Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Monday, January 8, 2018

July 20th, 2018 by

January 8, 2018


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.

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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Monday, January 8, 2018

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Event: 56th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Saturday – Sunday, January 27 – 28, 2018
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 24-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 1 of 11
  GTD. 1 of 11
Next Round: 66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring, Florida, Sebring International Raceway, March 17, 2018
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Event: BMW Endurance Challenge At Daytona
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Friday, January 26, 2018
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 4-Hours
Class: GS (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR)
Round: GS. 1 of 10
Next Round: 66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring, Florida, Sebring International Raceway, March 16, 2018

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines

Ready to Roar. Porsche GT Team Returns to Daytona for Rolex 24 Test.

Max Root, a 17-year-old driver from Rancho Santa Fe, California, was introduced as the recipient of the 2018 IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Scholarship at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, January 5. The scholarship honors five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona and three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hurley Haywood (St. Augustine, Florida) and provides the driver a foundation to compete in IMSA’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship. Root will compete for multi-time GT3 Cup Champions Wright Motorsports in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car beginning with the first two of the 16-round 2018 season at Sebring International Raceway on March 15 and 16.

The scholarship is provided by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), with support from Porsche, Yokohama, Sonic Tools, OMP and RACER Magazine is worth nearly $70,000.

Racers between the ages of 16 and 25, with no previous full-time Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama experience, are eligible to earn the scholarship. Successful candidates must have a strong desire to compete in the series, outstanding previous race results and proven on-track potential in junior racing categories, and the ability to build a compelling business plan for securing the remaining funding needed to compete in a full season of the IMSA-sanctioned Single-Make Series.

Root rose through the ranks of motocross and UTV racing before shifting his focus to sports car racing. Last year, he participated in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, winning in his first series start at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willow, California and adding a second victory at Circuit of The Americas en route to second-place in the 2017 Diamond class championship.

He finished on the podium in all 16 races in the 2017 championship, and makes his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama debut at Sebring International Raceway on March 14-17 as part of the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event, kicking off the eight-weekend, 16-round season that runs through Oct. 10-13 at Road Atlanta and the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend.

Root will receive from IMSA, with support from Porsche and Yokohama, these rewards with a combined value of approximately $70,000.

Haywood was a mainstay of the illustrious Brumos Porsche team as a driver and a leader for more than four decades. He currently serves as the chief driving instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Haywood, a longtime Porsche Ambassador, played a role in the selection of Root as he did in 2017 recipient – and eventual Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Champion – Jake Eidson.

Root is the second recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, which was expanded in 2017 from a program IMSA, Porsche and Yokohama started in 2014. Previous IMSA Scholarship recipients were Eidson (2017), Victor Gomez IV (2016), Elliott Skeer (2015) and Michael Lewis (2014).

The Batavia, Ohio-based Wright Motorsports team has maintained a long association with Porsche through a variety of racing series, and will field the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class for two-time and defending GTD champion Christina Nielsen (Denmark) and American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) – who won the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GT championship for the team – in addition to its longstanding IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama program.

The IMSA-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is now in its 14th season as one of Porsche’s 21 single-make Cup Challenge series in the world. The series 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.

Racing is divided into two classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the latest generation 2017 and 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current generation of the 911 GT3 street car, and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2014-2016) of the same racecar. A Masters Championship also is conducted in the Platinum class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.

Hurley Haywood, Porsche Ambassador.

“I am a big believer in giving back to the sport that has treated me so well, and there is no better way than by supporting up and coming drivers. Between our annual Porsche Young Driver Academy and this valuable scholarship, we are all able help attract young talent into the sports car competition arena. It was gratifying to see what last year’s IMSA GT3 Cup by Yokohama scholarship winner was able to do with the opportunity. Jake made the most of it, winning the Porsche GT3 Challenge by Yokohama championship his first year in the series. We believe we have made another quality choice with Max Root, and look forward to seeing what he can do over the course of 2018.”

Daniel Armbruster, president/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America. 

“At Porsche, young drivers are always a big topic of conversation. Our Porsche Junior program in Europe is one well-established component, as our Porsche Young Driver Academy has taken root here in North America over the past six years. We are constantly looking for new ways to support talented newcomers like Max Root, while expanding our Porsche ladder system for drivers. Working in partnership with IMSA, Yokohama and other generous sponsors, the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Scholarship is yet another way to attract and encourage new people into our sport.”

Max Root, Driver, Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

“It’s a huge blessing. It’s an honor, just for everything this scholarship stands for. Hurley is an amazing man. I’ve only known him for a little while, and it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to everything it holds with IMSA, Wright Motorsports, Porsche, Yokohama and everyone involved.”

John Wright, Principal, Wright Motorsports.

“It’s a great opportunity. It’s always nice to have a driver that can run up front in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. It’s such a competitive field. Being involved with Hurley, too, he’s always been a hero and mentor of mine, and it’s an honor just being affiliated with the scholarship. It was a little difficult seeing it go to someone else last year, because I feel like I’m a part of the Brumos family, but everybody needs to have an opportunity to do this. I’m glad Max got it this year.

Scott Atherton, president, IMSA.

“On behalf of IMSA, we offer hearty congratulations to Max Root as our 2018 IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship recipient, and also to Wright Motorsports for securing Max’s driving services this season. Max has some big shoes to fill in 2018, as Jake Eidson set the bar high last year with his championship-winning performance, but there is no question Max is another rising star in our sport. We are grateful to our entitlement and presenting partners – Porsche and Yokohama – as well as OMP, Sonic Tools and RACER Magazine for their continued support of this important and beneficial program for aspiring young racers.”

For more information about the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3USA @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

Test Concluded. Porsche GT Team and Customer Efforts Close Rolex 24 Test.

Official pre-season testing for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has completed at Daytona International Speedway. A pair of Porsche 911 RSRs fielded by the “works” Porsche GT Team and three Porsche 911 GT3 R customer cars ran six sessions over the course of three days in preparation for the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month. The classic North American 24-hour race takes place January 27 – 28.

The Roar Before the Rolex 24 brought 2015 Le Mans overall winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner (2015, 2017) and reigning World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP1 champion Earl Bamber (New Zealand) back to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the North American championship in the Nos. 911 and 912, respectively. The two popular drivers spent 2017 campaigning the Porsche 919 Hybrid in international prototype competition. Both are past competitors in the all-manufacturer GTLM class with Tandy winning the 2015 Rolex 24 in the factory Porsche. Tandy revives his successful past partnership with Patrick Pilet (France) for the season, joined by Frédéric Makowiecki (France) for the endurance races. Bamber joins Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) in the No. 912.

Testing also concluded for the customer Porsche programs in IMSA’s Pro-Am category, GT Daytona (GTD). Three of the FIA GT3-specification 911 GT3 Rs were fielded by three teams with a focus on preparation as well as learning the new aerodynamic “evo kit” updates homologated for 2018 competition. Testing on the 3.56-mile track, which uses the famous NASCAR oval and the track’s infield road course, was the venue for the public debut of the newest GTD team, Wright Motorsports. While no strangers to Porsche or endurance racing, the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GT Champions return to the series for the year with the No. 58 911 GT3 R with one of the strongest Porsche driver lineups outside of the factory GTLM team. North America’s only factory driver, Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), leads the new effort with his full-season partner and Porsche Select Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark). Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) and 2016 Porsche Cup winner Robert Renauer (Germany) will co-drive in the race. The team deemed it a productive test.

Manthey Racing will attempt the 24-hours for a second time in 2018 after its Daytona premier in 2017. Porsche factory driver Sven Müller (Germany) heads the group with Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Germany), Steve Smith (Germany) and Harald Proczyk (Austria) alongside in the No. 59.

Park Place Motorsports, 2017 GTD winners at Lime Rock Park, return for the endurance classic with Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) again sharing the car with driver/team principal Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California). The multi-year pairing adds veteran Porsche racer Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) in the No. 73 GT3 R for the endurance rounds.

Testing included five day sessions, one night session as well as a qualifying session which determined pit lane and garage locations for the 56th running of the 24 At Daytona.

Patrick Long, Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“It was a pretty straightforward three days. We ran every single session and stuck to our original plan. It was great to get to know my co-drivers- Robert, Christina and Mathieu. It didn’t take long for us to jell as a team. It’s also great to be back in IMSA. We’ll be working hard between now and the race weekend because as always, things will happen very quickly between when we load-in on Wednesday and when we start the race on Saturday afternoon. We’ll have to make good use out of every single minute.”

Cayman Test. Porsche Customers in CTSCC Enjoy Track Time in Daytona.

The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) competitors enjoyed six on-track test sessions for the road-car based, GT4-specification machines. Four Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs are on tap to be entered in the four-hour season-opening round of the series on January 26. Five tested at Daytona over the weekend.

2016 CTSCC champions Bodymotion Racing brought the No. 5 for Stevan McAleer (Monticello, New York) and Joe Robillard (Short Hills, New Jersey). 2017 Champions RS1 brought two of the mid-engine machines based on the Porsche Cayman GT4; the No. 18 RS1 driven by Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) and the No. 28 piloted by the 2017 GS class driver champion Dillon Machavern (Burlington, Vermont). BGB Motorsports brought back the No. 38 shared by James Cox (Nokomis, Florida)/ John Tecce (Gladwyne, Pennsylvania)

Ulli Upietz Remembered. Legendary Porsche Photographer Passes Away.

Ulli Upietz passed away Sunday, January 7th at a hospital in Düsseldorf, Germany. Upietz, a world-renowned Motorsports photographer featured a portfolio from more than 60 racetracks in over 20 different countries. Long associated with Porsche, Upietz began publishing Porsche Sport, a full season summary of Porsche Motorsports globally in photographs and words since 1993. Not only deeply passionate about all things Porsche, Ulli forged deep, long-lasting relationships with many he met. A veteran of 100 24-hour endurance races, he attended the 24 Hours of Le Mans 40 times alone.

Despite a heart attack in 2005, Ulli remained active in photography and his many other endeavors through 2017. His sons Tim, Sven and Björn joined his publishing company, Gruppe C and they continue the rich Porsche tradition, creating and publishing Porsche Sport, now in its 25th year.

Ulli was 62 years old.

From his son Tim: “Our dad has been one of the biggest motor sports photographers in the world for decades. Countless magazines, websites and above all books have been decorated with his pictures.

He taught us what passion is all about and dedicated his life to motorsport. His closeness to Porsche adorned his life and that really meant everything to him.

He showed me how to make books and I promised to continue his life’s work. And today we do everything we can to make him proud.

Unfortunately, he could not win the last race and he is definitely leaving too early.

Of course, we respect his longing desire and refrain from a funeral in a large circle, because he never liked funerals.

For us, his three sons he was a role model and showed us how ambition and fighting for something.

The last few years were not easy for him due to illness, but until the very end he pursued all motorsports races on TV.

His heart was not strong enough in the end and maybe it was not all that surprising for us, but that does not make it any easier.

It was an honor for us to dedicate the 25th Porsche Motorsport Yearbook to him in December and hand it over to him “and that’s for you, Daddy!”

Now he is resting in peace and will pursue his beloved motorsport races from afar. RIP Dad!”

Social Media.
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche North America. @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing – 919 Hybrid. @Porsche_Team
Model Hashtags.
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
Event Hashtag
Rolex 24 At Daytona #Rolex24
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
Intercontinental GT Challenge @IntercontGTC

Future Porsche Events.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Event: 56th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Saturday – Sunday, January 27 – 28, 2018
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 24-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 1 of 11
  GTD. 1 of 11
Next Round: 66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring, Florida, Sebring International Raceway, March 17, 2018
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Event: BMW Endurance Challenge At Daytona
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Friday, January 26, 2018
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 4-Hours
Class: GS (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR)
Round: GS. 1 of 10
Next Round: 66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring, Florida, Sebring International Raceway, March 16, 2018

Porsche Motorsport Video News Releases.


Porsche Cars North America Media Site.

Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Site.

Porsche North America Race Team Portal.

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.


Dave Engelman 
Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
Office. 770-290-3617
Mobile. 404-386-4665

Tom Moore
Motorsports Public Relations
Office. 615-778-1614
Mobile.  615-509-5000


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