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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, July 3, 2018

This Week:

  • Podium Porsche. Porsche 911 RSR Earns Third-Place at Six Hours of The Glen.
  • Porsche To Canada. 911 RSR and 911 GT3 R Move to Canadian IMSA Round.
  • True Tribute. 919 Hybrid Evo Breaks 35 Year-Old Porsche Nürburgring Record.

    Porsche Profile.
    Event Story Lines.
    Podium Porsche. Porsche 911 RSR Earns Third-Place at Six Hours of The Glen.

    The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen turned into a heated battle, both in temperature – which reached 94 degrees Fahrenheit – and competition. The pair of 510 horsepower Porsche 911 RSR factory cars scored third and fourth-position at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. In the six-hour event, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) crossed the finish line just ahead of the sister car driven by Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) in round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Porsche GT Team has notched up two wins in the GTLM class thus far this season at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Following the event on July 1, Porsche ranks second in the manufacturer’s point standings.

    When the 42-strong field rolled onto the grid Sunday morning, the temperature had already reached 86 degrees. In the GTLM class, in which four different automobile manufacturers fight for points, the two Porsche 911 RSR took the green flag, side-by-side on the third row of the grid. Putting in swift pit stops and spectacular overtaking maneuvers, the two vehicles battled their way up the field. Halfway through the race, they were running in first and second-place. When the safety car was deployed half an hour later, both frontrunners were struck by bad timing. Just as they were about to enter the pits to refuel and change tires, the pit lane closed. Several competitors managed to complete their stops shortly before the closing of the pits. This threw both Porsche 911 RSR back to positions fourth and sixth. In the last hour of racing, Vanthoor in the No. 912 car was again hampered by a safety car phase and had to ultimately relinquish the fight for a podium spot.

    Porsche earned important points towards the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup – an endurance race championship within the larger IMSA Championship. After three of four races, Porsche sits in second-place. The long-distance classics included in the 24 Hours at Daytona, 12 Hours at Sebring, 6 Hours of The Glen as well as Petit Le Mans at the legendary Road Atlanta, which is run over ten hours in October.

    Two Porsche 911 GT3 R contested the GTD class on the storied 3.4-mile racetrack. Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) and Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) finished in sixth-place. Due to an accident in which the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports 911 GT3 R was struck by a competitor in practice the day before, the duo was unable to take part in the qualifying and thus started the race last in the field. Porsche “works” driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark) and Robert Renauer (Germany) drove the No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Wright Motorsports 911 GT3 R sporting a special Independence Day livery highlighting the United States flag design. The driver trio took the green flag in eighth-position on the grid and crossed the finish line in ninth-place.

    Round six of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be contested on July 8 in the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

    Steffen Höllwarth, Porsche Program Manager, IMSA SportsCar Championship.
    “We can be happy with positions three and four. A clever tire choice and a good strategy put us in the lead in the first half of the race. Then the safety car came out at an inopportune time. Several parts were laying on the track, but it wasn’t as if a car had hit the wall. For this reason, you didn’t necessarily expect the safety car to be deployed. Several vehicles that were running far behind us opted to take the risk and come in for an early pit stop and that brought them forward. But when you’re running in the lead you don’t risk making such a stop.”

    Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It was a very intense race. The heat inside the cockpit was extreme and during my final stint my drinking system didn’t work. Now I’m thirsty but I’m also pleased to have climbed the podium. The race was a little complicated. At the beginning, I was really wedged in and that means you lose a lot of downforce. In terms of strategy, I’m proud of the team. We responded well. Ultimately we earned important championship points to take home.”

    Nick Tandy, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “I’m pleased that we finished on the podium. Our car was fast and reliable. The caution phases didn’t go so well for us, but that’s typical for sports car races. When we were leading, I could really go flat out. Overtaking, however, was extremely difficult.”

    Laurens Vanthoor, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “We did our best and fought hard. The field was very tight so it came down to the details. Our speed was good but we simply got stuck behind other cars too often. Implementing various strategic measures, we attempted to maneuver ourselves out of these situations but it didn’t work. Luck simply wasn’t on our side today.”

    Earl Bamber, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “It was a close race with many great duels. We had bad luck with the safety car and five seconds made all the difference. At times, it looked as if we could win the race. We had the speed to win, but overtaking was extremely tricky here. Had we been in the lead longer then things would have gone differently for us with the pit stops.”

    Patrick Lindsey, Driver/Team Principal, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
    “I can’t complain about sixth-place. I’m not sure Porsche was the car to beat this weekend, but I did feel like we had a great car in practice. The setup wasn’t perfect for the race, but the guys figured things out after the start. The crew did a great job this weekend. Without everyone working as hard as they did we could have been done Saturday. They got us back out there and kept us competitive. Which is all I ever want to be, if we’re competitive we have a shot. Not a bad weekend at Watkins Glen – highest finishing Porsche, no real race drama and our best finish of the season.”

    Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
    “It went as well as possible considering. I don’t know that we had the car to win today, but we made the best of our situation after Renè [Rast] hit Patrick and we did not qualify. We struggled a bit with different issues during the race and overcame them for the sixth-place finish. I’m not entirely happy of course, but I think we accomplished what was possible with the car today.”

    Porsche To Canada. 911 RSR and 911 GT3 R Move to Canadian IMSA Round.
    One highlight event follows another in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Just one week after the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, North America’s premier endurance sports car race series makes its traditional detour over the border for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) on July 8. The Porsche GT Team fields two 510 hp 911 RSR in the GTLM class on the very fast and demanding course close to Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. This category, in which four automobile manufacturers compete, is known to be particularly tough and is packed with suspense from start to finish. Porsche’s customer team Wright Motorsports will run two 911 GT3 R racers in the GTD class for the two-hour and 40-minute race.

    The storied 2.459-miles, 10-turn CTMP circuit is Canada’s oldest racetrack. The first sports car race on the former Mosport International Raceway was contested in 1961 with victory claimed by Stirling Moss. From 1967 to 1977, the Canadian Formula 1 Grands Prix were held on this dauntingly fast racetrack, located one-hour northeast of Toronto. Porsche’s most recent victory here was scored in 2015 by Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy with the 911 RSR.

    Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), the winners of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring 12 in March, share the cockpit of the No. 911 racer. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) drive the second 911 RSR (No. 912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team in the GTLM class. These two drivers won the Mid-Ohio round in May. Vanthoor raced to a class victory in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 911 RSR. In the GTD class, the Porsche customer team Wright Motorsports will compete with two 911 GT3 R. Sharing driving duties in the No. 58 car is the “works” driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark), with the No. 16 vehicle manned by Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Michael Schein (New York City, New York).

    Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.
    “July is the most intense month in this year’s IMSA SportsCar Championship. Just a week after Watkins Glen, we’re heading across the border to Canada, and after a short break comes Lime Rock. Three races in four weeks – that presents teams and drivers with very special challenges. This gives us only a few days to prepare for the race at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. We need to make the best use of these days as possible so that we can roll onto the grid on Sunday with perfectly setup 911 RSR.”

    Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport.
    “This demanding and fast racetrack offers very little chance to overtake. That makes it all the more important to claim the best possible starting position for the race. This means that we have to do everything to tackle the qualifying with a perfect setup for our 911 RSR. This is no easy task for drivers and teams so soon after the exhausting six-hour race at Watkins Glen.”

    Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R.
    “This high-speed racetrack demands total concentration from the drivers from start to finish. Because the track surface sometimes changes from one corner to the next, the grip level changes as well. Our 911 GT3 R should benefit from its excellent traction on this circuit, not least thanks to our evo-update.”

    Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “We were looking very good on this racetrack last year with the 911 RSR. We set pole position and the fastest race lap, however unfortunately a technical problem put an end to our charge. At Le Mans we learned a great deal as a team and I hope that we can use what we’ve learned for this race. The track is huge fun but it leaves no room for error.”

    Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “This is my favorite track in North America. It’s always a pleasure to drive here. The track’s fast and flowing, and it’s a real rollercoaster. It reminds me of the racetrack in the UK where I grew up. Porsche has always performed well in Canada. We won the race in 2015. It’s high time for the next win.”

    Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “After the race at Watkins Glen we’re now heading straight to Canada. This gives our team very little time to do lots of work. But the boys are used to this. The racetrack is hugely challenging, it’s quite short, but very fast. Last year we had the chance to win, but we couldn’t use it. I’m confident that we’ll do better this time.”

    Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
    “This is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar. I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’re looking good in the fight for the championship and I hope we can continue to improve our position.”

    Patrick Long, Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
    “The circuit in Canada is very special. It’s ultra-fast and there are hardly any run-off zones. Driving there is great fun, however you have to keep a cool head and always know what you’re doing. This track is unforgiving of even the smallest mistakes.”

    True Tribute. 919 Hybrid Evo Breaks 35 Year-Old Porsche Nürburgring Record.
    On Friday morning, June 29, Timo Bernhard (Germany) lapped the 12.94 miles (20.832 kilometer) Nürburgring Nordschleife race circuit in five-minutes and 19.55 seconds piloting the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo. The time equates to an average speed of 145.3 mph (233.8 km/h) on what is revered by race drivers, engineers and enthusiasts alike as the world’s most difficult race track. Bernhard’s lap bettered the previous lap record, set by Stefan Bellof, by 51.58 seconds.

    Bellof’s record time of 6:11.13 stood for 35 years and 31 days. The German, who tragically died at Spa-Francorchamps in 1985, turned the record lap on May 28, 1983 at the wheel of a powerful 620 bhp Rothmans Porsche 956 C during practice for the 1000-kilometer World Endurance Championship sports car race.

    Proud and relieved Bernhard – a five-time overall winner of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, two-time outright winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and reigning FIA World Endurance Champion (WEC) with the Porsche 919 Hybrid – clambered out of the tight Le Mans Prototype (LMP) cockpit.

    Today’s success is the second track record achieved by the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo on the “919 Tribute Tour”. Earlier this year on April 9, the dramatic evolution of the three-time Le Mans winner lapped the Spa-Francorchamps circuit faster than a Formula One car with Neel Jani (Switzerland) at the wheel. The 34-year old Porsche works driver – Le Mans overall winner and World Endurance Champion in 2016 – set a lap of 1:41,770 minutes on the 4.35 mile (7.004 kilometer) Grand Prix circuit in the Belgian Ardennes mountains. He topped the previous track record, set by Lewis Hamilton in 2017 F1 qualifying, by 0.783 seconds.

    The Evo version of the Porsche 919 Hybrid is based on the car that took outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Over the winter, it was freed from some restrictions previous determined by the regulations of the championship. Thus, its hybrid power train in Evo form develops a system output of 1160 hp. The Evo weighs only 1872 pounds (849 kilograms) and its modified (and now active) aerodynamics generates over 50 percent more downforce compared to the WEC model. Top speed at the Nürburgring was 229.5 mph (369.4 kph).

    To prepare the 919 Evo record car, the base was the 2017 world championship car. On top came developments that were prepared for the 2018 WEC but never raced after the withdrawal at the end of 2017.

    For the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo the entire hardware of the power train remained untouched. The 919 is powered by a compact two-liter turbo charged V4-cylinder engine and two energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front axle combined with exhaust energy. The combustion engine drives the rear axle while the electro motor boosts the front axle to accelerate the car with four-wheel drive. At the same time it recuperates energy from the exhaust system that otherwise would pass unused in to the atmosphere. The electrical energy that comes from the front brakes and the exhaust system is temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery. Freed from restrictions, equipped with an updated software but running the regular race fuel (E20, containing 20 percent bio ethanol), the Evo version delivers 720 hp versus 500 hp in its race-focused base. With now full boost being available, the e-machine output increased by ten percent from 400 to 440 hp.

    The engineers also unchained the aerodynamics of the 919 Evo from the regulations. The new larger front diffuser now balances the new and very large rear wing, both of which have actively controlled drag reduction systems (DRS). The hydraulically operated systems trim the trailing edge of the front diffuser and opens up the slot between the rear wing main plane and the flap respectively in order to reduce drag. Underneath the Evo the turning vanes and floor have been optimized. Fixed height side skirts increase the aerodynamic performance again as efficiently as possible. In total, the aero modifications resulted in 53 percent higher downforce and an increase in efficiency by 66 percent (compared to the 2017 Spa WEC qualifying).

    To help further expand the performance envelope, the Evo gained a four-wheel brake-by-wire system to provide additional dynamic yaw control. Furthermore, the power steering was adapted for the higher loads and stronger suspension wishbones (front and rear) were designed.

    Compared to the car in conventional race trim, the dry weight was reduced by 6.6 pounds (39 kilograms). To achieve this, air-conditioning, windscreen wiper, several sensors, electronic devices from race control, lights systems and the pneumatic jack system were removed. Michelin developed special tire compounds for the 919 Evo that produces more downforce than a Formula One car.

    The attempt at the Nordschleife closes the chapter of chasing records with the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo. At rather moderate speeds, the top athlete will have several more appearances:
    • July 6 and 7: VW Fun Cup Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
    • July 12 –15: Goodwood Festival of Speed (Great Britain)
    • September 2: Festival of Porsche Brands Hatch (Great Britain)
    • September 26 – 29: Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca (Monterey, California)

    Timo Bernhard, Driver, Porsche LMP Team.
    “This is a great moment for me and for the entire team – the 919 program’s icing on the cake. The Evo was perfectly prepared and I have done my best on this lap. Thanks to the aerodynamic downforce, at sections I never imagined you can stay on full throttle. I’m pretty familiar with the Nordschleife. But today I got to learn it in a new way. For me Stefan Bellof is and remains a giant. Today my respect for his achievement with the technology available back then increased even more.”

    Fritz Enzinger, Vice President, Porsche Motorsport LMP1 .
    “A big thank you goes to our development team in Weissach and the crew on site for the focused and safe operation of this record attempt. It is terrific what our team has achieved in four years in the World Endurance Championship. From 2015 to 2017 three overall wins in Le Mans and three drivers’ and three manufacturers’ world championship titles. This isn’t easy to be reproduced by anyone. The Tribute Tour is our homage to these years. We didn’t want to see the most innovative race car of its time disappearing unceremoniously in to the museum. Thanks to the support from our partners, we were able to develop the Evo version of the Porsche 919 Hybrid for record attempts.”

    Andreas Seidl, Porsche Motorsport LMP Team Principal.
    “As a race team we constantly search for challenges that push a car, driver and team to operate on the limit. Conquering the ‘Green Hell’ [the popular nickname for the Nürburgring Nordschleife] definitely provided such a challenge. Since last winter we were preparing for that task together with our tire partner Michelin – painstakingly and with a great deal of respect for this track. Today we have shown the full potential of the 919 Evo. Congratulations to Timo for his sensational drive. Being a record winner at the Nürburgring, Timo was the logical choice for the job. Balancing attack and caution at all times was mandatory on this circuit. Safety is the highest priority. In this regard, I also like to thank the Nürburgring team. Porsche cultivates a long and deep relationship with the ‘Ring. Record attempts wouldn’t be possible without the highly professional track support.“

English (Porsche Cars North America)




    • Motorsports
    • Season 2018
    • IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
    • Canada \ Bowmanville
    • Racingcars
    • 911 GT3 R
    • 911 RSR - Type 991
    • 919 Hybrid

Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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