Porsche Motorsports Event Notes. Monday, March 21, 2016
March 22, 2016
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.
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Porsche Motorsports Event Notes. Monday, March 21 2016
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event. Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway
Dateline. Sebring, Florida
Date. Saturday, March 19
Circuit. Sebring International Raceway
Track Length/Turns. 3.75-miles/17-turns
Race Duration. 12-Hours
Classes. GT Le Mans (GTLM Porsche 911 RSR),
GT Daytona (GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round. GTLM. Two of Ten
GTD. Two of Ten
Next Round. GTLM. Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16
GTD. Monterey Grand Prix, May 1
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge
Event. Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway
Dateline. Sebring, Florida
Date. Friday, March 18
Race Duration. Two Hours, 30-minutes
Class. Grand Sport (GS) (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport)
Round. Two of Ten
Next Round. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, April 30
Porsche Profile. Event Story Lines
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Captures First Professional Worldwide Win
The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport made international motorsports history this past weekend with a victory in the Sebring 150 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) race. Cameron Cassels (Canada) and Trent Hindman (Wayside, New Jersey) took the mid-engine racer based on the road-going Porsche Cayman GT4 to the car’s first professional race win in the one-hour, 30-minute support series race. The No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Cayman GT4 Clubsport won in decisive fashion giving the newest Porsche Motorsport customer offering its inaugural victory in the IMSA-sanctioned series.
The German marque’s last mid-engine customer-available racecar was the RS Spyder prototype which ended its factory supported career in 2010. Since, all Porsche Motorsport GT victories have come with variants of the iconic, rear-engined Porsche 911. The only other mid-engine Porsche racing today is the 919 Hybrid factory program which won the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP1 title.
Trent Hindman, Driver, No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport: “Never in a million years did I think we could pull off a win in the first race for our new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. We have to keep our foot on the gas and hopefully we can keep this result going forward.”
Calling All Cars. Full Porsche GT Racecar Production Line On Track at Sebring
Porsche Motorsport currently builds four GT road car-based entries for international competition: the Porsche 911 RSR to ACO GTE specifications, the FIA GT3-spec 911 GT3 R, the 911 GT3 Cup – the world’s most produced racecar – and the new mid-engine Cayman GT4 Clubsport. For the first time all four cars were entered for competition on the same event weekend when IMSA brought its top series to Sebring International Raceway, March 16-19. A pair of 911 RSRs contested the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring entered by the official works team, Porsche North America. The Nos. 911 and 912 each led the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the No. 912 finishing third in class. Four of the newest 911-based racecars, the GT3 R, were contesting for GT Daytona (GTD) class honors. Alex Job Racing brought two cars, the WeatherTech Racing No. 22 and No. 23 Team Seattle car which came within one corner of capturing a podium finish. Black Swan Racing, who earned the 911 GT3 R its first podium at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, brought the No. 540 while Park Place Motorsports fought for the lead with its No. 73 racecar.
Two key support series added significantly to the tally for Porsche. Five Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport racecars fought for victory in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) on Friday, March 18 with the No. 12 Bodymotion Racing car giving the mid-engine sports car its first victory. CJ Wilson Racing brought two more, while Muehlner Motorsports America added a fourth and Team TGM debuted at Sebring with a fifth.
The largest contingent of Porsche came in the one-make Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. 32 of the production-line racer were entered with 21 cars representing the current generation of Porsche 911 road cars and 11 being the previous, sixth-gen car.
In total, there were 43 officially built Porsche products on track over the course of the weekend, by far the greatest number of any manufacturer competing on the legendary circuit.
Porsche 911 RSR
By scoring third-place at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Florida, Porsche has consolidated its strong position in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In a dynamic race run at times under very difficult conditions, 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) scored a podium result in the GTLM class with the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by team Porsche North America. In the drivers’ championship of the most important sports car series in North America, they moved up the rankings to now sit second-place after two of ten rounds. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche also maintains second. Patrick Pilet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Kévin Estre (France) did not make it to the checkered flag. While running in the lead, a heavy collision caused them to park the No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR and not continue.
Before rain began to flood large stretches of the circuit, the Porsche 911 RSR made the most of the situation. As conditions worsened, Tandy and Bamber were in their element at the wheel of the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach. Tandy took over the wheel of the No. 911 from the reigning IMSA GT champion Pilet, and in deteriorating conditions had moved into the lead after 56 laps. After 66 laps, the race was red-flagged due to weather and a flooded racing surface. At the pause of competition, the two Porsche factory cars held first and second-place.
After the race resumed, the No. 911 led with Kévin Estre (France) behind the wheel with the No. 912 driven by Michael Christensen (Denmark), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Bamber in third after seven hours. Shortly after 116 laps, the leading 911 RSR was out: While fighting for the lead, Estre collided with the No. 3 Corvette in Turn 1, made heavy contact with a tire barrier and was forced to retire. Christensen inherited the lead spot, but under dry conditions was unable to maintain the lead. The No. 912 continued to race in second-place for much of the remaining time but took the checkered flag in third, just five seconds off the leader after 12 hours of racing.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.
“We can be very pleased with third-place today. The race was tumultuous with many caution phases and a break of more than two hours – it was difficult for everyone. Unfortunately we too were a victim of the rain. We lost our leading 911 RSR, that’s a real shame. The race was tough to the finish. To finish five seconds down on the leader is not bad at all. The entire team did everything they could under the most difficult conditions. Our pit stops were good and so was our strategy. But sadly it still wasn’t quite enough in the end.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
“We did our very best from start-to-finish and we were rewarded for this. Although we had to start from the back of the field, we improved over the course of the race. We can be proud of this achievement. To climb the podium at Daytona and Sebring is a great way to start this very competitive championship and it opens up our chances for the rest of the season.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
“Our race was good and we really deserved the podium result. Our 911 RSR was very well prepared and the team had developed a great strategy, which enabled us to fight to the flag. Unfortunately our opponents were a little faster, but still it was a good result for Porsche.”
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
Those were twelve exciting hours. None of us made a mistake and the team supported us with a super strategy. Our vehicle had a great setup that worked perfectly on a wet and dry track. In the end it wasn’t quite enough, but we can live with that. The season has only just begun.”
Porsche 911 GT3 R Continues Success During Development Process
The Porsche 911 GT3 R, based on the seventh-generation of the legendary rear-engine sports car, made its worldwide debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January. Before and after, development of Porsche’s newest 911-based racecar has gone on in earnest all over the world. To this point, all of the car’s success has come in the United States under the guiding hand of Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA).
At Daytona, Black Swan Racing captured the car’s first podium – second-place. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance success was followed by the car’s first pole position and sprint race victory with factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) in the Pirelli World Challenge GT season-opener at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) the first weekend of March. Long’s World Challenge teammate, Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California) won back-to-back pole positions and races in that series’ third and fourth rounds at St. Petersburg, Florida with EFFORT Racing.
The 911 GT3 R development process has been ongoing, including a week’s trial here at Sebring International Raceway, the most punishing racetrack on the schedule – but nothing beats real life competition at full racing speed. Each of the four customer IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) class 911 GT3 Rs – fielded by: Team Seattle Alex Job Racing, WeatherTech Alex Job Racing, Black Swan Racing and Park Place Motorsports – showed speed and competitiveness in the March 19th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring race. The No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche came within less than a second of capturing the FIA GT3-class spec car’s fifth podium. Its sister car, the No. 22 WeatherTech machine, was fifth giving Alex Job Racing two-top-five finishes. Daytona podium-finisher, Black Swan, was 13th while the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports machine suffered a water pressure issue and retired early in the event finishing 17th after fighting at the front of the GTD class.
Alex Job, Owner, Alex Job Racing.
“Mario did the best he could to go for the win. I told him in one lap, ‘Go get those Audi’s’ and he got them both on the same lap. Unfortunately, one of them got him back on the last corner of the last lap. But, Mario, Ian and Alex all did an awesome job. The No. 23 car was in the hunt for the win all day long. We’ll have to come back here next year and go for [win] number 11.”
Ian James, Driver, No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“”The team did an amazing job. We were the only Porsche left there in the fight. For us to be fighting for the win all day long, it was amazing. The crew did not miss a beat on the pit stops. The car ran flawlessly. Mario and Alex drove amazingly. I think we deserved to be on the podium. But, we came up just one [spot] short.”
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Launches 2016 Season at Sebring
Jesse Lazare, the top returning driver from the 2015 championship, led from flag to flag to win Round 1 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama on Thursday, March 17 at Sebring International Raceway.
Lazare, from Montreal, led the field from pole position and never looked back, taking an eventual 7.034-second victory in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche over Lucas Catania in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport entry. It was Lazare’s third straight win at Sebring, after sweeping the opening two rounds last season before finishing second in the overall championship.
Race 2, held Friday, March 18, Lucas Catania needed every corner of the 17-turn, 3.74-mile historic Sebring International Raceway and every second of the 45-minute race to earn his first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama victory.
Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, won Round 2 in his No. 26 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, .290 of a second in front of Chris Green in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche.
Jesse Lazare, No. 21 Kelly-Moss Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Winner Race 1.
“Everything was working. If I wouldn’t have had this team with me, I wouldn’t have been as dominant as I was able to be. The car was fantastic. I was fortunate that the guys in second, third and fourth were fighting hard, so I just had to keep it on track and keep going. The engineers set up my car so perfectly that it just kept getting better and better, and in this heat, that’s impressive.”
Lucas Catania, Driver, No. 26 NGT Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, Winner Race 2.
“It’s indescribable, really. But the amount of preparation we put in as a team, I think it was just a matter of time until we got the win. We just tried to stay consistent throughout the weekend.”
Porsche Point of View.
Jens Walther, President/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
“For Porsche Motorsport North America, the high point of the weekend is the first victory of the Cayman GT4 Clubsport. This car is very significant as we now offer a complete path for our customer drivers and teams to progress from the very entry level of the sport up through and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, to the 911 GT3 R – in both endurance and sprint race specifications – on to the pinnacle of GT racing, the Porsche 911 RSR. It is noteworthy that each of these cars was racing here at Sebring this weekend, and I wish to congratulate Bodymotion Racing on the achievement.”
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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 186 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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