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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This Week:

  • Fourth In Fourth. Wright Motorsports Captures Fourth-Place in Fourth IGTC Race.
  • History Piece. Le Mans-winning 919 Uses Public Roads to Enter Porsche Museum.

    Porsche Profile.
    Event Story Lines.
    Fourth In Fourth. Wright Motorsports Captures Fourth-Place in Fourth IGTC Race.

    The No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R prepared by Wright Motorsports finished in fourth-place at the final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) in Monterey, California on October 28. Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas, Frédéric Makowiecki (both from France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) crossed the California 8-Hours finish line at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Raceway after completing 306 laps of the 2.238-mile road course. Black Swan Racing, fielding the No. 54 911 GT3 R for factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) joined with team principal/driver Timothy Pappas (Boston Massachusetts) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (The Netherlands) in the 500 hp customer sport racer from Weissach, Germany to take tenth-place in the race. The performance of the two professional drivers helped give Pappas second-place in the Driver Championship for Bronze level drivers.

    The California 8-Hours, held for the second consecutive year, again served as the season finale of the IGTC – a series contested on four continents with races in Australia, Belgium and Japan as well as here in North America. Black Swan Racing contested all four rounds of the season and scored points in each of the events. Pappas achieved the best result with former Porsche works driver and current Head of Customer Racing Marc Lieb (Germany) as well as Luca Stolz and Bleekemolen at the season-opening round in Bathurst, Australia, where the team finished in third-place overall.

    Sebastian Golz, Project Manager, 911 GT3 R.
    “The changes to the setup prior to the qualifying didn’t pay off for the number 911 car, but by the start of the race the car was good again. Unfortunately, a differential issue made it difficult for us to maintain the high pace over the entire distance, but thanks to a good strategy and great teamwork, we still managed to advance up the field. For Black Swan Racing, a minor off made the race a little more difficult, but in this case, too, the result was strong. Second in the overall classification for gentlemen drivers is a fantastic reward for four extremely tough endurance races around the globe.”

    Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 911 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
    “Fourth-place was the most we could do today. The car handled really well early on in the race but it unfortunately tailed off towards the end. We experienced a rollercoaster season, and Frédéric, Dirk and I yielded the best result in Laguna Seca to conclude the season. So we’re happy.”

    Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 911 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
    “We should be proud because our performance was strong. Had we not suffered a minor technical hiccup halfway through the race we might have brought home a podium result. The mechanics, engineers and my teammates all did a great job. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope I get the chance to drive here again next year.”

    Dirk Werner, Driver, No. 911 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
    “On the one hand, we should be happy because we drove a clean race. And on the other hand, our Porsche was faster in qualifying and ultimately we were just one position off claiming a podium spot. All in all, however, we rounded off a good day for Porsche Motorsport. Congratulations to Proton Competition for winning the ELMS title this weekend in Portimão. In this respect, the benchmark was, of course, very high for us in California.”

    History Piece. Le Mans-winning 919 Uses Public Roads to Enter Porsche Museum.
    The Porsche 919 Hybrid entered the final chapter of its storied history on October 25 in true Porsche fashion. Under a police escort, Mark Webber (Australia) and Marc Lieb (Germany) drove the two Le Mans prototypes from the Porsche research and development center in Weissach, Germany to the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen. The two drivers negotiated the 15.5-mile (25 kilometers) scenic route from Number 911 Porschestraße to Number 1 Porscheplatz, managing more than 1000 hp each in public traffic before Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, handed the pair of cars over to Achim Stejskal, Director of the Porsche Museum.

    Webber was at the wheel of the 919 Evo, which provides a system output of 1160 hp. The Evo is the ultimate development of the 919. It is the same car Neel Jani (Switzerland) broke the Formula 1 track record at Spa-Francorchamps in April 2018 and Timo Bernhard (Germany) set an absolute track record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in June. Lieb drove the second Porsche 919 Hybrid in the spec it used to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

    In 2011, the Porsche executive board voted to return to the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a class 1 prototype after revolutionary new regulations were introduced requiring hybrid powertrains from 2014 onwards, together with a huge freedom in terms of development.

    The Porsche 919 Hybrid was a rolling laboratory for future technologies. In WEC specification, it generated approximately 900 hp (662 kW) from a compact two-liter V4 turbo engine accounting for almost 500 hp (368 kW) in combination with two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy. While the combustion engine drove the rear axle, an e-motor powered the front axle with over 400 hp (294 kW). The energy generated from the brakes and the exhaust was temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. The system’s 800-Volt technology turned out to be a pioneer for purely electric Porsche sports cars, including the Taycan, which will come to market in 2019.

    The record-breaking Evo version left the drivetrain hardware of the race variant untouched. Free of regulation, the 919 could realize its full potential. Using the same fuel (with 80 percent gasoline, 20 percent bio-ethanol), software updates led to a system output of 1160 hp. Everything that wasn’t needed for a single fast lap was taken off the car – reducing its weight by 86 pounds (39 kilograms) to 1872 pounds (849 kilograms). Active aerodynamic devices, a brake-by-wire system for all wheels and, given the higher aerodynamic force, stronger suspension and specially developed Michelin tires also helped to increase performance for the record runs.

    With the 919 Hybrid, Porsche added three 24 Hours of Le Mans titles to its tally, bringing the current record-setting number to 19 overall Le Mans wins. In addition, three WEC LMP1 World Championship titles in both the drivers’ and the manufacturers’ standings were added to the Porsche record book. The 2018 record-breaking tour for the 919 Evo completed the car’s legendary pedigree. The YouTube video of Bernhard’s lap on the Nordschleife currently has over three million views.

    The 919 Evo made its final on-track appearance on September 30 at Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI. While the car did not attempt a record run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on any of its three days of running, it was a huge draw to the 81,500 people in attendance at the largest Porsche gathering in the world.

    Part of the welcome ceremony for the successful racing cars to the Porsche Museum was a reading from the book “Legendary – The Porsche 919 Hybrid Project”. The 272-page book and 340-page photo book will be available in December 2018.

    Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
    “I explicitly want to thank the authorities for enabling the 919’s final business trip. For the entire team this move-in to the museum marks the end of a very special era. Three Le Mans victories and a total of six world championship titles from 2015 to 2017 with the successful record attempts at Spa and at the Nordschleife in 2018 being the icing on the cake – you just cannot ask for more. The team and I would like to say a big thank you to the executive board and to the Porsche and Piëch families for their great support. The new book ‘Legendary’ and the coffee-table book tell and show the experiences and achievements of the LMP1 team. This means a lot to me.”

    Andreas Seidl, Team Principal Porsche, LMP Team.
    “With the 919 Hybrid project we could explore the fields of technology for Porsche and showcase the performance modern hybrid technology provides. Ultimately, this was achieved by the lap records of the ‘919 Evo’ on its 2018 ‘Tribute Tour’. At this point my special thanks go to our partners. Without them, we could not have financed the program. The last miles on public roads now close the LMP1 chapter for us and we turn the page. Porsche faces the new challenge of e-mobility for road going and racing cars. We are getting very positive feedback for our Formula E entrance at the end of 2019. This is an extra boost of motivation to once again search for the limits.”

    Mark Webber, Driver, FIA World Endurance Championship, LMP1 Champion.
    “It was kind of crazy but fun to handle the beast in public traffic in Germany. It’s typical of Porsche to try to manage something cool like this. The 919 and the years in the FIA World Endurance Championship mean a lot to me. It was an honor to bring the 919 Evo home now.”

    Marc Lieb, Driver, FIA World Endurance Championship, LMP1 Champion.
    “Today’s drive was a very nice finale for Porsche, the 919 and for me personally. Every day I take parts of this route from my house in Ludwigsburg to get to work in the Weissach office. Being in my Cayenne, from now on I will always remember how it looked from the 919’s much lower seat position.”

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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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