Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Monday, November 14, 2016

July 20th, 2018 by

November 14, 2016


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, November 14, 2016

Next Porsche Motorsport Event

FIA/ World Endurance Championship
Event: 6 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
Dateline: Sakhir, Bahrain
Date: Sunday, November 19
Track Length: 3.363-miles, 15-turn
Race Duration: Six-Hours
Class: LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
LMGTE Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
LMGTE Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
Round: 9 of 9
Next Round: 2017

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines

Desert Championship Chase. Porsche to Fight for WEC Drivers’ Title in Bahrain.

After having won the world championship title for manufacturers, Porsche is determined to also take the drivers’ title at the final round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on November 19 in Bahrain. This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans winners, Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany), have a 17-point advantage ahead of the highest-placed Toyota. The trio only needs to finish in fifth-place or higher at the Six Hours of Bahrain even if the Toyota wins and also takes the one point for pole position. The No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid’s target is to have a clean and error free six-hour race.

While the driving trio in the number 2 car fights for the title, the number 1 car’s crew also faces an emotional weekend. Bahrain will see the trio of Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) racing together for the last time. Webber, a former Formula One driver, announced his retirement earlier this year effective at the end of the season, which comes here in Bahrain. In the future he will join Porsche in his new role as special representative. The three drivers, who are still the reigning world champions, have won four races thus far this season. However, after being unlucky earlier this year and in Le Mans, they are fourth in the championship standings.

The 3.36-mile long Formula One track in Sakhir will host the third WEC race of the year to be held partly in the dark – after Le Mans and at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The six-hour race will be green flagged at 4:00 p.m. local time. This is actually an hour later than last year and means the drivers will have to deal with blinding from the setting sun from the drop of the green flag – sunset is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Slightly cooler asphalt, however, is welcomed by the Porsche Team, because the competition benefits from the heat. In any case, the track conditions are always a challenge at Bahrain as a result of the fine sand from the desert is continuously blown onto it.

The Weissach, Germany-developed Porsche 919 Hybrid produces a system power of over 900 HP (662 kW). Its combustion engine is a ground breaking downsizing motor. The compact two-liter V4 turbocharged gasoline engine drives the rear axle with almost 500 HP (368 kW). Two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front and exhaust energy – feed a lithium ion battery that, on command, passes on the energy to an E machine to power the front axle with an extra boost of over 400 HP (294 kW).

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.

“Six wins out of eight races, plus the early manufacturers’ title win, this is a fantastic interim balance sheet. I’m incredibly proud of our team. Everybody gave everything and it was worth it. For the finale, now we will again combine all our forces to win the drivers’ crown again in Bahrain. It is not going to be easy, but surely exciting. I just hope it doesn’t become such a nail-biter as it was in 2015. Thinking about this race being the last one for Mark [Webber] as well as for our highly respected competitor Audi, I prefer to postpone until afterwards.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.

“The Bahrain track itself, as well as the expected higher temperatures, are less suitable for our 919 Hybrid than the Shanghai circuit was, where we clearly had the fastest car on track. Even more important is a strong team effort for perfect preparation and set-up, continuing reliability, fast pit stops and right strategic calls. Of course we’d love to conclude the season with a race win together with the drivers’ title. We will fight until the very last lap to fulfill that.”

Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“Being the season’s closing event and the last race for my teammate Mark [Webber], it definitely will be a highly emotional weekend. We will do everything that we can so that he can walk away with the best possible result for a nice farewell. Of course, we’d love to finish the season with another victory. It wasn’t always easy for us this year, but it paid off that we always stayed motivated and looked ahead. High temperatures and a sandy track make Bahrain a difficult race, so we have to get all the parameters right for that.”

Brendon Hartley, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid. 

“In one way I’m looking forward to Bahrain and in another it is sad, because it will be the last weekend with Mark [Webber]. We are no longer fighting for the drivers’ world championship in the number 1 car, but we will do all we can to make sure Mark ends his career on a high and also will support our sister car.”

Mark Webber, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“Bahrain is obviously not a normal race for me. It will be pretty emotional. To arrive there knowing it is the last time I will compete seriously will be a big moment. I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’ve got a lot of friends coming from all around the world, especially from Australia and Europe, to watch me drive for the last time. Of course we would love to go out with a victory, but, irrespective of the result, I think it would be nice for me to have a smooth day and look back on a very, very long career of which I’m, of course, very proud. I thought about it a few times. I will walk away from the car just one more time – take the helmet and balaclava off and the ear plugs out, doing all these things for one last time. That will be very different, but I’m looking forward to not having to do this in the future.”

Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“The race in Bahrain is going to be a big day like Le Mans, because there is so much at stake. We need to be one hundred percent focused and cannot afford any mistakes. We have to get this world championship now.”

Neel Jani, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“The season ending is always special and this year it is even more so. For us it is all about the championship. Our position in the points is good. At the most recent race in Shanghai our pace was very good in the beginning, we were on track for the title win, but then we lost ground. This was analyzed and we found the reason for it. This makes me very positive before the finale. After having secured the manufacturers’ title, it would be the greatest joy to now seal the drivers’ title as well.”

Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“A finale with an open title decision is extremely exciting for everyone, and I’m really looking forward to it. Coming fifth in the race would be enough to win the championship. So far we have had a very reliable car and we hope it just stays like that. Also at the finale we desperately want to show that we can do better than in the recent races.”

Six Hours of Bahrain. Porsche 919 WEC Facts and Figures.

– The six-hour race on the Bahrain International Circuit is the ninth and final round of the 2016 FIA WEC. The race starts on Saturday, November 19 at 8:00 a.m. ET (4:00 p.m. Bahrain time, 2:00 p.m. in Central Europe).

– The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge in its basic version and can be extended (for a fee) by a live stream. Several live features, such as on-board cameras, timing and GPS tracking, are implemented in the Porsche Motorsport App (free of charge) and at porsche.com/fiawec.

– In 2015, Porsche concluded the season in Bahrain by taking its sixth consecutive race win and the drivers’ title. A fifth-place finish was enough to make Bernhard/Hartley/Webber world champions. Dumas/Jani/Lieb took their long awaited 2015 maiden race win.

– Last year’s qualifiers were Bernhard/Hartley and Dumas/Lieb. After dark and in a little cooler conditions, Bernhard set a new lap record for prototypes on the 3.36-mile long F1 circuit. That was a lap in 1-minute, 39.670 seconds. The average time for him and Hartley was 1:39.736 minutes and put them on pole position. Dumas/Lieb came second on the grid with an average lap time of 1:40.100 minutes.

– The WEC efficiency regulations limit the amount of energy that can be used per lap. In Bahrain, the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use 4.92 megajoule of electrical power from energy recovery systems and 1.385 kg/0.5-gallons (1.896 liters) of gasoline.

– At normal race speed (no safety car) the Porsche 919 Hybrid is due for refueling after every 32 laps at the latest.

– A set of Michelin slick tires should ideally last two fuel tank fills. However, in order to set the best lap times, it may be sensible to change tires more often.

– A lap on the F1 track of the Bahrain International Circuit is 3.36-miles. It has eight right-handers and six left-handers. The longest straight is at the start-finish and measures 0.68-miles.

– The circuit opened in 2004 and is located about 19-miles outside Bahrain’s capital of Manama. Over 30 islands in the Persian Gulf belong to the Kingdom. Its size is around 290 square miles and has nearly 1.2 million inhabitants.

All points standings: http://www.fiawec.com/courses/classification.html
All results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com

Test Me. American Gustavo Menezes Earns Test in Porsche 919 Hybrid.

On the day after the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) finale at Bahrain, Californian Gustavo Menezes will test the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Menezes is well-known to North American race fans for his time racing in the American Le Mans Series and IMSA. The test on the desert circuit comes as a result of the 22 year-old’s 2016 WEC LMP2 class championship. In the first eight races of the year, he won four times capturing the title at Round Eight in Shanghai, China. Included in the tally was the LMP2 class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans racing for Singatech-Alpine. His career also includes stints in open wheel racing as well as Global RallyCross.

Back In The Family. CORE autosport to Debut Porsche 911 GT3 R at Daytona.

CORE autosport will have its first opportunity to test the Porsche 911 GT3 R this week at Daytona International Speedway. After announcing its intention to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona (GTD) category last September, the five-time championship-winning effort took delivery of the rear-engine icon shortly after the series’ finale in October. The November 15-16 official series’ test session is the South Carolina-based team’s return to the German marque having simultaneously raced Porsches in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Series and the American Le Mans Series GT class in 2013. Having started operation in 2010 in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, the Jon Bennett-owned program won consecutive PC titles from 2011-2015.

Bennett (Fort Mill, South Carolina) and longtime co-driver Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina) return in 2017 as one of the longest-running Pro-Am combinations in the sport. Despite all of the success in the prototype together, the two have never competed in a GT car together adding to the test’s significance. The familiar orange, white and black livery will officially debut on the No. 54 at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 28-29, 2017.

The Porsche 911 GT3 R, the German brand’s official entry for the international GT3 set of regulations which forms the base for the GTD class, made its international debut in the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona with a runner-up finish. The 500-hp car, based on the seventh-generation 911, followed with its first victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in March.

Jon Bennett, Driver/Owner, No. 54 CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“We are exited to unload our new Porsche 911 GT3 R and commence a new chapter for CORE autosport. While the 911 GT3 R will be new to us, we are thankful the Porsche 911 has over five decades of winning experience. We are also fortunate to have Colin Braun join us for a sixth season. Colin’s wealth of experience will definitely accelerate our learning curve with our new Porsche. Our talented CORE autosport crew have already christened this start-up venture with several long weeks preparing our new equipment. 2017 will welcome new manufacturers and teams into IMSA’s GT Daytona category. We look forward to the competition and continuing Porsche’s long history of winning.”

Watch Bergmeister. Porsche Factory Driver Judges GQ Magazine Timepiece Contest.

Design is an art Porsche has excelled in for decades, therefore it is no surprise Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) was recently selected to weigh in on the topic. The longtime and multi-time champion was chosen to be a judge for GQ Magazine Deutschland’s Watch Guide to select the best men’s watches and brands of 2017. In the article the reader will find the very best of every type of timepiece, from “smart watches” to designer watches.

GQ was aided by Porsche in searching for judges qualified for the job, and neither need look further than Bergmeister who has developed a passion for the accessory over the years. An easy passion to pick-up for a Le Mans winner that has multiple series’ championships under his belt, watches of course being a common prize in endurance racing.

Outside of being a collector of watches Bergmeister boasts a couple specific qualities to makes him a great judge. He holds a degree in economics and has a healthy respect for time itself – Bergmeister prides himself as someone who is rarely if ever late.

Being a Porsche factory driver aided in Bergmeister’s decision-making process, he explained his taste in cars is reflected in his taste in watches. Bergmeister dove deeper into what he looked at in each piece when voting.

Bergmeister didn’t reveal any of the winning watches but he did add that a few winners coincided with his own vote. To check out the best watches of 2017 pick up a copy of GQ Magazine Deutschland or go online to gq-magazine.de.

Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I have been lucky enough to win a lot of nice watches while racing. I also bought some back in the day when I didn’t have a child. I would say I have nice little collection but I’m not sure how many exactly.”

“I would say my taste in cars and my taste in watches is fairly similar. Nice and simple is simply nice. When judging, first off I looked at the design but also a bit at the movement and the complications. The thing I like most about watches is the art of making something mechanical work so precise. I enjoy that the concept is quite old and was only refined over the years. A good watch is a respectable piece of equipment.”

Head West Young Man. 2016 Biggest Season Yet for Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA. 

The Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA championship celebrated its biggest year to date in 2016 as the series staged another highly competitive championship season that saw the grid grow to record numbers.

One of over 20 global championships that utilizes the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as the competition centerpiece, the 2016 Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA championship expanded to include the Silver class, which featured the all-new Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4.

Operated by Competent Motorsport, which is based in Newport Beach, California, the 2016 Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA season launched with a double-header race weekend at Circuit of the Americas in March, with races at internationally recognized circuits like Laguna Seca, Sonoma Raceway, and Utah Motorsports Campus.

Two different iterations of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car comprise the Diamond (991 GT3 Cup 2014-2016) and Platinum (997.2 GT3 Cup 2010-2013) classes, with Masters championships also contested in the Platinum and Silver classes.

Robert Todd emerged as the Diamond Class Champion on the strength of his six wins for BR Racing. TruSpeed Autosport’s Tom Haacker delivered an outstanding performance to earn the Platinum Championship title, with his fellow TruSpeed Autosport pilot Larry Schnur taking the Platinum Masters title.

Kevin Woods won his second championship in Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA competition, earning the Silver class title, with Steve Goldman taking the Silver Masters title for Competition Motorsports.

• Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA 2016 Champion, Diamond: Robert Todd
• Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA 2016 Champion, Platinum: Tom Haacker
• Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA 2016 Champion, Platinum Masters: Larry Schnur
• Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA 2016 Champion, Silver: Kevin Woods
• Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA 2016 Champion, Silver Masters: Steve Goldman

Greg Franz, President, Competent Motorsport. 

“Congratulations to our 2016 Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA class of champions, this was a fantastic season of competition and these are very worthy winners. A big thanks to our series partners, the staff at Competent Motorsport for all their efforts to prepare for our race weekends, and to all the teams and drivers who were a part of this big 10th anniversary season with us. We have already been preparing for our 2017 season and look forward to making some announcements about next year soon!”

FIA/ World Endurance Championship.
Total Car Count: Six (6) Porsche entries will be competing in the FIA/WEC Six Hours of COTA.
LMP1 Class (2) Porsche 919 Hybrid.
No. 1 Porsche Team Timo Bernhard (Germany)/Brendon Hartley (New Zealand)/Mark Webber (Australia)
No. 2 Porsche Team Romain Dumas (France)/Neel Jani (Switzerland)/Marc Lieb (Germany)
LMGTE Pro Class (1) Porsche 911 RSR:
No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Richard Lietz (Austria)/Michael Christensen (Denmark)
LMGTE Am Class (3) Porsche 911 RSR (2015 Model Year):
PNo. 78 KCMG Christian Ried (Germany)/Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Jöel Camathias (Switzerland)
No. 86 Gulf Racing Michael Wainwright (Great Britain)/Adam Carroll (Great Britain)/Benjamin Barker (Great Britain)
No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing #919hybridPatrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) Khaled Al Qubaisi (United Arab Emirates)/ David Heinemeier Hansson (Denmark)
Where to Watch.
FIA/WEC Six Hours of Bahrain.
Race Broadcast. FS1
Saturday, November 19, 7:00 a.m. ET (Live)
Live Race Video Streaming http://www.fiawec.com/
Live Qualifying Streaming http://www.fiawec.com/
Audio Streaming www.RadioLeMans.com
Live Timing and Scoring http://www.fiawec.com/


Social Media.
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche North America. @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing – 919 Hybrid. @Porsche_Team
Model Hashtag.
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
Event Hashtag. #6hShanghai
Series Hashtag.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3Canada


Upcoming Porsche Events

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event: Official Pre-Season Test Session, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Tuesday – Wednesday, November 15-16
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: NA
Class: GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: NA
Next Round: Official Pre-Season Test Session, Daytona International Speedway, December 13-14, 2016

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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