsche customer entries will challenge Donohue: Akio Kobayashi (Japan) in the No. 249 Porsche 911 GT3 and local Colorado Springs ace Fred Veitch in his No. 73 Porsche 911 Turbo (type 996).

    The four remaining cars carrying the Porsche badge in the 2018 Pikes Peak field all are in the Pikes Peak Challenge Class – Pike Peak Open Division. Raphael Astier of France will pilot the No. 30 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (model year 2007) up “America’s Mountain”. Laure Many, also of France, made her Pikes Peak rookie start in 2017, she is back in a classic 1978 Porsche 911 SC. Attempting to better the two French patriots in the class are two Colorado-residents. The No. 25 911 GT3 Cup car (model year 2014) will be driven by veteran Robert Prilika of Larkspur. The final Porsche is an inevitable fan favorite: a 1970 Porsche 914 driven by local Chris Strauch.

    More about the 96th Running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb can be found at www.PPIHC.org .


    Le Mans Winner to Road America. Christensen Takes 24-Hour Title to Next PWC Race.
    Michael Christensen will celebrate his victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans like any true racer should… he will drive in another race. Following his LMGTE-Pro class victory driving the Porsche “works” car to his first Le Mans class title, the Danish Porsche factory driver will return to his full-season effort in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) with Alegra Motorsports for the Grand Prix of Road America. The twin, 50-minute sprint races at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin will provide Christensen the opportunity to further his streak of podium finishes. Following his win in the most recent PWC race at Lime Rock Park, the June 22 – 24 weekend can also further establish Christensen’s PWC GT championship aspirations in the No. 24 Alegra Porsche 911 GT3 R.

    Christensen’s streak of four consecutive PWC podiums began at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in late April and continued through to his first PWC victory at the most recent round at Lime Rock on May 28 co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia).

    The Le Mans-winner is currently in a heated contest for the PWC Overall GT Championship with Canadian Scott Hargrove. Hargrove opened the season with wins at St. Petersburg, Florida in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and has remained a frontrunner in each of the first five single-driver format races. Both have been podium contenders in the SprintX, two-driver, 60-minute events as well. Combined, the 20 races – 10 each for Sprint and SprintX – will award the Overall Champion. Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) won the title in 2017 with Wright Motorsports.

    The Wright team returns to World Challenge for the first time in 2018 with a Porsche 911 GT3 R for Anthony Imperato (Brooklyn, New York). The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama regular will make his PWC debut in the No. 91 car in the GT Amateur (GTA) class. The familiar Flying Lizard Motorsports colors will also make its 2018 PWC debut at Road America in the GTA class with Andy Wilzoch (Denver, Colorado) in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

    Pfaff Motorsports brings the lone Porsche entry for the GTS Amateur (GTSA) class at the famous Wisconsin race track. Orey Fidani (Canada) has campaigned each race for the team operated by Canada’s largest Porsche dealership in the No. 13 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. Fidani comes to Road America in sixth-place in the GTSA Point standings following four rounds.

    Practice begins on Friday, June 22 with qualifying and the first races scheduled for Saturday, June 23. GT/GTA and GTS will each have their own stand-alone 50-minute events. The grids for Sunday’s two races will be set by fastest race lap in Saturday’s features.
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English (Porsche Cars North America)

PCNA18_0760

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2018/06/18

    • Motorsports
    • Season 2018
    • 24h Le Mans GT
    • Pirelli World Challenge
    • World Endurance Championship GT
    • France \ Le Mans
    • Racingcars
    • 911 GT3 R
    • 911 RSR - Type 991
    • Cayman GT4 Clubsport
    • Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR

Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Monday, June 18, 2018

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